January 26, 2010

CHRIS ANDERSON: In The Next Industrial Revolution, Atoms Are The New Bits. “The tools of factory production, from electronics assembly to 3-D printing, are now available to individuals, in batches as small as a single unit. Anybody with an idea and a little expertise can set assembly lines in China into motion with nothing more than some keystrokes on their laptop. A few days later, a prototype will be at their door, and once it all checks out, they can push a few more buttons and be in full production, making hundreds, thousands, or more. They can become a virtual micro-factory, able to design and sell goods without any infrastructure or even inventory; products can be assembled and drop-shipped by contractors who serve hundreds of such customers simultaneously.”

I had a column on this a while back.

UPDATE: Reader Ry Jones emails: “You can rent makerbots and lasers in Seattle, by the minute.”

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