Autodesk, Local Motors Collaborate On Spark 3D Platform
Local Motors, the company that made headlines last week when it created the world’s first 3D-printed car at IMTS in Chicago, just announced a collaboration with Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK) utilizing a new open platform for 3D printing.
According to a press release, Spark would be utilized in the development of Local Motors’ Strati 3D printed automobile, making this the first large-scale industrial application of the Spark platform.
Alex Fiechter, head of community management for Local Motors, wrote, “The Spark platform is set to accelerate manufacturing innovation. From capturing our ideas more accurately to guiding Design for Additive Manufacturing (DFAM) and simplifying the creation of machine code, Spark will help us to turn digital models into an actual physical production part far faster than was previously possible.”
Essentially, Spark would help connect digital design information to the BAAM (Big Area Additive Manufacturing) machine created by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and Cincinnati Incorporated.
Using Spark would streamline the process and allow for “easier visualization and optimization of 3D prints” according to the press release.
This is important because the Strati is comprised of fewer than 50 parts (versus 25,000 in a traditional automobile). This meant that 3D printing would allow the manufacturer to change the design or even adopt an entirely new one with no need to change tooling and in much less time, thanks to the use of the Spark platform.
Local Motors CEO Jay Rogers told WGN in Chicago, "You could think of it (Strati) like IKEA, mashed up with Build-A-Bear, mashed up with Formula One."
According to Rogers, "Because you can literally print the car any way you want, if your family goes from two people to three -- with a child, you trade in and recycle the center part of your car and all the components that outfit the family. Whatever you can imagine is what this process can entail."
At the time of this writing, Jim Probasco had no position in any mentioned securities.
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