Even with all the potential offered by additive manufacturing (AM) some people are quick to point out what the technology isn’t capable of producing. “It can’t do large-scale manufacturing,” or “It’s really only good for prototyping” are two common refrains.
Local Motors thinks bigger and has put its money where its mouth is. Earlier this year, the company launched a contest to design a car that could be completely manufactured using 3D printing. The winning entry would then be printed during the course of the International Manufacturing Technology Show 2014 (IMTS). The contest drew more than 200 designers from around the world to submit their entries, and Local Motors has announced a winner.
The winner is Michele Anoé of Italy, with his convertible design named Strati. Anoé will receive a $5,000 cash award for his submission and will be invited to see his concept manufactured live at the IMTS Show this September.
It has a nice style that really hangs together,” said Lonnie Love, Group Leader, robotics and manufacturing systems research at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. “Michele’s design offers an excellent balance between innovation, complexity and practicality. It has good 3D lines and the retractable roof is really cool.”
Along with the Strati, six other concepts were selected as runners-up for innovation in design or popular appeal. Each runner-up will receive $1000, and some of the ideas may be incorporated into the final design.
Attempting to design and manufacture a car from the ground up using modern, advanced manufacturing techniques could be the future of automobile production, and Local Motors partnership with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) should be pointing the way to that future.
“There are three major challenges facing the auto industry today; part count, weight, and the initial cost of tooling when creating and iterating on vehicles. The hybrid Direct Digital Manufacturing process stands to address all three of these,” said Jay Rogers, Local Motors CEO. “When these hurdles are removed, we open the door to an exciting new era in automotive design and manufacturing possibilities.”
Below you’ll find the winners announcement video.
Source: Local Motors