Check Out the Open Source Chassis that will Bring 3D-Printed Cars to the Streets

3D Printing & Imaging Cars
Check Out the Open Source Chassis that will Bring 3D-Printed Cars to the Streets

Last year we showed you the first fully 3D-printed car, Strati. Today Local Motors is following that up with the winner of its design challenge, Project [Redacted], a month-long contest that required entrants to design a four-seater based on a 3D-printable template. Kevin Lo’s winning entry will be the basis for the company’s upcoming 2016 low-speed production car, and later highway-ready version. Reload Redacted – Swim/Sport, as Lo calls it, is the next step in Local Motors’ Direct Digital Manufacturing scheme.

Compared to the low, roadster style of the Strati, Swim/Sport is more practical. It includes many of the same features, like seats that are printed into the body, but the addition of two more seats and rollover bars make it a little more daily-use friendly. It’s still sporty — obviously — but a fundamental part of the design is a flexible “skateboard” chassis that can be topped with different body styles, including Swim, which has external speakers and a surfboard rack.

Local Motors is continuing its open policy; like Strati, Swim/Sport is licensed on Creative Commons. A big part of the goal is that Digital Direct Manufacturing Local Motors talks about, which means they need partners capable of printing the body — contest stipulations require a 115″ minimum wheelbase.


So, in an additional announcement, Local Motors is partnering with the University of Michigan, University of Nevada at Las Vegas, and Arizona State University, to release what they’re calling LOCO University Vehicles, which will be used to develop low-speed, electric, 3D printed autonomous vehicles.

Part of Local Motors initiative is to reduce the time-to-market for car development. Contests and Creative Commons licensing is one way, in addition to distributed manufacturing. If the yet-to-be-named highway-ready version is indeed released in 2016, it’ll be around two years since Strati’s debut.

Local Motors’ first (non 3D-printed) production car, the Rally Fighter, was also built based on open-source community design.

The Rally Fighter
The Rally Fighter

Photos: Local Motors. See the winning entry here.

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Nathan Hurst is an editor at Make. He loves anything having to do with science or bicycling. He tweets as @nathanbhurst.

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