Desktop Manufacturing

…is getting closer.

Flexonics is still in its infancy, but the technology?s potential raises questions about what it will mean to be a consumer in an era of de-vices-on-demand. You?d no longer pay for a product, Canny says, you?d pay for plans. I look forward then to a generation of do-it-yourself industrial designers, tinkerers who tweak commercial product designs to improve and customize them. How will I access the fruits of their labor? Peer-to-peer plan networks, of course, where designs for blenders and mobile phones and TV remote controls are swapped like so many MP3s.

There was a lively couple of threads here on the ethical implications of this a few weeks ago.