Digital fabrication makes it possible to go from a digital design in a computer to a physical, manufactured product in a few fast, easy, and increasingly economical steps. This may even allow products to be created one-off for a consumer while he waits. In short, digital fabrication offers the potential to do for physical products what the Internet has done for information-based goods and services. Suddenly, it’s possible for a small but growing number of small or niche businesses to design, market, and produce manufactured products competitively on a micro-scale. As operations, product development, and distribution processes evolve under the influence of this new disruptive technology, manufacturing innovation is likely to expand beyond the company right to the consumer. The potential impact on the business models of today’s manufacturers is enormous. What do you need to know as an entrepreneur, investor, and consumer to make the most of this emerging technology? We’ll show you.
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