ASU partners with Local Motors on 3D printed car
By early 2016, you may see a new type of car on the streets. This car will be made out of parts made with, you guessed it, a 3D printer.
Arizona State University and Local Motors have partnered to advance materials research regarding the 3D printed automotive parts on the car set to release in early 2016.
“They are looking for different ways to pattern the material, slice it, and anything in between,” program manager on the ASU-LOCO partnership Cody Sellers said. The goal is to make the product stronger and more cost effective.
Local Motors joined the ASU Polytechnic eProjects program, which helps engineering students and faculty connect with technology companies. The students were introduced to the program at the end of August at the eProject Forum.
“ASU was very eager to partner with us because we have this printer that’s one of the largest in the country. The capabilities of that printer are incredible, there’s really nothing that can match it locally,” Sellers said. “We were just as eager to partner with them to get their students working on our projects.”
Each eProject involves anywhere from four to eight students who work together in a team.
The new partnership makes ASU a part of the Local Motors LOCO Program, short for Local Motors Co-Created. The program is focused on developing the next generation of vehicle technology.
Professor of practice and eProjects director Dr. John M. Parsey Jr. will oversee the students working on this project.
“This is an exciting and innovative project for our students to be working on, and it will give them the opportunity to learn at the cutting-edge of engineering and put their creative minds to work on a real-world challenge,” Parsey said.
Local Motors debuted the first 3D printed car last year and currently owns one of the largest 3D printers nationwide.
“Our goal is to create vehicles that are safer than any on the road today, and this partnership with a world-class university right in our own backyard will help us do exactly that,” CEO and co-founder of Local Motors John B. Rogers Jr. said.
The material research project goes in line with ASU’s school year. Students will present a timeline of their research and accomplishments in April at an Innovation Showcase.
This is the first year Local Motors has partnered with universities, according to Sellers, and he’s hoping it will continue beyond this year.
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Photos courtesy of Local Motors