The DIY Industrial Revolution

Chris Anderson previews his new book. He argues that the "Maker Movement", which combines the Internet with manufacturing technologies like 3D printers, could lead to revolutionary economic benefits:

The fact is that any country, if it wants to remain strong, must have a manufacturing base. Even today, about a quarter of the US economy rests on the creation of physical goods. A service economy is all well and good, but eliminate manufacturing and you're a nation of bankers, burger flippers and tour guides. As for software and information industries, they may get all the press, but they employ just a small percentage of the population.

The nascent Maker movement offers a path to reboot manufacturing – not by returning to the giant factories of old, with their armies of employees, but by creating a new kind of manufacturing economy, one shaped more like the web itself: bottom-up, broadly distributed, and highly entrepreneurial. The image of a few smart people changing the world with little more than an internet connection and an idea increasingly describes manufacturing of the future, too.