Today with tools as simple as a laptop computer and an internet connection, it is possible for the individual to become a manufacturer – and to make a profit doing so. Clever software, social networks and new production processes like 3D printing are ushering in a third industrial revolution, in which anyone can dream up a design and see it built within days, at a small fraction of the traditional cost. The impact will be profound. Two companies that are putting these tools into the hands of the individual can be found in New York City, once the capital of manufacturing in America. They are called Shapeways and Quirky.
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