TORRANCE (CBSLA.com) — The world’s first 3D-printed, zero-emissions car is making a pit stop at El Camino College this week.
KNX 1070’s Jon Baird reports the Strati – which is Italian for “layers” – was over two years in the making and can reach speeds of up to 40 miles per hour.
Arizona-based Local Motors came up with the idea for the new car, and after enlisting the help of Italian auto designer and Local Motors contest winner Michele Anoè, the roadster design was developed.
The process of “printing” the vehicle involves stacking many layers of the printed plastic and carbon fiber compound and then molding the pieces into the necessary shapes, according to Greg Jones, Vice President of Smart Force Development, for the Association of Manufacturing Technology.
A time-lapse video posted on YouTube details the nearly 44-hour process over the span of about 45 seconds.
“It really is a process that’s very similar to your inkjet printer at home, it’s just different materials that are coming through the nozzle,” Jones said. “Think of the paper as the substrate that you use, as the platform for the printing to begin building up.”
The Strati’s power train, suspension, steering system, seats, lights, wheels, and tires were borrowed from the Spanish-made Renault Twizy, a small electric car, according to Jones.
Engineers recreated the process in front of onlookers at the International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago this past fall, where a team built the vehicle at the event and drove it right off the trade show floor.
Its debut at Torrance’s El Camino College campus – a move aimed at stimulating student’s interest in science and technology – was equally dramatic, at least for students Luz Cortez and Steven Ramirez.