Local Motors has been making history this week by “printing” it’s first Olli self-driving shuttle in the company’s Knoxville micro-factory. Local Motors has long been innovating the future of vehicle 3D printing, and this Olli is believed to be the only 3D printed transit vehicle on Earth.
Not everyone understands how revolutionary this is? Let’s consider how a large automaker, like General Motors, has made their vehicles over the past century. They invested heavily in engineering for mass production. They may spend 2 years engineer for a new vehicle they will make. They will invest massive amounts of money to build the tooling and means for mass production for perhaps a run of 100,000 vehicles. If anyone wanted their vehicle to be modified, it would not be possible. They are stuck with 1 vehicle design for all their world markets.
Let’s imagine a different future by Local Motors: Because Olli can be custom designed and 3D printed, a campus might like Olli to be altered in a way that allows it to work better on their campus. They may want Olli to have different features which results in a new and unique shape. In this case the large automaker can’t alter their vehicle, but Local Motors can simply change the FILE, and print a batch of Ollis that fit best with the campus' needs. In fact Architects, Urban Designers, Transportation Planners, and other disciplines can be involved in the future with co-designing future Ollis with the Local Motors (AUTHORITY) 3D printing team.
Now campuses and cities don’t have to fit a generic shuttle to it, rather a new shuttle can be designed and printed to fit to it instead. This is completely revolutionary.
Moving the 3D printed lower body
The creators sitting on the 3D printed lower section of the shuttle
The roof (upside down)