What can transport you to the exhilarating speed of 65 km/h that you can (almost) print in 3D at home? A revolutionary concept vehicle named Strati.
Nowadays, it is possible to print almost anything in 3D. The small US company Local Motors located in Arizona has taken the concept even further, by designing the first functional vehicle entirely made of of 49 3D printed elements. The chassis and the vehicle body are made of a single solid piece. The vehicle has a top speed of 65km / h. Powered by an electric motor and able to carry two passengers, the Strati is made from black plastic layer reinforced with carbon fibers. The printer used to build the vehicle was built by a company called Cincinnati Inc. and was able to produce parts up to 90 x 150 x 300 cm. Local Motors hopes to be able to make cars like this for about $ 17 000 in the near future. The seats, bodywork, chassis, dashboard, center console and cover are printed in 3D. The experimental process used for their printing was designed with accuracy in mind. Every one piece part was done in order to facilitate assembly, but also to ensure the best possible vehicle structural rigidity.
100 factories in 10 years.
The Strati has a driving range anywhere between 190 and 240 km. The prototype version was demonstrated at the International Manufacturing Technology show in Chicago last month. Some mechanical components such as the battery, motor, wiring and suspension were borrowed from Renault’s Twizy. Local Motors adopts a decentralized approach. Instead of having a huge factory, Local Motors plans to build 100 “micro factories around the world in the next 10 years.” Local Motors officials further indicate that each of these plants, located near urban centers may create more than 100 jobs each.
Local Motors has teamed with NVIDIA to integrate NVIDIA Drive CX, digital cockpit computer just announced during CES 2015. Prior to integration of the Drive CX, the dashboard of the Strati was much more traditional. Now, the dashboard is made of a flat screen with graphics worthy of a science fiction movie! NVIDIA DRIVE CX is a digital cockpit computer, capable of running a 3D navigation software, digital instruments, but also the processing of natural speech (for voice commands), and image processing. NVIDIA indicates that it is “a platform with a double benefit: market the Strati faster and with the lowest total cost. ” The vehicle is not yet available commercially, but you can already sign up to be notified when it becomes available on the Local Motors website.
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