3D-printed car company to open micro-factory at National Harbor

Try to wrap your mind around this: a company is coming to National Harbor that can print a new car with a 3D printer.

Local Motors says it will be the first on the East Coast to debut a fleet of printed cars.

National Harbor and Local Motors claim this will not only create jobs for the area, but it will create some pretty impressive 3D-printed cars that could be rolling on the highways in less than a year.

The Rally Fighter is not your typical car. It sounds pretty tough for a car made out of carbon fiber and other recycled materials.

Local Motors, the technology company behind the vehicles, assures customers the car is street legal and they have made it easier and cheaper to build.

"Basically we have taken a traditional vehicle, which has about 25,000 parts in it, down to 49 parts by printing most of the car," said Justin Fishkin, Chief Strategy Officer of Local Motors. "And what that enables is we put whatever powertrain you want in it that we have engineered and you put the wheels on."

If you are having a hard time envisioning the process, a promotional video from Local Motors on YouTube can give you an idea.

But this won't work like the traditional automotive plant you are thinking of. Building a 3D-printed car will be a community effort.

"Everyone in a locale can participate in the process of designing and picking a vehicle that they want to run or build locally as well as choose the fuel that they might have locally that they want to run that vehicle on," said Fishkin.

Once the design is finished, the printing starts. The car could roll off the assembly line within a day.

This may spark your interest if you are one of the lucky ones to help design the car. You could stand to profit.

"We pay our community participants for each unit that is sold that they had some hand in helping bring to market," said Fishkin.

There are a lot of innovative hands in the process. The Rally Fighter was co-created by 7,000 people with their ideas submitted online.

Local Motors is expected to open its micro-factory by the end of the year.

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