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Phoenix-based Local Motors, designer and manufacturer of the first 3D-printed automobile, unveiled the LM3D Swim at the SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) show in Las Vegas in November. That was just less than four months after revealing designs for this next-generation 3D-printed car. The latest iteration is the lead-in to a fully homologated 3D-printed vehicle, designed to be safe, smart and sustainable. Calling itself a "disruptive auto manufacturer," Local Motors will begin pre-selling models in the spring of this year.

Clare Goldsberry

January 11, 2016

2 Min Read
Local Motors to begin pre-sales of 3D-printed car this year

Local MotorsThe latest design for this iteration was born out of a design competition that Local Motors hosted. It was chosen by community votes and a judging panel that included former Tonight Show host Jay Leno and SEMA Vice President of Vehicle Technology, John Wareniak. That competition was hosted on Local Motors' co-creation platform, Open IO, with the goal of identifying designs for the next generation of 3D-printed cars.

"In the past few months, our engineers have moved from only a rendering to the car displayed at SEMA," said Local Motors CEO Jay Rogers. "We are using the power of DDM (direct digital manufacturing) to create new vehicles at a pace unparalleled in the auto industry, and we're thrilled to begin taking orders on 3D-printed cars in 2016."

Software developed by Siemens, including Solid Edge, allowed the Local Motors product development team to move quickly from concept to car with the simplicity of direct modeling and the flexibility of synchronous technology. SABIC, a global producer of thermoplastics, provided the materials used to build the body of LM3D Swim.

Cutting-edge technology will be integrated into all models in the LM3D series. Local Motors recently partnered with IBM to create interactions between the micro-factory, 3D-printed vehicles, their drivers and the outside environment in ways never achieved before, said Local Motors' information. These technologies will result in increased safety and efficiency in traffic. Local Motors plans to utilize partners like IBM as well as other leading technology companies to develop and launch a series of apps and vehicle products to connect, monitor and optimize the driving experience.

Local Motors plans to release several new models in the LM3D series throughout 2016, while pursuing federal crash testing and highway certifications. While pre-sales of the cars are expected to begin in the spring of 2016 with a targeted MSRP of $53,000, manufacturing and delivery of the vehicles is slated for early 2017. All cars in the LM3D series will be built at a new Local Motors micro-factory now under construction in Knoxville, TN.

About the Author(s)

Clare Goldsberry

Until she retired in September 2021, Clare Goldsberry reported on the plastics industry for more than 30 years. In addition to the 10,000+ articles she has written, by her own estimation, she is the author of several books, including The Business of Injection Molding: How to succeed as a custom molder and Purchasing Injection Molds: A buyers guide. Goldsberry is a member of the Plastics Pioneers Association. She reflected on her long career in "Time to Say Good-Bye."

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