A factory on your desktop

Today Crain's Chicago Business did a nice video on the Shapeoko.  It is exciting to see it covered by a more mainstream news outlet.  While an entry level $600 mill is not at the scale of a mill you might see in an automotive factory, it's really starting to reshape the way we think about what is manufacturing and where can it happen.  As more designers learn about what's possible and the technology improves we're going to see some truly amazing things from this little desktop mill.

Here's an excerpt from the piece:

"Last year, Inventables Inc., a Loop-based e-commerce company that calls itself a hardware store for designers, began selling an affordable, automated milling machine. The machine, capable of cutting and shaping wood and soft metals for nearly any project or product design, is another contribution to the digital fabrication boom that has been getting play lately as 3-D printers become more affordable to consumers.
The Shapeoko, as the machine is called, was designed and developed by Edward Ford, a manufacturing technologist frustrated with his inferior handcraft skills to make precision parts for hobby projects. Mr. Ford spent a decade designing and troubleshooting the machine, which he believes could change the way people innovate — and the range of products making their way to the marketplace.

You can read the full piece and check out the rest of their videos on retooling Chicago.


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