Camilo Pardo is the edgy automotive and industrial designer most famous for being the lead stylist of the increasingly-cult-like, second generation Ford GT supercar – and he recently gave the nod to 3D automotive manufacturing.
The big news hit us last week when Pardo was at an automotive-industry conference in northern Michigan and during a design session he asked an executive from Local Motors for the chance to design a car for the radical startup. If you didn’t hear until now about Local Motors, it’s suffice to say these are the folks that amazed the world last year with the first-ever 3D-printed car. “I’d really like to design a car for you,” said Pardo, enthused by a presentation by Local Motors chief strategy officer Justin Fishkin. He was showcasing the company’s uncanny manufacturing process that can “build” an almost complete car (without the engine and some other key components, such as wiring, lights and wheels) using a large-scale 3D printer. The machine fabrics, layer-by-layer, the vehicle from carbon-infused plastic.
Phoenix-based Local Motors, which is supported by numerous private investors, has even said it would deliver street-legal models within just two years. Naturally, these are digitally manufactured cars for the price of economy models, so performance won’t be something to awe at. But having a car styled by Pardo would be no small feat and Fishkin even said just one model would not be enough – the manufacturing process they use is extremely flexible and affordable so if you ever get tired of your Local Motors car you could just bring it back to the factory, have the car’s material recycled and re-printed with an entirely new design.