LM Industries launches Local Motors’ car 3D printing microfactories

Local Motors, known for developing the 3D printed Strati car and Olli bus, and its spinout co-creation platform Launch Forth have restructured under new parent company LM Industries Group Inc.

Based in San Francisco, CA, LM Industries is launching as “the world’s first digital OEM.” Operating from microfactories rather than large facilities, LM Industries aims to stay responsive to changing trends, and maintain the ability to “take concepts to deployed products in under one year.”

“Mass manufacturing is a relic of a past era,” explains John B. Rogers, Jr., LM Industries co-founder and CEO, “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,”

“The world is moving too fast for traditional manufacturing to keep up.”

Mass to micro manufacturing

LM Industries’ first microfactory is located in Chandler, AZ. In place of mass manufacturing, the facility focuses on short-run production of specialized vehicles.

The Olli bus is one of the latest vehicles to roll off the line in Arizona. In extension, #AccessibleOlli project is a perfect example of the combined expertise of Local Motors and Launch Forth. By working together the two strands of LM Industries have attracted 741 members to the bus’ co-creation project, seeking to make Olli better for riders with mobility, sight, hearing, and cognitive impairments.

An Olli bus on the production floor in LM Industries' Arizona microfactory. Photo via LM Industries
An Olli bus on the production floor in LM Industries’ Arizona microfactory. Photo via LM Industries

90% 3D printed, 100% electric and autonomous, the Olli has also gained interest from German rail company Deutsche BahnFlorida’s Elite Transportation Services (ETS) and, most recently, European insurance company Allianz.

Off the back of the Olli project, Allianz ran a project with Local Motors to reinvent the wheelchair as a customized mass mobility device.

Adapt and respond

The next projects to go into production at LM Industries are two vehicles for the U.S. Marines Corps: a Modular Logistics Vehicle and a Unmanned Cargo System.

The Modular Logistics Vehicle is a streamlined military cargo carrier, designed to transport just one canister of ammunition in place of a larger, more come Humvee (High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle).

The Unmanned Cargo System, on the other hand, is an autonomous car made to transit supplies to and from the battlefield.

U.S. Marine Corps’ Lieutenant General Michael G. Dana, Deputy Commandant for Installation and Logistics, comments “LM Industries has proven to be an agile, adaptive, and innovative partner in maturing our hybrid logistics vision,”

“Through the Launch Forth initiative, we are developing critically needed logistical capabilities for 21st century expeditionary operations.”

Concept drawing for the LM Industries Unmanned Cargo System. Image via LM Industries
Concept drawing for the LM Industries Unmanned Cargo System. Image via LM Industries

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Featured image shows LM Industries microfactory in Chandler, AZ. Photo via LM Industries Group