Comparing the Industrial Revolution to the Personal Manufacturing Industrial Revolution

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Table

Source: Factory@Home report, pp. 40 [1]

Industrial revolution Personal manufacturing “evolution”
Communications Telegraph, telephone, improved commercial printing technologies Internet, online shopping, online user communities, search and rank algorithms that enable users to find what they’re looking for in the chaos, online blueprints
Power Steam, coal, electricity Powerful computing technologies bring formerly industrial-scale design and analytical capabilities to the masses
Machine technology Steam engines, coal burning machines, looms, automated agricultural technologies.

Factory-scale machines mass produced standardized objects very quickly

Personal fabrication machines are ready for home use, outside the factory.

Cheaper and easier CAD software Hardware and electronic components get smaller and cheaper and more powerful

Distribution infrastructure Rail ways, improved roads, the postal system The Internet becomes the distribution infrastructure.

Fabbers are local so no distribution or inventory is needed

Consumers Emerging consumer markets eagerly purchased lower-cost mass produced items Today’s consumers want to be unique and express themselves with custom objects
Labor Unskilled labor could assemble objects on an assembly line Unskilled consumers, like unskilled computer users, can design and operate their own manufacturing machinery