The automotive industry used to be a source for design innovation. It could be again, and very soon. One company, Local Motors (LM) is working on creating the next generation of auto manufacturing. It has developed an interesting business model that gives you the ability to custom design your car, and economically build it. The company develops a community that brings the designer, the manufacturer and the enthusiast together to build a shared vision for an automobile. The custom aspect goes much deeper than interior color. LM gives you the choice of body styles selected from the design contests they host each month, and a choice of power plants, drive trains and even fuels. Design and prototyping involves the latest in technology, including 3D scanners and 3D printers. The maximum production run is set at 2000 cars—so you have a truly limited edition car.
Don’t want to build a car today but want to be involved anyway? No problem. If you like to design, LM has a place for you to participate in a design competition. You can submit your ideas to the group, which then votes on them. If you don’t want to submit a design, you can vote on the monthly submissions, and work with your peers and the Local Motors team to choose interior and exterior parts and components. Then Local Motors will open a micro-factory in the car designer’s region to build the car.
This highly inclusive approach could spark a new automotive development revolution. To hear more about Local Motors, their co-creative process, and this specific application of 3D scanning, the lessons learned, and the role 3D scanning played in product design and development, join me on Wednesday, April 27, at 2 PM EST for a free one-hour webinar, “Can a Car Maker Deliver “Mass Customization?” The presenter will be Mike Pisani, Senior Vehicle Engineer and Head Builder Trainer for Local Motors. Bring your questions, as we will also have speakers from Rapidform (3D scanners) and Z Corporation (3D printers).