Desktop manufacturing or.. "CNC everything"?

here is other food for thought, that complements the one by Simone Cicero we already presented, about what will be a core issue at our final conference, next June: what will, or should happen "after" the Maker Movement?

glowforge laser cutter

This is an excerpt from "Forget 3D-Printed Knick-Knacks: The Maker Movement Is Entering a New Phase":

When Dan Shapiro discovered the laser cutter, he was impressed by its potential, Shapiro wanted “to see if we could take this industrial technology that had been locked up in assembly lines and put it on the desktop in a way that was accessible to just about anybody.” His company, Glowforge, makes a laser cutter that can work with wood, leather, stone, paper, cardboard, acrylic and more. The ability to work with non-ferrous metals, instead, is one of the strength of the CNC Mill Othermill, by Other Machine. Both machines are compact enough to sit on a desk or a kitchen table.

Above all, both machines come from the same vision, which Shapiro describes as follows:

“To date, in order to be crafty, in order to be a maker or a tinkerer, you have to spend years of your life learning to draw, or to use some hand-controlled tool. I think the evolution of maker culture—is instead of having the new maker tools be another singular tool, to have them be an amplifier that . . . allows people to make more beautiful things, more durable things more quickly than they ever could before.”

Ultimately, says Shapiro, it’s not about the tool: “It’s about the creative superpowers that we can give people.”

The future of the Maker movement, says LittleBits founder Ayah Bdeir, depends on “speak[ing] outside the choir... not just to people who have already been convinced of the virtues of making and experimenting.”[In general] it remains to be seen whether desktop manufacturing will truly go mainstream. Even so, Other Machine's CEO Danielle Applestone remains steadfast in the belief that the maker movement must become a mass movement. She envisions “CNC everything“—computer-controlled power tools for consumers that will smash the barrier to entry for creating physical products. Now, compare this with what Cicero said about "invisible Digital DIY revolutions" ... and then let's discuss the consequences in Milan!