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Arizona-based company builds 3-D printed car, drives at Chicago show

Several groups worked together to build a driveable 3-D printed car during the six-day International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago.

In a press release, Chandler, Ariz.-based Local Motors called the 3-D printed Strati a first-of-its-kind concept car. Local Motors worked with the Association for Manufacturing Technology, Cincinnati Incorporated and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory to 3-D print and rapidly assemble the car during the Sept. 8-13 event.

Engineers started out by 3-D printing the car using a process called Broad Area Additive Manufacturing (BAAM).

Local Motors said it held a six-week challenge and received more than 200 entries from 30 different countries before chosing the Strati as the winning design. Michele Anoe of Italy submitted the Strati design, which calls for the car’s body to be 3-D printed in a single piece — an approximate 44-hour process.

The 3-D printed car is made from ABS plastic that has been infused with carbon fiber. Local Motors said it believes it is the first company to ever attempt to print both the body and chassis components of a vehicle together, although others have built cars before using a 3-D printing process.

After the vehicle was printed, Local Motors said it outfitted the car with mechanical components, such as motors, wiring, suspension and a battery.

For a finale, the completed Strati was showcased and then driven around the venue Saturday, but Local Motors said it could not drive the car around on city streets due to vehicle regulations.

You can see the steps on the Strati building process on Local Motors’ website.

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