Personal Manufacturing Industry

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Players

Personal Manufacturing Machine Makers

see also above under Tools

= machine builders that focus exclusively on the sale of personal-scale manufacturing machines.

URL = http://www.makerbot.com

Location: New York, New York.

"MakerBot makes and sells affordable 3D printers that print plastics. Their leading 3D printer is called CupCake CNC which was has its technological roots in an open source hardware design for a model of 3D printer called RepRap that was invented at the University of Bath. Machine blueprints for CupCake can be freely downloaded. The CupCake is unique in that it can replicate its own parts. Users purchase machine kits online and assemble them at home. It takes two skilled people about two days to assemble a CupCake. MakerBot sales are strong. It began to sell kits in April, 2009. In March, 2010, 11 months later, the company reported it had sold 695 kits." (http://web.mae.cornell.edu/lipson/FactoryAtHome.pdf)


URL = http://lumenlab.com

Location: The United Kingdom.

LumenLab sells Multipurpose Machines, meaning their personal-scale machines have the ability to use a number of different toolings, including 3D printing, 3D milling, and precision-engraving.

"LumenLab’s two machine models are the micro v3 that’s about 10 by 12 inches in size and costs $1294, and the larger m2 for $1799, which is about 19 inches square." (http://web.mae.cornell.edu/lipson/FactoryAtHome.pdf)


URL = http://www.bitsfrombytes.com

Location: United Kingcom.

Bits From Bytes sells kits for 3D printers for home, classroom and small business use. Bits From Bytes was recently acquired by a larger 3D manufacturing machine company called 3D Systems. Bits From Bytes plans to continue to sell their low-end 3D printers. Their BFB300 sells for 2000 euro and can print a number of different materials. Their 3D printers are also based on the RapRap Darwin open source machine created by researchers at Bath University in England. As of March, 2010, Bits from Bytes was shipping about 200 kits a month." (http://web.mae.cornell.edu/lipson/FactoryAtHome.pdf)

Personal Manufacturing Companies

Hod Lipson and Melba Kurman:

"A new breed of ... personal manufacturing companies, sometimes called “makers” ... is emerging.

URL = http://www.emachineshop.com/

provides easy, convenient and low-cost fabrication of custom parts via the web.

"Customers can design whatever part they need using emachineshop’s CAD tools. Once the electronic blueprint is complete, users get an instant quote and can order the part to be made in the material of their choice. Users have ordered toys, car parts, electronic devices, games and more. Industrial machine parts are sold at eMachineshop."


URL = http://www.bigbluesaw.com

Like eMachineShop, Big Blue Saw offers users its own CAD tools so they can design wood, fabric, metal or plastic parts for prototypes and small project. Their web site describes the process as: 1) Create a design using the Big Blue Saw Designer or your favorite design software. 2) Upload your design to our website to get an instant price quote and to order. 3) We will ship you your custom metal, plastic, wood, or fabric object, typically within 3 business days.


URL = http://www.materialise-mgx.com

a Belgium-based company that designs and manufactures high end art, housewares, jewelry and other luxury items in-house. Materialise hires professional designers to create blueprints of stunning usable objects that users purchase from their web site; if customization is desired, customers work with the professional designer to alter basic design parameters such as the size or color of the object.

i.materialise [1] is an experimental spin-off from Materialise.

i.materialise is an on-line service that offers 3D printing services of custom designs made by consumers. Consumers first manufacture their own designs using Google Sketchup. They get an account on i.materialise follow a series of simple steps to turn their electronic blueprints into reality using the site’s easy pull-down menu selection of surface textures, colors and other design features. After customers select their design, i.materialise manufactures their design using 3D printers.


  • Print23D – Pennsylvania, US.

URL = http://www.printo3d.com

Print23D offers 3D printing services for Fortune 500 companies to regular people who have CAD designs they’d like to try out. A small print job costs about $50 while a five or six inch square object may cost about $400 to 3D print. Print23D’s focus is on industrial and machine parts, not consumers and product designs.


