While there is much criticism that could fill the next several paragraphs regarding the auto industry, we could just as easily say that without this long and difficult learning process and the innovations it has produced, we would not be here today ready to take the next step forward.
The Next Step
Customization has always been an integral part of car culture. Hot rods and racing have more than anything besides the auto industry itself, laid the foundation for the DIY auto revolution. As after-market parts become more popular and more business big and small set up to supply them to consumers, the natural evolution of more efficient and cheaper manufacturing processes are developed. Automated and computer controlled machining and now 3D printing has also spread across the custom car (and motorcycle) community.The ability to use a single machine to create an infinite number of variations to wheel hubs for example, on a water jet cutter, antiquates assembly lines producing a limited number of variations for consumers to choose from.
Soon, as the tools for computer aided manufacturing become simple and cheap enough for anyone to use, producers and consumers will merge as one, and we have some good examples of people working toward this end to take stock of here and now.
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