Aug 25, 2016 | By Andre

For the greater part of the last century, manufacturing has catered to a one size fits all approach. Henry Ford once proudly proclaimed during the early Model T assembly line days that “you can have any color as long as it's black.” And while its true that cars have been easily available in different colors since then, customization has remained limited (from a straight from the factory angle at least).

3D printing and related technologies have been pushing the boundaries when it comes to the hyper customization of production but still remains limited in the scope of applicable uses. This in mind, it is good to know that while 3D printing technology tries to catch up to its more established, one size fits all approach to manufacturing, there are other sectors giving customization a shot in the mean time.

Yamaha, a company that manufactures everything from pianos to speakers to synths, but is possibly most famous for their lineup of motorcycles, has released an app that lets you customize your dream bike all you want. Called My Garage, the app lets you accessorize officially sanctioned motorcycle models in high resolution 3D graphics.

And while you might be wondering what’s different from this app and every Motor cross game that’s ever been released since 3D gaming became a thing, the answer lies with what you can ultimately do with your creation in the Yamaha App.

The custom fittings and tweaks made in the app can be sent directly to your local Yamaha dealership and, if you are in the market for a new ride, be built to spec based on your custom requirements. I imagine explaining all the changes directly at the dealership without the app would have been a tiring ordeal. The potential of this process simplifies things without a doubt.

And while there is no straight to 3D print button in the app quite yet, the fact that the digital files are built in a 3D setting suggests the possibility to at least 3D print a model sized version of your dream bike in the coming years. Don’t like those wiper blades? How about a new set, it’s that simple.

This early effort into combining the ease of customizing in the digital world with the more difficult to maneuver physical counterpart seems to be picking up steam. IKEA, for example recently launched a VR Kitchen Experience for the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift that lets you furnish your home in a virtual space (using custom floor foot print settings) before putting the order through to IKEA for the real thing.

So while 3D printing doesn’t feature too heavily in this article, the growing number of industries that promote the hyper-customization of products is growing as quickly as 3D printing technologies seem to be expanding. So hello Mr. Ford, “as long as its black” as an answer when deciding on a product that can very easily be customized exactly to your needs is no longer a suitable response. Sorry.



Posted in 3D Software



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