On-Demand Production

In 2012 I wrote a piece on how 3D printing could usher in an era of on-demand, local production. Now, five years later, it looks like Amazon is trying to make that true — at least for clothing manufacturing.

While Amazon’s design is essentially just a modular, robotic version of the current clothing creation process and not 3D printing as I was hoping for, it’s still clear that the logistician’s dream of real-time, on-demand production is getting closer and closer. We can transfer digital information instantly across the globe and modular manufacturing is now possible thanks to the lower cost of producing precision instruments.

I’m still hoping for the day when I can 3D print multi-material products at home, but I feel more confident that I’ll see that in my lifetime than ever before.

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