World's first car made by 3-D printer unveiled in Chicago

The Strati, or Italian for 'layers,' took just 45 hours to build

What's being billed as the world's first car made by a 3-D printer was unveiled in Chicago last week.

The Strati, a two-seater "neighborhood" electric car with a range of 120 miles and a maximum speed of 40 mph, was assembled live in front of attendees at the International Manufacturing Technology Show.

According to Local Motors, the Phoenix, Arizona-based company behind the Strati, it took just 44 hours to build.

“We expect in the next couple of months to be below 24 hours and then eventually get it below 10 hours,” Local Motors CEO John Rogers told Scientific American. “This is in a matter of months. Today, the best Detroit or Germany can do is 10 hours on a [production] line, after hundreds of years of progress.”

Local Motors' mission "is to manufacture faster, but also more democratically," the magazine reports. The design for the Strati was selected from more than 200 entries submitted by the company's online community.

Before the Strati, the company was most known for the Rally Fighter, a "street legal off-road desert racer."

"Our whole bet has been for the military or average civilian consumers or for fleet customers, that if you can change the way you make a vehicle, and do it faster, then you can catch innovation as it comes along more quickly," he said.

The company plans to start selling Stratis for $18,000 to $30,000 later this year.

Rogers told WGN that, eventually, they'll be built while you wait.

"The hope is the way we've simplified the build and the technology," he said, "we'll not only be able to make leading technology cars, but that these things are ultimately affordable."