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The Third Industrial Revolution

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We are in the midst of a revolution that will move additive manufacturing from prototyping to production and boost the use of micromanufacturing.

While in Knoxville, Tenn., for the Additive Manufacturing Conference, the President and CEO of Local Motors, Jay Rogers, sat down with Peter Eelman, AMT's Vice President of Exhibitions & Communications, and IMTSTV to talk about the future of the industry and the exciting investments his company is making in micromanufacturing.

Local Motors has several micromanufacturing facilities, which support the digital manufacture of vehicles on a small scale, including one in Knoxville. The 50,000-square-foot factories include a showroom floor and an open lab that allows visitors to contribute to the design and build of new concepts. In areas where they have a micromanufacturing facility, Local Motors also opens an ambassador store located in the nearby downtown. This small storefront is situated in an area with heavy foot traffic and allows people to see 3D printed cars in person.

Beyond the specific accomplishments of Local Motors, Rogers also touched on what he calls the “Third Industrial Revolution.” This refers to the dramatically different business landscape that inventors and developers face today—as opposed to the one that met Henry Ford. With the Internet and worldwide shipping, today’s innovators have easy access to both ideas and supply chains. Microfactories take advantage of these modern conveniences to produce unique goods at low volumes.

In the next year, Local Motors will continue to expand their work. The company has plans to create the first crash tested, 3D printed vehicle on the road. “We have got to take Additive Manufacturing and push it forward, so it can meet the consumer where they expect the vehicle to be. And that’s what’s next,” Rogers concluded.

To stay current on the industrial additive manufacturing industry, visit MTAdditive.com for news and updates. Plan to attend the Additive Manufacturing Conference at IMTS 2016, where exciting developments will be unveiled.

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