Local Motors Debuts LM3D

Local Motors has debuted its LM3D printed vehicle at the SEMA show. It will be available for sale by 2017.

Local Motors has been wowing the tech world with its 3D printed vehicle concepts. It printed an entire Strati at several different conferences over the past two years, and now it’s showing off the LM3D Swim vehicle, which was on display at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) 2015 show this week.lm3d

Unlike the Strati, the LM3D is now undergoing crash testing as part of Local Motors’ efforts to create a road-ready 3D printed car for release in 2017.

“We’ve done a lot of work up to this point to get the world thinking about printing a vehicle,” Local Motors Head of Product Development Alex Fiechter told Desktop Engineering in a recent interview. “In our next steps, we’ve done some initial fundamental materials testing, and now we’re getting into deeper testing with an actual car to see what happens when we test out hypothetical structural approaches we’ve been working on.”

The estimated retail price for the car will be around $53,000, not including special subsidies for electric vehicles.

The design for the LM3D emerged out of the Project REDACTED challenge. Kevin Lo submitted the winning design (which was modified by the Local Motors team), and the first model was produced just a few months later. Local Motors used Siemens Solid Edge for product development, and printed the vehicles using materials from SABIC.

“In the past few months our engineers have moved from only a rendering to the car you see in front of you today,” Local Motors CEO Jay Rogers said. “We are using the power of DDM (direct digital manufacturing) to create new vehicles at a pace unparalleled in the auto industry, and we’re thrilled to begin taking orders on 3D-printed cars next year.”

The prototype LM3D uses the powertrain from the BMW i3. Local Motors says that eventually the LM3D will exceed Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards for crash worthiness, and will include forward and side collision warnings, along with lane departure alerts and blind spot detection.

The chassis is designed to support a wide variety of body concepts, making it extremely customizable. The vehicles will be built at Local Motors’ Knoxville, TN, microfactory, which is currently under construction.

In addition to the Swim version (sort of a dune buggy) currently on display, Lo also designed a Sport version that Local Motors plans to produce. The company will begin pre-selling the models in spring of 2016.

Sources: Local Motorsengadget

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Brian Albright

Brian Albright is the editorial director of Digital Engineering. Contact him at [email protected].

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