Local Motors (Phoenix, AZ) and Arizona State University have formed a partnership to advance materials research into 3D-printed automotive parts, which will be used on the world's first 3D-printed car, scheduled to be on the road in early 2016. Local Motors will join the ASU Polytechnic eProjects program, which connects students and faculty in ASU's Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering with cutting-edge technology companies. Students will be introduced to the program at the 2015 Polytechnic School eProject Forum on Aug. 31.
"The materials research and testing we're conducting with ASU will help us bring to market the world's first 3D-printed car," said John B. Rogers, Jr., CEO and co-founder of Local Motors. "Our goal is to create vehicles that are safer than any on the road today, and this partnership with a world-class university right in our own backyard will help us do exactly that."
The Local Motors-ASU team of student and faculty researchers will be focused on designing, simulating and fabricating a set of test structures and test systems to increase the inter-laminar strength of 3D-printed automotive parts. Local Motors debuted the world's first 3D-printed car last year, and a new design will go on sale later this year, with the first models expected to hit the road in early 2016.
This new partnership brings ASU into the Local Motors LOCO program. Short for Local Motors Co-Created, the LOCO university vehicle program provides students and faculty with the projects, vehicles and co-creation platform needed to quickly develop the next generation of vehicle technology. Local Motors recently delivered its 3D-printed LOCO vehicle to ASU, and it will be on display at the eProject Forum.
Students will learn more about the ASU-Local Motors project at the eProject Forum to be held Aug. 31 at 3 PM in the Cooley Ballroom at ASU's Polytechnic School in Mesa, AZ. This event connects industry partners and students: Each eProject involves four to eight students who work together in an interdisciplinary team. At the end of the spring semester, projects are revealed at the Innovation Showcase, a public event that routinely draws close to 1,000 people.
Dr. John M. Parsey, Jr., Professor of Practice and Director of eProjects at ASU's Polytechnic School, will oversee students working on the Local Motors project. "This is an exciting and innovative project for our students to be working on, and it will give them the opportunity to learn at the cutting edge of engineering and put their creative minds to work on a real-world challenge," Parsey said. "It fits perfectly within our eProjects program, which gives students outstanding workplace experience while they are at the university."
The ASU team will have exclusive access to Local Motors' large-scale 3D printer in Tempe, AZ. This printer and others like it will be used to create the next generation of the Local Motors 3D-printed car.