Posted on 8, Dec | Posted by

Building the foundation for digital fabrication: A real-world example

Despite recent popular interest in 3D printing as a transformative technology, assembly of a full suite of digital machines (e.g. computer-controlled laser cutters and numerically-controlled precision milling machines) and software tools offering capabilities that 3D printers don’t have is required to fully support digital fabrication opportunities. Read the full blog post

Posted on 8, Dec | Posted by

Digital fabrication & additive manufacturing 101

By now, most economic developers are familiar with the concept of 3D printing, which is essentially the use of machines (“printers”) that can slowly build layers of plastic to make physical objects. And while most of us think of this as a new exciting technology, a current media fascination with this technology is blinding us to a much more significant change in the way manufacturing works. The surprising reality is that the first commercial 3D printer was released in 1984 – and 3D printing is a 30-year-old technology from the era of Atari videogames, 8-track players and the Sony Walkman. Read the full blog post

Posted on 6, Dec | Posted by

Makers by Chris Anderson and Makers by Cory Doctorow

Once upon a time not so long ago, computer programmers wore starched white shirts and stodgy ties, and worked in immaculate corporate spaces with giant machines calledENIAC and Colossus. But the anarchic, transformative power of these tools was too great to be constrained by the corporate world, and a generation of hippie hackers with names like Jobs, Wozniak and Gates threw off their ties and sparked an information revolution from their California garages. It’s a story we know well, but it’s also one we’re about to see retold in the field of manufacturing. Additive manufacturing, digital fabrication – however we choose to label it, the radical shift in “making” has broken the old model of assembly lines, of hierarchical shiftwork and production, and even of factories themselves. Ladies and gentlemen, manufacturing has – quite literally – left the building. Read the full reviews

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