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SPOTLIGHT

1. TECHNOLOGY

Can the 3-D printer help 'green' the auto industry?

Henry Ford's vision was to build a motorcar for the multitudes. His answer came in 1908 with the debut of the Model T at $850. But to make the car even cheaper and more accessible, Ford launched another innovation about five years later: the moving assembly line. Piecing the car together in multiple stages along a conveyer belt meant the average assembly time dropped, productivity increased, Model T sales shot up and their cost came down below $300. Today, in the quest to make transportation greener, a couple of innovative companies are turning Ford's model on its head. For these companies, getting cleaner vehicles on the road isn't just about the ability to make cars that run on alternative fuels; it's about how and where these vehicles are made.

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