When you think about the huge industrial machine which needs to be constructed to build today's vehicles, then compare it to Local Motors, the reduction in cost and time, while maintaining high quality, is truly staggering. Could this be the way of cars in the future?Introduction
Imagine the following. You wake up in the morning, get a shave, shower, have some coffee to wash down your Frosted Flakes, and drive off in your car to work. You get behind the wheel, turn the key, and drive down the road. Something doesn't seem quite right. It is something with the car? Does it scream out "Family Car" at a time when you really want a "Sports Car"? As you're stuck in traffic, the thought goes through your mind, today might be the day for a new car. There are certain things you want in your car: convertible top a nice engine with some sort of pickup to get on the highway, and painted red. Definatly red. Normally, you would go to a dealership, wait a few weeks, then (after a several hundred dollar delivery fee) get your car. Or, you go to your nearest "Local Motors". Today's blog entry is about the revolution is automobile assembly, the 3D Printed car.
What are Local Motors?
According to Wikipedia, Local Motors is: "Local Motors is an American motor vehicle manufacturing company focused on low-volume manufacturing of open-source motor vehicle designs using multiple microfactories. It was founded in 2007 with headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona. The company’s current vehicles include the Rally Fighter and their 3D-printed Strati and Swim vehicles. The company develops vehicles using 3D Printing and utilizes vehicle designs provided by the online community. In 2016, the company introduced an autonomous electric-powered shuttle named Olli." (1)
Check out the following video about the Olli:
The plans for their cars are "open source". They use a community of volunteers to look over their plans for the car. "Local Motors' website is a community focusing on vehicle innovation. The content is created by the users who discuss designing, engineering, and building innovative vehicles. Members contribute their own ideas and projects which are discussed with the community.
Co-creation is a technique used by Local Motors, General Electric, and LEGO to enhance new product development. Select organizations have partnered with the company to facilitate co-creation of their products including US Army, Domino’s, and Airbus. Local Motors uses a Co-designing type of customer co-creation in which the selective process is made by its community and some features such as frame and structure are scoped by the company. Firstly, users create drawing designs and the decorative ideas on their own style. Although the users are novices or experts, all users can participate in this step. After that user present their designs on the website, the best design selected by people in the community will be developed by the company. Finally, the company will launch the co-designing car into the market. Using Co-creation method, the company gains customer’s engagement and loyalty.
One of the biggest community-driven competitions was hosted by Local Motors in collaboration with Airbus." (1)
Currently, they are soliciting for support on their "Olli" self-driving bus here: https://launchforth.io/localmotors/accessibleolli/latest/
Also, check here for other opportunities for contributing to the community here: https://launchforth.io/discover/ground-mobility/
Here is a video about the LM process:
How do you get a car?
Basically, when you enter Local Motors, you walk up to a kiosk (touchscreen tablet) and place your choices for a car. About 40 hours later, your car is ready to drive out of the store.
This short video from Local Motors going through the 3D printing process for a car.
When you think about the huge industrial machine which needs to be constructed to build today's vehicles, then compare it to Local Motors, the reduction in cost and time, while maintaining high quality, is truly staggering. Could this be the way of cars in the future? If you want a Ford truck, you simply stop by the "Ford Store" and have a 3D printed Ford truck ready in forty hours? If Local Motors could do it, why can't any other car company? This is the road to the future through automation, innovation, and a lot fewer people actually building the car, but more innovators affixing their inovatinos to the car. Thank you for reading this blog post. If you have any commetns, please leave them in the comments section below.