Community Supported Manufacturing

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Community Supported Manufacturing


1. As defined by the Post-Carbon Institute, [1]

"The concept of Community Supported Manufacturing, means taking back the means of production in a socially and environmentally responsible way. It means we must return to a reliance on local production systems as the primary source of our basic goods. It means we have to resurrect the traditional production and distribution knowledge that has been eroded by our dependence and support of global corporations. It means that communities must work together to overhaul their infrastructure in order to support community based manufacturing.

CSM is an extension of the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model, where local production is basically extended from the farm to the workshop. These production systems will likely have multilayered ownership, where municipalities, co-operatives, family businesses and local firms mutually support each other. The primary focus of CSM is to Relocalize production and manufacturing, in order to reduce the environmental damage and the cultural erosion that has occured from our reliance on a cheap energy source, that may soon be unavailable." (

2. Open Source Ecology:

"Community supported manufacturing (CSM) is a business model where a production facility - a digital fabrication facility - is co-funded by a large number of individuals interested in a certain product. In this model, product development costs are covered by a voluntary, open source product development process. This development process produces documentation of fabrication procedure, and continues up to creating access to digital design files for Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM) using the above digital fabrication facility. The consumer in this relationship obtains product at-cost, by paying for materials and labor. The producer captures the value of their labor. The producer is the organizer of the crowd funding necessary for the digital fabrication facility to be produced. This model is a win-win situation for at-cost production - for the producer and consumer, and relies on the elimination of all waste involved in fabrication processes." (

Key Book to Read

When Technology Fails: A Manual for Self-Reliance and Planetary Survival. by Matt Stein. Clear Light Books, 2000.