3D print win invites choice of beach buggy or sleek sports car

3D print win invites choice of beach buggy or sleek sports car

Welcome to the car of the future. Where have you heard that line before? In the world's auto shows for the last five years? On a dozen-plus web sites where car vendors post their videos? Wait a minute. Here's another, and this one is worth watching.

The video of what cars could look like in the not too distant future is from Arizona-based Local Motors. Local Motors had launched "Project Redacted," a contest to challenge its co-creation community to imagine and design the next generation of 3D-printed cars. The company competition's panel, said a Local Motors blog, included Local Motors personnel, "automotive celebrities," university partners and community members.

What they sought: a design which can serve as the foundation for road-ready 3D-printed vehicles. The winner was chosen. From over 60 entries responding to the challenge for a design that can lead to a highway-ready 3D printed car, that winner was engineer Kevin Lo. He is part of the Local Motors community, and he has been a member since 2011.

Ryan Randazzo reported on the win in Arizona Central earlier this week. He said Lo's design is called the Reload Redacted Swim/Sport. The modular electric car can be customized with interchangeable body panels.

The Detroit Bureau reported that the Arizona-based company plans to build the two versions. "Set to debut during the first quarter of 2016, it will be a low-speed battery-car, or so-called neighborhood electric vehicle, priced between $18,000 and $30,000. But a full speed vehicle is set to follow," said Paul A. Eisenstein.

The two editions, Reload Sport and Reload Swim, will most likely carry appeal to outgoing, adventurous types.

The Swim, with its removable soft top, is an open, four-seat buggy with outward facing speakers to listen to music at the beach. The Sport carries outward-facing speakers as well. The hull's base is 4 inches-thick. A thick hulk, said the site notes, ensures that road objects will not penetrate the floor and damage the battery.

3D print win invites choice of beach buggy or sleek sports car

The versions are fully customizable. The design, said the Local Motors blog, supports different styles and technology options. Its enables a customer to add colors and trim pieces. Local Sports pointed out that the body panels were removable and enabled replacement if damage occurs.

The company's Reload Redacted notes commented on "form over function." The concept is simple, said the company: "A 3D printed vehicle encompasses key function. Form is placed on top of function enabling numerous body styles."

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