At IMTS, Local Motors is 3D printing most of a car, as you all likely know. I thought I'd supply some extra information and some terrible potato pictures.

As I understand it (correct me if I'm wrong), they are first 3D printing it with some sort of Carbon material in a giant 3D printer. You can see it pictured here:

The kind manufacturer has used a window to allow us to see this process while still staying nice and safe, though it has also caused the awesome glare you see. Apologies for that. What's happening here is the printing process, and the process leading to why you can see each individual layer in the parts. The raw material starts in a sand like consistency in a hopper, and is fed down through the white pipe. The head spits it out, and the whole thing is moving around to whatever coordinates the CAD program gives it.

It is then carried over to the giant CNC machine to be machined down, smoothing out some surfacing and making holes where needed, etc. This process apparently wasn't well planned out, according to an engineer I talked to on the side. Local Motors seemingly didn't realize you can't simply carry that body through the small door, and they had to solve the logistical issue. More importantly, though, their drawing had no origin, meaning the CNC didn't have a coordinate to start at and dimension everything from.

No matter, though, they got it sorted. The CNC action is pictured here, again with some awesome reflection:


You can see in the last picture where the machining head is doing its thing (at the left), and all the black stuff on the ground is waste material that was milled off during the process.

That's as far as it had gotten while I was there, hope ya'll enjoyed seeing the progress. It should be a very cool and revolutionary concept, and I think Local Motors is doing great work to push some boundaries in the auto industry.