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MFG Advocate: The Impact of Direct Digital Manufacturing

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Jay Rogers, CEO, Local Motors, discussed the success of the world’s first 3D-printed electric car and the impact of large-scale additive manufacturing and direct digital manufacturing on the way things are made in this MFG Advocate interview on IMTSTV.

Rogers thinks that demand-driven manufacturing – products made where, when and the way customers want them – is the wave of the future in cities and regional hubs around the world. He calls it “local shoring” and says it’s part of his company’s core business strategy. Local Motors is setting out to prove the concept in an exciting new partnership with federal, state and local government agencies that’s taking shape across the Potomac River from Washington, DC, at Maryland’s National Harbor. Rogers hopes the venture will increase the public discourse and shine a spotlight on the idea of distributed manufacturing.

The University of Maryland is an important part of the National Harbor project as well. Rogers anticipates that this effort, and others like it, will attract more students to careers in manufacturing as its “coolness factor” grows. A 3D printer in the classroom or home office is an ideal launching pad for a budding inventor and could even inspire a young mind to design, collaborate and co-create the next version of a 3D-printed, energy efficient car.

Rogers hopes the first 3D-printed, highway capable car will be on the road in 2016 and is already well on the way with the Strati! Even with the success of the Strati, Rogers says, “It won’t really be real in people’s minds until it becomes a highway capable vehicle.” The Strati is only the beginning of the 3D-printed car of the future!

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