Electronic Design Blueprint Aggregators

Hod Lipson and Melba Kurman:

"Aggregators are companies that host online catalogs of electronic design blueprints for available products, machine parts and other objects. Like amazon.com or eBay, aggregators offer storefronts for third party merchants such as designers. Some aggregators like shapeways.com also offer fabrication services, while others offer small-scale manufacturing services, while others, such as Ponoko, act as brokers between consumers, designers and makers.

Two of the pioneering companies are Shapeways and Ponoko.

– Location: New Zealand.

"On Ponoko’s web site, consumers, designers, makers and materials suppliers register for accounts and come together online. Consumers can design their own product using Ponoko’s starter kit design software and fabricate their chosen product themselves, on their own fabber. Or, consumers can download free and purchasable software design blueprints, and if they don’t have access to their own home manufacturing machine, can post a request via an online form to tap into Ponoko’s “making hubs” to have a nearby maker nearby do the fabrication. Ponoko’s materials suppliers sell paper, fabric, metal, rubber and wood alongside sophisticated hardware components such as accelerometers, sensors, GPS and wireless antennas."


– Location: The Netherlands and New York.

Shapeways is the leading aggregator with a large online collection of sophisticated designs that range from toys to art to machine parts. Shapeways has a manufacturing space that contains several 3D printers that fabricate customer designs. Products are sold via a number of different storefronts that each feature a different designer. Consumers select a design from a designer who runs their own online storefront or consumers can make their own design using Shapeway’s proprietary design tools. Shapeways employees offer user support and design advice, if needed. Consumers and designers interact directly if the user has a special request. The more active designers on Shapeways earn several thousand euro a month from selling their designs."


Personal Manufacturing Electronic Blueprint Designers

Hod Lipson and Melba Kurman:

"designers create electronic blueprints for all types of personal fabrication technologies (i.e. CNC routers, laser cutters, sewing machines), the majority of designers focus on 3D printed objects."


* Unfold design studios.

Location: Belgium.

Unfold studios was founded in 2002 by Claire Warnier and Dries Verbruggen. They design and sell a wide variety of contemporary custom-designed and made furniture, household goods and jewelry.


* Nervous System.

URL = http://n-e-r-v-o-u-s.com

Location: Massachusetts, United States.

Nervous System was founded in 2007 by Jessica Rosenkrantz and Jesse Louis-Rosenberg. Nervous System 3D prints computer generated designs to produce affordable art, jewelry, and housewares.


* Bathsheba:

URL = http://www.bathsheba.com

Location: California, United States.

Bathsheba Grossman is one of the world’s leading 3D printing designers. She creates sculptures and math models, what she calls “ handheld geometry” out of 3D printed metal." (http://web.mae.cornell.edu/lipson/FactoryAtHome.pdf)


Personal Manufacturing Consortia

100K Garages

"100KGarages is a partnership between Ponoko, a New Zealand-based aggregator of custom blueprint designs and a North Carolina-based company ShopBot Tools, a company that makes and sells both small scale and industrial CNC routing manufacturing machines. 100KGarages.com is an online, decentralized community of consumers, small manufacturers (makers) and designers. Once they register for an account on the 100Kgarages web site, makers (or manufacturers), designers and consumers become part of a sprawling, unregulated, global, virtual design and production ecosystem. The makers (makers must own a ShopBot to participate on the site) post a profile about their workshop’s unique manufacturing capabilities. The designers post their design ideas online in the form of electronic blueprints, or CAD designs. The consumers post descriptions of the objects they would like to have manufactured, including their ideal purchase price, delivery date and product specs. Consumers browse designs online and when they find an object they’d like to have custom-made, the action turns to the online Job Site. On the online Job Site, consumers invite bids and negotiate directly with the maker on project details, design issues, cost and so on. When a deal between a customer and maker is struck, the customer sends payment to the maker for labor and materials, production begins, and the item is shipped to the consumer when finished. Quality control is consumer reviews of their experience with various makers and designers." (http://web.mae.cornell.edu/lipson/FactoryAtHome.pdf)


More Information

  1. Personal Manufacturing
  2. Personal Manufacturing Tools