The evolution of desktop fabrication, coding, and cloud computing and manufacturing has helped shape a generation of tinkerers into small manufacturers. Now, entrepreneurs can create prototypes at low cost, code has replaced trained toolmakers, and niche online manufacturing services can provide anything from laser cutting to injection molding.
Learn how Chris Anderson, the former editor-in-chief of Wired magazine and co-founder of 3-D Robotics , which makes small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), made the jump from editor to entrepreneur. He talks about what made it possible for him to become a high-tech manufacturer of drones with a big electronics and assembly factory in Tijuana, Mexico, essentially overnight. He also talks about the three things you need to get there: desktop, digital and cloud.
Anderson says, like the PCs of the 1980s (which were more feeble than the professional computers of the time but available to far more people) and the Internet of the 1990s (which was slow and limited at the start but open to all), what desktop manufacturing tools lack in power, they more than make up for in accessibility. And they’re getting better and cheaper even faster than the computing and communications technologies of the past two generations did.