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Reimagining Traditional Manufacturing

Reimagining Traditional Manufacturing

Ted Hall: We think of our products—the CNC tools we make—as digital fabrication tools. The advantage of a tool like this is that it allows you to cut, machine, carve, sculpt, drill, with almost unimaginable precision. And for a long time, factories have been using these computer-controlled tools to mass produce things. But the same technology, much like the PC, could be reconfigured in a way that was really appropriate for individual use, individual creativity. So, it really allows people to make almost anything. What we’re really excited about is this possibility for a new kind of manufacturing, where essentially, small operations in communities with real people are empowered to make stuff that’s both high quality and competitive, interesting, creative, and innovative, compared to what the factories are making. And it’s these tools of digital fabrication which allow the quality of production and the efficiency of production to make these small businesses competitive. The price difference is really amazing. We think of our tools, which start at about $5,000, they compete with an industrial tool that probably cost $80,000 to $150,000. Tommy Murrah: I couldn’t do this kind of stuff without the use of the CNC machine, and the technology there. It would have been reserved only for larger manufacturers. Whether it be with wood, or metal, whatever you’re doing, it allows people like myself to do it in a way that it can become a profitable business for you. Ted: The 100KGarage network is a real coming-together place for people who want to work together on digital fabrication. Members of our 100KGarage community are designers, fabricators, and so on, who have access to this technology. It’s by sharing the model on the web, in the cloud, talking about it, discussing it, interacting together over the production process. The direct effect is we probably have a couple dozen “fabbers,” designers, already in North Carolina who are enmeshed in this kind of process, and so they’re able to produce stuff in a highly efficient way at a local level. It’s all making use of digital tools, which are what enable local craftspeople in a way today that they weren’t enabled 10, 15, 20 years ago. So I think that the “Maker Movement” has been described by many as a new Industrial Revolution—it’s basically a new way of making stuff. No one believes it’s the way we’re going to make everything, but for making a lot of things, it can be the more efficient, the more economically competitive way of making things, compared to making stuff at a distance, in a different country, and having to ship it here. I think it’s the wave of the future. We’re really excited to be part of it.

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3 thoughts on “Reimagining Traditional Manufacturing

  1. Hi Thanks for posting this video. Am from INDIA, karnataka (bangalore), Is there any manufacturing firms like this, here in india. If not am planning to start a new business. I have the proper industrial environment with well equipped facilities, can i have any help from you starting here in bangalore.

  2. you know Honda motorcycle parts use to be made out of many garages! it's still possible to bring back a living to hard working people with a garage! $ 🙂

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