This is How you Change and Disrupt the Paradigm of Auto Manufacturing

June 8, 2015

8:00 pm

It wasn’t that long ago we saw Local Motors celebrate the creation of the world’s first 3D printed car, the Strati, and then actually create one at the SEMA show. They’ve always been big fans of being the first to market with seemingly impossible innovation, and they’ve embarked upon another ambitious project once again.

The company is hosting Project Redacted to create the first highway-ready vehicle using large scale 3D printing and the power of Direct Digital Manufacturing (DDM). It’s a very specific, niche project but at the same time there’s a strong community of support that’s always enveloping the Local Motors company and, as always, they’re eager to help out.

Local Motors opened the contest up for entrants from the community and beyond – all submissions need to:

  • Create the majority of a 3D-printed, highway-ready vehicle structure using hybrid additive-subtractive methodology
  • Prove that DDM is more economical compared to conventional automobile manufacturing methods
  • Reduce part count, eliminate tooling molds and stamps, and decrease follow-up investment for mid-model refreshes
  • Create a consumer-friendly car with fewer parts

Additionally, every vehicle design must:

  • Seat 4 people in conformity with package requirements
  • Have at least 2 doors for ingress and egress – 2+2 coupe configuration is acceptable
  • Have a soft convertible roof that is also a separate part
  • Fit within the dimensions and architecture, which is defined in the Ignition Kit [a downloadable kit on the site]
  • Create major components with either DDM – 3D printing, CNC milling, waterjet parts, or OEM-sourced
  • Must have windshield
  • Dimensions of battery, motor, passengers, wheelbase and track width are defined in the package file, and if you change the dimensions, your entry will be invalid

In short, they’re looking to disrupt everything we currently hold as canon about automobile manufacturing via DDM. First place gets $7,500, second place $$2,500, and third place $1,500.

“We asked you, the Local Motors Community, what you want to improve in your cars, and you said you want to be able to do your own automobile maintenance, repairs and modifications,” reads the Project Redacted challenge page. “You’ve said that today’s automakers make it difficult to access parts and perform simple tasks like replacing headlights and charging dead batteries. You’ve said that identifying rattles and noises is difficult because parts are buried within the inaccessible depths of your cars’ structures. It’s like we’re all driving mystery machines.”

There are still about six days left to submit an entry to Project Redacted, and submission validation begins on June 15 while voting starting on June 19. Currently there are 20 entries, and they’re absolutely awesome – I definitely recommend checking them out.

We’ll be sure to keep you updated on this as it unfolds because it promises to be super exciting. And if you’re interested in learning more about Local Motors’ dogma of cocreation check out their Ben Kennedy NASCAR Helmet Design Challenge.

Image Credit: Wikipedia

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Will is a Senior Writer with Tech.Co, based out of America's Finest City: San Diego. He covers all territory West of the Mississippi river, digging deep for awesome local entrepreneurs, companies, and ideas. He's the resident Android junkie and will be happy to tell you why you should switch to the OS. When he's off the clock, Will focuses his literary talent on the art of creative writing...or you might find him surfing in Ocean Beach. Follow Will on Twitter @WJS1988

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