Revving Up for a Manufacturing Revolution with Hack Rod

Hack Rod

Do you have a great idea for a new product but don’t have a fully equipped manufacturing plant to realize it? Thanks to a pair of California hot-rod enthusiasts, the whole manufacturing workflow—from conception to assembly—might someday be within your grasp.

Those hot-rodders are Felix Holst and Mouse McCoy. Holst was running the Hot Wheels division of Mattel when he met McCoy, a stunt driver and filmmaker. Both had been on the lookout for the next big change in their industries, and as the pair worked on the Hot Wheels for Real campaign, they knew they’d found kindred spirits. Their common interest in the future of designing and building was the inspiration for Hack Rod—Holst and McCoy’s vision of a manufacturing platform for the maker of tomorrow.

To get Hack Rod rolling, they engaged a series of partners, including Autodesk, to scan and digitize a hot-rod chassis and import it as a 3D model into a computer, where generative design could work its magic. The possibilities of generative design using cloud computing’s processing power felt like a revolution for Holst and McCoy: They could set the build parameters, like weight and materials, and let the software produce as many digital iterations as needed to arrive at the optimum model.

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