Could we have the first commercial 3D-printed car by 2017? 0

The printer’s jammed again. Piece of paper? No, just a car tyre.

That’s right; the world’s first (future) commercial 3D-printed car has just been unveiled. Arizona-based Local Motors revealed their latest product at the SEMA show in Los Angeles this week. The LM3D Swim is going to be the first 3D-printed car available to the commercial market.

Around 75% of the car is built using a 3D printer and we have to admit, it is seriously impressive. It might not be the best performer (figures not yet available), but Local Motors isn’t aiming to rival the BMW’s of the world. On their website they say, “We’re making everything simpler and smarter”, and that’s exactly what they’ve done.

The car went from concept to prototype in just over two months, with the design chosen in July from a competition Local Motors ran. The body of the car resembles a child’s toy mixed with a beach buggy, and was picked out of 200 design entries by a judging panel that included former chat show host Jay Leno and John Waraniack, SEMA’s Vice President of Vehicle Technology.


Safe – Smart – Sustainable

One of the most exciting features of the car is that it’s customisable. Due to the fact it’s built using a 3D printer, buyers would be able to design certain aspects themselves. Not very many cars can boast that. The LM3D Swim will offer aesthetic features that buyers can customise, without compromising the safety of the vehicle.

If you were worrying about the safety of a 3D-printed vehicle, Local Motors can reassure you. The company says, “Our goal is to make 3D-printed cars safer than traditionally manufactured cars.” Soon the Swim will begin the process of getting crash and highway certified. After, the cars will be manufactured at the company’s new microfactory, which is being built in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Local Motors has revealed that they will begin taking pre-orders next spring, with production and deliveries expected to begin in early 2017. You will need $53,000 (£34,000) to have one of your own, but with the technology being so innovative, we imagine Local Motors will be rolling in orders.

Watch the video below from Local Motors’ YouTube channel to see how to LM3D Swim is built.





Image credit: