If you follow technology news, it’s likely you’ve heard of Olli, the autonomous 3D printed shuttle. Olli was co-created by Local Motors and Launch Forth, and now the two companies are uniting under a single parent company, the brand new LM Industries. LM isn’t just any new company, it’s the world’s first digital OEM, which claims it will bring products to market in an entirely new way. The company will leverage technologies like 3D printing to take concepts to final products in less than a year, with a global community of designers working together. LM Industries will work out of agile microfactories to create and assemble products in small batches using 3D printing and other advanced technologies.
The creation of LM Industries is a statement of disruption to traditional mass manufacturing, building high-quality, low-volume products at what it calls “unprecedented speeds.” The company will create transportation, accessibility and mobility products and already has several customers signed on, including Allianz Group, Airbus and the United States Marine Corps. Physical products will be upgradeable, much in the way that software is, iterated regularly and rapidly to keep up with customer preferences.
“Mass manufacturing is a relic of a past era. We’re in the middle of a mobility revolt where current modes of transportation are not sustainable and do not match up with rapidly changing consumer preferences,” said LM Industries CEO and Co-Founder John B. Rogers, Jr. “We can’t keep producing products the same way we’ve been accustomed to. The world is moving too fast for traditional manufacturing to keep up. LM Industries is on a mission to transform mass manufacturing to micro-manufacturing in order to match the new pace of technology and quickly changing consumer needs.”
Allianz is working with Local Motors to deploy Olli in several cities, as well as designing new mobility solutions and working towards the future of mobility insurance with Launch Forth. Now Jean-Marc Pailhol, Head of Global Market Management and Distribution at Allianz, is joining the LM Industries board to help guide future product development and encourage strategic global partnerships.
“Because they will be pushed by pollution and traffic constraints, the large cities will be the first to accept and implement the disruptive mobility products such as autonomous or flying vehicles for public transportation,” said Pailhol. “LM Industries checks all the boxes with its product features: 100% electric, 100% autonomous, 100% connected and 90% 3D printed with the ability to produce in micro factories near bigger cities. In the future, a large part of the mobility market will be taken by small factories making solutions near the cities in which they are needed. LM Industries has a real competitive advantage in that they are a step ahead of the other AV manufacturers and have a real value proposition with their microfactories. When I met Jay Rogers nearly two years ago, I quickly recognized the relevance of his value proposition from co-creation to micro-manufacturing to mobility solutions like Olli.”
Allianz and LM Industries are currently working on upgrading the wheelchair into an accessibility device that can be customized to match any activity level or style choices. Meanwhile, the Marine Corps is working with LM Industries to develop a modular logistics vehicle and an unmanned cargo system.
“LM Industries has proven to be an agile, adaptive, and innovative partner in maturing our hybrid logistics vision,” said Lieutenant General Michael G. Dana, Deputy Commandant for Installation and Logistics. “Through the Launch Forth initiative, we are developing critically needed logistical capabilities for 21st century expeditionary operations. By leveraging the power of co-creation, we will rapidly develop time sensitive, demand-driven capabilities for our Marines.”
The project is currently achieving results ahead of schedule, and if it continues to do so, it will provide a needed responsive capability to the US military for vehicle systems development.
“As we have proven with Olli and other products, we can change designs based on consumer preferences in a day and custom-develop a fleet of large machines in a matter of weeks,” said Rogers. “Our vision goes far beyond ground mobility; our manufacturing process can be applied to virtually any hardware product, from aviation to infrastructure, housing and other large industrial products. If Amazon created a new eco-system to monetize the long-tail of ordering things, LM Industries has created an ecosystem to monetize the long-tail of making things. Ecosystem shifts like this come once in a century.”
Discuss this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts below.[Images: LM Industries]
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