Auto Show to Highlight 3-D Printed Cars, Technologies of the Future

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Attendees at the North American International Auto Show’s inaugural technology showcase in January will have the chance to ride in the world’s first full-size, working 3-D printed car, while learning about the various companies and technologies impacting connectivity, automation, and efficiency in the next generations of vehicles.

During the showcase, to be held Jan. 12-15 at Cobo Center, Phoenix-based Local Motors will premiere a mid-model refresh of the 3-D printed Strati after a live demonstration of the micro-manufacturing process on the main show floor. The first phase takes approximately 40 hours of continuous printing. The vehicle will then be milled and rapidly assembled during the next two phases.

Attendees will be able to ride in the Strati, made from ABS plastic that has been reinforced with carbon fiber, on the Shell Innovation Track within the convention center. The vehicle debuted at the International Manufacturing Technology Showcase in Chicago in September and is expected to be available to the public in 2015.

The same track will also be the launch pad for vehicle demonstrations and other industry exhibits. Students from the University of Michigan, University of Michigan-Dearborn, Michigan State University, Lawrence Technological University, Wayne State University, and the College for Creative Studies will participate in a variety of displays and demonstrations including solar technology, racing performance, fuel mileage efficiency, and automotive design.

The event will also showcase “Ignition,” which offers Detroit entrepreneurs a chance to present their technology ideas to a panel of judges before an audience of investors, financiers, attorneys, and academics, in the style of ABC’s Shark Tank reality show. There will also be a symposium discussing the challenges of making the connected car a reality.

Other companies participating in the showcase include Alpine Electronics, ASC, Covisint, Modern Car Safety Technologies, NextEnergy, Ricardo, Square One, Mojio, and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

While credentialed media will have access to both Press Preview (Jan. 12-13) and Industry Preview (Jan. 14-15), others will need to purchase tickets for the Industry Preview. Tickets, priced at $95 per day, are available online at naias.com.

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