Local Motors is hoping the process can eliminate three major challenges the auto industry currently faces, by cutting down part count, weight, and the expensive tooling needed to manufacture a vehicle.
The winning design was submitted by Michele Anoe of Italy. His Strati impressed the judges with its combination of strong character—expressed through complex 3D surfacing—and practical design that would work well with 3D printing.
Anoe will receive $5,000 cash for his efforts, and will have the opportunity to see a car based on his design 3D printed on the . of the International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago this fall.
The printed car will use electric power, and is intended to demonstrate 3D printing's potential as a manufacturing process for lighter, more efficient vehicles.
Local Motors previously said the car would be "purpose built for the urban transportation needs of Chicago," but the Strati looks more like a dune buggy than a city car.
It will be interesting to see how the design evolves on its way to production, and to see how Local Motors takes on the unprecedented task of printing a car at a trade show.