Local Motors, a disruptive tech and automotive company that designs and builds vehicles, is daring to uproot and redefine an entire industry. By setting up localized micro-factories that design and manufacture cars directly in the region they serve, the company has achieved a small-batch, on-demand business model. In turn, this allows the company to focus on big ideas while keeping their footprint small.
The Olli self-driving bus, powered by IBM’s Watson, is just one of those big ideas.
Olli isn’t just another autonomous vehicle—it’s an entirely new way of thinking about transportation. In order to build disruptive products like the Olli, the Local Motors team depends on specific tools to meet their production and prototyping needs at each step of the process; tools like the MakerBot Replicator+, a cloud-enabled desktop 3D printer.
“We really don’t have the time to wait for the parts we need,” explains Alex Fiechter, Local Motors’ Director of Product Development. “We need to set the making of them in motion and forget about them while we work on other things. The MakerBot Replicator+ has been the ideal example of this ‘set it and forget it’ experience for creating 3D printed parts on both the production and the prototyping side.”