3-D Printing, Co-Creation, and a New Day for Automotive Design and Production

Detroit should be watching Project Redacted very closely.

Last year, Local Motors–makers of the Strati, the first 3-D printed car–launched a challenge to their co-creation community to imagine and design the next generation of 3-D printed cars. From the outset, they’ve worked to create a deliberately outsider feeling with videos like this one:

A few weeks ago, they announced the winner of the project. Designer Kevin Lo, a community member for four years, won with his design “Reload.” Now Local Motors plans to design, build, and sell his design as a Low Speed Electric Vehicle (LSEV) to debut in early 2016. Local-Motors-3D-printed-car-2-537x310

This is a total disruption of process, a total reinvention of supply chain, and a radical new way to build an audience long before a vehicle is even created.

It’s also a new frontier for both manufacturing and design with huge potential for large scale disruption. Hardcore traditionalist or not, you gotta admit, it looks pretty exciting.

This is yet another benefit smart organizations can realize when they build and encourage communities of rabid fans. Companies like Lego, Microsoft and Crayola have been leveraging their biggest advocates to advance their product development pipeline. Could you do the same?

Mike & Dennis

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