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The Made-To-Order revolution: custom flexible manufacturing is here

Aug 26, 2010, 14:35 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Terry Hancock)

[ Thanks to steve hill for this link. ]

"Manufacturing has been getting smaller, cheaper, and more flexible for years. It's now possible to make products as sophisticated as smart cel-phones, PDAs, toys, clothing, books, and even houses in almost any shape or form you want down to very small numbers. The mass production barrier has fallen, so that today, it's possible for a home inventor, hobbyist, or crafter to create almost anything by assembling one-off manufactured components, either from a service or from affordable home-fabrication equipment (or a combination of these).

"Once upon a time, almost everything was made to order — one unit at a time. In the early to mid 19th century, though, that changed, along with the industrial revolution, and it became much cheaper to "mass produce" products. Over time, these economies of scale became so great that more and more expensive-to-prototype devices became commonplace."

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