Local Motors Again Calls Upon the Crowd, Will 3D Print New EV

Local Motors 3D Printed EV - Proposed Design by vasilatos_ianis 2

Local Motors, the company known for its awesome Rally Fighter off-roader and its unique crowdsourced design technique, is back at it—this time with an EV. But the electric car won’t just be some Nissan Leaf doppelgänger. Instead, like the Rally Fighter, its design will be crowd-sourced. And it will be 3D printed at the International Manufacturing Trade Show (IMTS) this fall in Chicago.

Local Motors 3D Printed EV - Proposed Design by vasilatos_ianis

Moving beyond the crazy idea of building a car at a trade show—Local Motors built one of its Rally Fighters at the same venue last year, so this apparently is, er, precedented—we’re really intrigued by the 3D printing plan. Local Motors so far hasn’t specified just how much of the yet-unnamed car (so far the project is simply dubbed DDM Project, for “Direct Digital Manufacturing”) will be printed, although this video specifically mentions the body, frame, and seats. In the project brief submitted to its legion of designers, Local Motors stipulates that the “majority” of the car should be created with 3D printing. The images here are just a few of the proposed designs, which you can see at the site for the project.

Local Motors 3D Printed EV - Proposed Design by lulu

First Drive: 2015 Audi A3 Sedan 1.8T / 2.0T
First (Hypercar!) Drive: 2014 McLaren P1
Instrumented Test: 2014 Mazda 3 i Hatchback 2.0L Manual

In case you’re wary of a crowdsourced car, look only to the very real, very functional Rally Fighter. Local Motors considers chassis and component stiffness, manufacturing feasibility, and more during the design process. The car will go through a full development process after the initial design is prototyped at IMTS in September, and we’re eager to see the result.

About Alexander Stoklosa