We have prattled on about how new technologies will change mass production into mass customization, and how Unto this Last, a store/factory in London, is a prototype of things to come: Instead of driving the minivan off to IKEA, you walk down the street to your neighbourhood CNC equipped shop, choose the design that suits your needs, choose your plywood and size, and they cut them out on the spot.
Roy from Ponoko visited the London shop, and describes it:
"The beauty is the production is entirely visible from the shop - I stood watching for a while captured by that peculiarly mesmerising quality that all computer controlled fabricators seem to have over onlookers! The router head whizzed and whirred back and forth, churning out another set of mysterious shapes from an eight by four bit of ply."
"Unto This Last say that the process that they have developed allows them "to manufacture your order to measure, within a week, at the price of mass-production." And I can believe it, although its a non-stop business for the employees. This was 10am on Sunday and the machine was in full swing, the technician pottering between shop and workshop, finishing off pieces." More at ::Ponoko Blog
See Also on Micro-manufacturing:
Unto This Last: Micro-Manufacturing Hits the High Street
Ponoko Brings On-Demand Design to the U.S.
Ponoko Online Furniture Manufacturing: If You Dream It, They Can Build It
Bruce Sterling on Downloadable Designs
Designs based on CNC and 3d printing technology
Reduced Carbon Footprint Souvenirs: A Whole New Way to Give Gifts
Google Earth+CNC=Fluid Earth
Bend it Like Piegato: Flat Pack Shelving
Fractal Table Can Only Be Made By Rapid Prototyping
See our website devoted to downloadable designs:
::In an Absolut world, everything is downloadable.