Local Motors To Recycle 3D-Printed Cars to Make New Ones
Over the past few years, Local Motors has made huge strides in manufacturing processes. Last year, the company unveiled an almost completely 3D-printed car, fully functional we’d like to add. Local Motors then set a target of building and driving off in a 3D-printed car in just two short days, and at the end, the team did just that. Currently, Local Motors is further researching and devising new techniques to help streamline the process, and the company will begin to offer 3D-printed cars very soon. However, the team’s latest epiphany comes from the 3D-printed body and its recyclability. RELATED: Check Out Local Motors Shooting Brake Concept Here
According to the Local Motors, to better protect the environment, the company plans on using previously printed bodies, melting them down, and using the same printing process to build an new exterior. The materials that make up Local Motors’ body is a composite of thermoplastic and carbon fiber, and is can be reduced back to its semi-liquid state, which will allow the company to reuse the older material.
Local Motors chief Strategy officer spoke with Autoblog and stated, “We’re working on that process as we speak, and it’s possible because that material (carbon fiber and thermoplastic) is recyclable.” Additionally, having the ability to recycle the material would allow the exterior to be redesigned, “People might actually want to keep their car longer, or they’ll say, I want to bring it back and we’ll have a better car by the end of the day,” elaborated.
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What’s additionally interesting is that if one of these 3D-printed cars gets into an accident, and loses a bumper, in theory, the owners could just pick it up, head to Local Motors, reduce the materials, and set off with a brand new exterior.
Local Motors will begin accepting orders for the company’s 3D-printed Swim model this upcoming spring, with the full production version tentatively being ready by the end of 2016. The Swim will start at $53,000, and Local Motors plans on bringing a host of additional optional features to the car soon.
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