= provides easy, convenient and low-cost fabrication of custom parts via the web.
From the Advanced Civilisation site explanation of how to turn virtual designs into physical objects:
"A company called eMachineShop takes Custom Fabrication a step further in terms of ease of use. The US-based company supplies a fairly simple computer-aided design program that once materials have been assigned to the geometric forms an automatic bill of materials can then be calculated. When the user is happy with the design and the price, the information is sent over the internet to eMachineShop where the parts are fabricated using the appropriate computer-controlled machinery. The finished parts are then mailed back to the user.
eMachineShop have cleverly incorporated the limitations of their physical fabrication processes into the CAD program. This means that the company can be sure that they can make anything designed using their software. The company claims to handle part quantities from one-offs to runs up to a million." (http://www.adciv.org/Virtual_designs_into_physical_objects)
"a long tail manufacturing marketplace taking place in the commercial sector is exemplified by a company called eMachineShop which provides easy, convenient and low-cost fabrication services of custom parts via its web site. eMachineShop has its own, proprietary design software that customers use to design the part they need so they can submit the blueprint design to eMachineShop for an instant price quote. Once their design is completed, customers can play with alternative options that affect the cost of manufacturing their desired design by getting a smorgasbord of cost estimates based on using different available materials, and adding or subtracting product features." (http://web.mae.cornell.edu/lipson/FactoryAtHome.pdf)
"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." (http://web.mae.cornell.edu/lipson/FactoryAtHome.pdf)
"When to use eMachineShop: If you need more exotic processes like steel-rule-die blanking, photochemical milling, or rotational molding. They also do standard machining as well, but their breadth of services is the real value.
Time & Money: Costs and leadtimes are going to vary significantly based on the process you select, but you can get instant quotes using their software. Expect prices to start in the hundreds of dollars for most projects and reach into the thousands for more intensive processes.
Experience Required: A thorough understanding of manufacturing processes is required to get the best value using eMachineShop.
Pros: Wide range of services/materials, Instant quoting
Cons: PC only, Steep learning curve" (http://replicatorinc.com/blog/2009/04/hardware-hackers-resources-to-make-your-projects-aesthetically-pleasing/)