February 22, 2013
Tech is destroying the line between manufacturing and services (Saul Kaplan, 2/21/13, Fortune)
Posted by Orrin Judd at February 22, 2013 5:32 AMOnce we realize that manufacturing is a capability we can get on with democratizing it. We can all be manufacturers. In the State of the Union Address President Obama announced his plan for a $1 billion investment to build a National Network for Manufacturing Innovation composed of fifteen advanced manufacturing hubs. To bring manufacturing back to the U.S. we don't need fifteen hubs, we need fifteen million makers creating stuff.It won't be long before everyone will have access to a 3D printer. Talk about democratized manufacturing capability. Armed with a 3D printer, individual makers can create their own digital design for any imagined object or borrow a design from anywhere around the world. By simply pressing a button makers can set a 3D printer into motion rendering the physical object with layers of plastic or other material right before their eyes. What was science fiction ten years ago is reality today. It wasn't long ago we listened to the whir of a dot-matrix printer spitting out documents from our computers, now a 3D printer renders any object we can dream up the same way. With the magic of 3D printing capability we are all manufacturers, constrained only by our imaginations.