Local Motors unveils design for transformable 3D-printed car

US based Local Motors, a micro-manufacturer of automotive concept vehicles on Tuesday unveiled the design for a transformable 3D-printed electric car,  planned as a 2+2 coupe. The car is scheduled for launch sometime in 2016.
 
US based Local Motors, a micro-manufacturer of automotive concept vehicles has unveiled the design for a transformable 3D-printed electric car,  planned as a 2+2 coupe  
The design unveiled by Local Motors for its 3D-printed electric car was selected by the  crowdsourcing community of the company from among a total of 60 entries, which were received in response to Local Motors' earlier-this-year announcement of a contest for the 3D printing community to design a road-ready vehicle.

The winning design for Local Motors' 3D-printed vehicle dubbed the 'Reload Redacted - Swim and Sport' design, came from mechanical engineer Kevin Lo. The design essentially underscored Lo's vision of a reconfigurable sports car which would be partly beach buggy and partly a road car.

The winning design was selected by a panel of judges which comprised Local Motors' design community, and former Tonight show host Jay Leno. Lo was awarded an amount of $7,500 for his design.

The design the car, which is based on a skateboard-style chassis, is inspired by the regular beach buggy. The chassis houses the car's motor, batteries, suspension, and steering components, The 3D-printed car would feature  external speakers, along with removable front, rear, and roof panels, to enable its switch between beach buggy and road car styles.

The composite chassis and body parts would be produced by a room sized ''printer'' that was developed in conjunction with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

The production version would be built at a facility in Knoxville, Tennesse, but Local Motors hoped to add more locations over the coming years. It would initially go on sale as a low-speed neighborhood vehicle, with a price tag between $18,000-$30,000, however, according to the company, a highway legal version would be available by the end of 2016.

Local Motors business model revolved around the concept of ''micro-factories,'' where customers participated in the assembly of their vehicles, which put them in the custom build ''kit car'' category, and exempted them from many of the government regulations that made extremely difficult for low volume manufacturers to get a foothold in the US.