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A 3D-printed car is coming that stretches the boundaries of design

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Local Motors has been building cars with the help of community-submitted part designs for years now, but this September, it has far more ambitious plans: creating a working, 3D-printed electric vehicle, also based on a design by someone from its community. The contest ran during May, and a winner — along with several runner-ups — was announced earlier this month. Local Motors is already printing out initial models of the winning frame as a test, and it's even given one a drive around.

While it isn't clear how much of the vehicle will be 3D printed beyond the body, its limited run and purpose means that Local Motors is able to consider some surprisingly wild designs. The final car will supposedly be highly inspired by the winner, with elements from the runner-ups possibly looped in as well. Below, you can see the winning submission and the six runner-ups — as well as a few other interesting entries that didn't make the cut.

Local Motors 3D-printed car contest winners


The winning design (seen in white above), the Strati has a retractable roof and is seen as striking a fine balance between a complex and practical body. (Michele Anoé)