Manufactured products form the foundation of most economic systems. Government, industry and individuals develop and produce products in the form of goods and services to meet the needs of those in society. The desire for low cost goods has been met through economies of scale and mass production. This forced consumer to compromise their wants or needs with what is available.
In the meantime, the needs of consumers have evolved with the development of technologies that have driven consumers to higher levels of expectation. Also more attention is being put on sustainability issues. These factors are changing the way products are conceived and brought to market, from idea to delivery and subsequently to post consumption. The recent digital transformation and the new means of production is leading to transformation of our industries. It’s called rapid response advanced manufacturing.
At the same time digital fabrication tools became easily accessible. New types of consumer designed products with powerful user communities enter the market. The underground hacker community forked in to Fablabs and makerspaces to form the maker movement. Open source, collaborative/web-based engineering developed in to a grass root proof of concept of fully personalized user centered, local manufacturing. Slowly building an infrastructure for agile, on demand decentralized production capable to 3d print their own homes.
During this session we will try to answer the question of how to move from making and rapid prototyping to citizen production. Should we bring manufacturing back to the cities? Do we need to develop new supply chains? What industry can learn from today’s makers and what is the missing link? What wil be the role of makerspaces in distributed manufacturing? Should makers scale up and professionalize or the industry scale across?