Maybe cars of the future will even print and assemble themselves before doing their own driving and parking.
Local Motors is demonstrating a 3-D printer at the North American International Auto Show that will purportedly build a Strati car in less than two days.
The Strati is akin to a life-size Lego car since it's made of plastic. Local Motors spends between $5 and $7 per pound to print the vehicle with carbon fiber-reinforced ABS plastic; it weighs 1,100 pounds altogether.
The car's frame, body and some of the interior are all 3-D printed, while the powertrain components come from Renault's electric-powered Twizy city car, according to the Local Motors website.
The printed Strati drives like any other car, and Local Motors hopes to get it past federal safety regulations to make it drivable on public roads sometime this year. The all-electric vehicle has a 62-mile battery range and takes three and a half hours to recharge.
The Phoenix-based company works through crowdsourcing ideas and collecting the designs online. The Strati, which takes about 44 hours to print, comes from an open call for designs that Local Motors sent out last April.
The company plans to create its first 3-D fleet at its developing microfactory in Maryland in the fourth quarter.
"Microfactories are a great counterpoint because they employ an economy of scope by taking advantage of low-cost tooling and co-creation, resulting in the ability to get products to market faster and in less time while using less capital to find a winning concept," CEO Jay Rogers said in a statement.
Eager to be one of the first with a 3-D printed car? Sign up here to reserve a Strati.