Friday Buzz: Meet a 3D-Printed Car In the Flesh

An association's bleeding-edge tradeshow trick—a 3D-printed car on the tradeshow floor—comes to fruition. One blogger got a chance to test-drive the vehicle. Also: a social photo service's near-death experience.

A few months back, we brought you the story of perhaps one of the coolest tradeshow projects ever—a custom-built vehicle, 3D-printed live on the stage of the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS).

Well, now that car’s been printed. Here’s what it looks like, via auto blogger Chuck Derer:

Over four days, Local Motors and a number of partners—including the Association for Manufacturing Technology, which puts on the tradeshow—worked together on getting the vehicle printed on the IMTS floor, though a long prototyping process came beforehand.

The result, however, is impressive: It can drive at speeds up to 40 miles per hour and travel 120 miles on a single charge. It’s not allowed on the highway yet, but Local Motors CEO Jay Rogers says there’s huge potential for the technology to go mainstream. The price is certainly right for it: The company is aiming to sell its vehicles for between $18,000 and $34,000.

“It will be positioned like a car for the masses, or many different cars for the masses,” he told Mashable.

Derer got to ride in the vehicle, and he was super-impressed. “I am truly one lucky SOB,” he wrote in the description for his YouTube video.

TwitPic Saved

Good news if you use Twitter: If you use the TwitPic service to post your photos to the social network, you may have heard about the service closing its doors early next week—and, understandably, you may have freaked out a little. But fortunately, the company won a reprieve, selling to an unnamed buyer this week.

While TwitPic dodged an apparent bullet, the fact that it was even in danger is problematic, according to Wired writer Klint Finley.

“We use our web services as if they will always be there, as if we can always go back to them,” Finley explained before Thursday’s announcement. “But that’s not always the case. Web services die—and sometimes you can’t save what they hold.”

The cloud is a fickle mistress. (ht @TwitPic)

“A good benchmark is to speak slow enough that, if you were reciting a phone number, the person listening to you would be able to write it down.” Over at Fast Company, Gwen Moran shares a number of smart ways to improve your public speaking skills.

The most interesting social media debate these days involves Facebook, drag queens, and identity.

Depending on your association’s needs, part-time college students could be just what you need labor-wise. TechCrunch has the scoop on a startup that connects busy college students with employers.

The Local Motors Strati, minutes after it was started for the first time. (photo via IMTS' Facebook Page)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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