The Local Motors LM3D Swim has been unveiled and is set to become the first commercially available 3D printed vehicle.
Local Motors says that the all-electric Swim is the first in a series of LM3D vehicles. New variants will be unveiled in 2016 while the company seeks to complete the homologation process, which includes the federal crash testing and highway certification.
In order to maintain compliance, all the cars in the LM3D lineup will use the same underpinnings. Local Motors says that all LM3D cars can “look radically different” and that it will offer a “wide range of customisable, aesthetic features that are only possible through DDM and 3D printing”.
The design for the first production LM3D vehicle was chosen by a judging panel that included the company’s fan community and former late night talk show host Jay Leno.
The winning design was completed by Kevin Lo, a Local Motors community member based in Portland, Oregon. After the winning design was chosen on July 7, it took Local Motors just over two months to complete the prototype, with the build process ending on September 17.
According to Local Motors, around 75 percent of the LM3D is printed, primarily using a mixture of 80 percent ABS plastic and 20 percent carbonfibre, with “nearly all” of the car’s body panels and chassis produced by a 3D printer. The company hopes that one day it can make a car that’s 90 percent 3D printed.
The company will make the LM3D Swim and its siblings at a new microfactory that’s under construction in Knoxville, Tennessee, which is due to be finished before 2015 is out.
Pre-sales of the LM3D Swim will begin in the second quarter of 2016, with prices expected to start from US$53,000 ($74,000). The first cars won’t be delivered to customers until early 2017 though.
Local Motors has yet to release details about the LM3D Swim’s specifications and features.