Local Motors 3D-printed car moves a step closer to production

American firm reveals the latest development in its crowdfunded, 3D-printed car concept

We’re still early in the life of 3D printing, but some companies have already begun to explore the potential of creating complex objects using the layer-by-layer technique.

One of those is American firm Local Motors, best-known for the crowdfunded Rally Fighter off-road activity vehicle.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to our exclusive new offer and SAVE 39% on the shop price, get evo for its original cover price of £3.00 an issue, plus get a FREE gift worth £20!

For the past few years, Local Motors has been using 3D-printing technology to create entire cars. While each vehicle has so far been experimental, Local Motors’ latest concept moves another step towards homologated production models.

Called the LM3D Swim and brought about using a dechnique called direct digital manufacturing (DDM), its latest concept is once again the subject of crowdfunding design and ideas – the design, penned by community member Kevin Lo, was chosen by community votes and a judging panel including petrolhead and talk show host Jay Leno.

Advertisement - Article continues below

From concept to prototyping the entire process has taken just a few months, resulting in the beach buggy-style vehicle seen here. While the car itself may not appeal to evo readers, it’s an indication of just how individual a 3D-printed vehicle could be – while powertrain and mechanical components are a limiting factor, little limits the design of the vehicle itself.

It’s a technique that’s progressing quickly. At last year’s SEMA show in Las Vegas, Local Motors printed its first concept vehicle live at the show. By 2016, it should have a series of production-ready vehicles to join the LM3D Swim, and plans to pursue the relevant crash testing and certification standards necessary for sales in the US.

Should all go to plan, deliveries would commence in 2017, while Local Motors has even divulged a targeted manufacturer’s retail price of $53,000 for the cars – ultimately, the price would be the same across the board, regardless of the exterior design.

‘In the past few months our engineers have moved from only a rendering to the car you see in front of you today. We are using the power of DDM 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,’ said Local Motors CEO Jay Rogers at the SEMA show in Las Vegas.



Morgan Plus 4

Morgan Plus 4 70th Anniversary Edition revealed 

26 Mar 2020
Subaru BRZ

Subaru BRZ review - can it match the Mazda MX-5?

17 Mar 2020
Lotus Evora

Lotus Evora GT410 review – more refined but no less fun

14 Mar 2020
Porsche 911

RUF Rodeo Concept revealed as off-road Porsche 911

10 Mar 2020

Most Popular

used cars

Best used cars for sale this week

We’ve delved into the classifieds and chosen our favourite cars for sale this week
27 Mar 2020
Porsche 911 Turbo

New Porsche 911 Turbo gains Lightweight and Sport packages 

The 2020 Porsche 911 Turbo hasn’t been with us for long, but a raft of packages and optional extras are already in the pipeline
26 Mar 2020

1200bhp Hennessey C8 Corvette shown testing on video

The C8 Corvette has only just hit showrooms, but Hennessey Performance already has big plans...
26 Mar 2020
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 Fastback N versus the Col de Turini

We take the Hyundai i30 Fastback N up the Col de Turini, a 31km stage of the Monte Carlo World Rally Championship
19 Jul 2019