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MEET THE STRATI: A 3D PRINTED ELECTRIC CAR

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06-e-spider3D Printing is all the rage these days, so it’s no surprise someone has printed a complete and functional electric automobile, appropriately named the Strati (Italian for “layers”). 18 months ago, Phoenix Arizona company Local Motors teamed up with Cincinnati Incorporated to develop a neighborhood electric car. The project is open source; members are encouraged to share their vehicle design ideas, which are then produced and perfected by the community. The components are then printed by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. French automaker Renault produces the electric car battery, motor and suspension. The two seater has a top speed of 40mph and a range of 120 miles.
Italian Michele Anoe’s design was chosen for the first car. The first test drive took place on Sept 13, 2014 (see video). Since then, the printing process has been demonstrated at both the International Manufacturing Technology show in Chicago, and the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. Printing all 800 kilos of thermoplastic components currently takes 44 hours to complete, followed by three days of milling and assembling. Plans are to decrease the printing time to less than 12 hours by the time manufacturing begins at the end of 2015. A futuristic ikea-like microfactory at the National Harbor in Maryland is planned as soon as the appropriate zoning laws are passed.

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