Local Motors unveil their first 3D-printed car by printing vehicle in front of amazed public

The Strati takes a total of 44 hours to print and requires a 'mini-factory' of just 40,000 sq ft

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The Independent Tech

Innovative automotive company Local Motors has unveiled its first 3D-printed car at the prestigious North American International Auto Show, by printing the vehicle on the event's show floor.

The Phoenix-based firm wowed audiences at the show in Detroit by using a 3D printer to build the car’s frame at the event in front of amazed attendees.

It took just 44 hours to complete the carbon fibre-infused plastic frame of the vehicle named the Strati, which, according to those at Local Motors, can be manufactured in a “micro-factory” of just 40,000 sq ft.

The frame of the Strati is then fitted with a battery, motor and suspension from French car company Renault to be driven at speeds of up to 25mph.

The vehicle, which is the first of three 3D print prototypes to be released by Local Motors, is the first step in Local Motors plan to be the first company to start producing 3D printed cars and printers for the consumer market.

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The company has already announced plans to open two micro-factories in Knoxville, Tennessee and another near Washington DC, and the CEO Jay Rogers is expecting to start selling the Strati later this year for between $18,000 (£11,930) to $30,000 (£19,880).

There are also plans in the pipeline to bring down the production time and costs of creating the Strati to make it a more affordable and popular product for homes across America.

Mr Rogers has said previously that digital manufacturing is the way forward for the US and hopes that the technology and ideas used on the Strati can be applied to other industries to bring back manufacturing to the country.

The Strati was one of more than 700 vehicles to be displayed at the show regarded as one of the most important automotive shows in the world.