By Edward Cardenas
DETROIT (CBS Detroit) – The North American International Auto Show floor is filled with many fully built vehicles, but only Local Motors is turning the show floor into a production facility.READ MORE: Michigan High Schools Selling 'Oxford Strong' T-Shirts To Help Community
The Phoenix-based company has a large printer on the show floor at Cobo Center which is printing out the components of the Strati (which is Italian for layers), with crews assembling the car in front of attendees.
“To be here in Detroit, printing a 3D car is a real honor and achievement for our company,” said Justin Fishkin, Local Motors chief strategy officer, who said the company is proud to be part of the manufacturing resurgence in the country. “We want to be a part of the next manufacturing revolution.”
This is the first in a line of 3D-printed cars from Local Motors, with the Strati design chosen from more than 200 designs submitted to the company through its international, online co-creation community on the company website.
The entire process takes 44 hours to use carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastic material – similar to Lego plastic – to print the components through a process that lays layer upon layer. The initial model took 180 hours, and the company has a goal to reduce that time to 12 hours or below, Fishkin said.READ MORE: Meijer Offering Free N95 Masks To Customers At Stores
The first After the 3D printing is complete, the structure moves to a Thermwood CNC router that mills the finer details and the car’s exterior details take shape.
Once that is completed, the 3D-printed components are assembled with the non 3D-printed components, including the drivetrain, electrical components, gauges and wiring, and tires to complete the car.
A completed car -which has 49 parts – is available in Hall E for test rides for the general public.
The car is undergoing testing to make it legal for street driving, and will sell between $18-30,000 when it is available for sale with a variety of configurations. Fishkin said the company expects to receive approval by the end of 2015.MORE NEWS: Wayne County Partnering With CDC To Hold COVID-19 Testing Site In Dearborn
“At Local Motors we think we are one of the leading tips of the spear as it relates to direct, digital manufacturing,” Fishkin said.