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Mailing List Logs for ShadowRN

Message no. 1
From: R Andrew Hayden <rahayden@*****.WEEG.UIOWA.EDU>
Subject: VCC: Custom Vehicles
Date: Fri, 29 Jan 93 04:40:03 CET
The question has come up on how it is possible for persons to build a
customized vehicle. I'm going to try to address this.

The answer is, Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM).


Today, you can walk into a Ford dealership and order a car. You can tell
them the color of paint, the type and color of fabric, what options are on
the car, etc etc etc. Far off in another land called Detroit, a computer
gets the order and then produces a car exactly like you want it, and a few
weeks later, your dealer call you up and you go get your new set of wheels.

This is in 1993.

Now imagine, the year is 2064. I walk into my dealership to order my car
(or hell, I call in via a computer). But not only can I decide simple
things like paint color and whether it has power windows and air
conditioning, but you can also pick thinks like the engine type, the
layout of the car, and all of the minute things that are going to go into
our construction rules.

It really isn't that far-fetched an idea. The software that you use to
order your car will be able to detect if a layout you have chosen is not
structurally or mechanically sound and alert you.

In any case, once you have ordered your car, far off in the bowels of some
computerized factory, a series of robots crack their knuckles and start
spot welding.


So now the question is, why doesn't everyone do this?

Cost is the answer. Producing 10,000 Ford Americars is much cheaper than
producing 10,000 custom cars. You have one "mold" that all the card fit to.

In the end, figure that a custom designed car is about 50 to 75 percent
more than the cost of a stock production car. Same applies to other
vehicle types.


Further Reading

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