Local Motors – Oak Ridge – IMTS 3D Printed Car Challenge Winner Announced

From over 200 entries generated in more than 30 different countries, the Strati concept car has been crowned the winner of the Local Motors 3D Printed Car Design Challenge.  While the company that introduced Crowdsourcing to car design has worked in the co-creation area for several years, this particular challenge is unique.  For this car, Local Motors partnered with the Oak Ridge National Lab {ORNL} and Cincinnati, the machine tool giant, to 3D Print a car at the IMTS show in the fall.  If all goes well – and we know what live demos are like at trade shows! – the car will be 3D Printed right in front of attendees eyes.

The ORNL and Cincinnati 3D printer is actually a dual technology Direct Digital Manufacturing machine tool that swaps out an additive manufacturing head with a subtractive milling machining head to give the best solution to making parts.  It’s also a huge machine in size, so that speed is much higher than most 3D Printing. IMTS is the largest and longest running manufacturing technology show in the United States.  The fabrication showcase is organized by the Association For Manufacturing Technology {AMT}, a trade group that represents and promotes U.S.-based manufacturing technology and its members.  The demo will take place in AMT’s Emerging Technology Center, Booth N-650, at the IMTS Show this September 8 – 13 at McCormack Place in Chicago.


Drawing from his native Italy’s design style, Strati, the winning entry was created by Michele Anoé. Lonnie Love, Group Leader, Robotics and Manufacturing Systems Research at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, commented that, “Michele’s design offers an excellent balance between innovation, complexity and practicality. It has good 3D lines and the retractable roof is really cool.”  Michele won a $5,000 prize and a chance to see his design come to life at the IMTS show.

Explains Jay Rogers, Local Motors CEO: “There are three major challenges facing the auto industry today; part count, weight, and the initial cost of tooling when creating and iterating on vehicles. The hybrid Direct Digital Manufacturing process stands to address all three of these.  When these hurdles are removed, we open the door to an exciting new era in automotive design and manufacturing possibilities.”

The Phoenix micro-factory of Local Motors built a ‘mule’, or prototype complete with motor and battery, to test this process before printing the final production model at IMTS. It passed its first test drive which you can see in this test drive video if you can’t make it to Chicago to see the final 3D Printed car.