Local Motors made headlines in 2014 by manufacturing the world’s first 3d printed car, The Strati, and you would be forgiven for thinking that it is a manufacturing firm similar to Tesla or Lotus Cars, but you would be wrong. Local Motors is quite unlike any other manufacturing firm in the world. In essence, it’s a social platform that facilitates collaboration in manufacturing and innovation.
SEE MORE: How the world's first 3d printed car, The Strati, is made
On the company website, Local Motors describes itself as a “global co-creation community… made up of enthusiasts, hobbyist innovators and professionals.” The community is full of designers, engineers, and makers, and Local Motors helps them connect with one another to create a global network of ‘micro-factories’ where new and innovative products can come to life.
The agility of the business is unrivalled, and as such it can bring state-of-the-art projects to life in a fraction of the time required by larger manufacturing firms. Case in point: The Strati.
So what makes Local Motors so unique and how is it changing the industry for good?
- The CEO at Local Motors is John B. Rogers, Jr., an ex United States Marine Corps Commander. He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School
- Local Motors is an international community of enthusiasts, designers, engineers, fabricators and experts. It has 82 employees and over 47,600 community members, collaborating on 6,300 designs and 2,700 ideas across 43 projects.
- Local Motors champions community engagement above all else. It encourages members to be open and transparent in order to empower the individual maker.
- The company aims to engage and empower global communities of designers, engineers, fabricators and automotive enthusiasts to solve local problems, locally, through distributed making. This emphasis on the local is going to be important to the world of manufacturing in the future.
- Local Motors can bring concepts to market faster than any other manufacturer by fostering open collaboration in order to drive faster, more cost-effective and more thorough product development. The result is improved safety and quality.
- Sustainability is central to the concept of Local Motors. The company can make transportation more sustainable globally by empowering maker profitability, defending and advancing the environment, and improving safety and wellbeing.
- One of the projects the company is working on at the moment is an autonomous police pursuit vehicle.
- The Strati can be printed in 24 hours. Local Motors aims to get this time down to under three hours.
- The Strati is expected to be ‘on the road’ in 2015, according to reports.
- Other projects currently underway include the Rally Fighter automobile and Racer motorcycle; various electric bicycles, tricycles, and children's ride-on toy cars; radio-controlled model cars and skateboards.