After yesterday's post about Ponoko, I received quite a bit of positive feedback by e-mail and on blog posts (for example on SolidSmack). In my opinion, one of the best ways to understand the power of the Ponoko approach to manufacturing is to go back to one of the minds that inspired it. This special mind is Neil Gershenfeld, a MIT professor and Director of the Center for Bits and Atoms.
The best way to understand Ponoko is to is to go back to one of the minds that inspired it
I found a great video featuring Neil giving a speech in February 2006 at the TED annual conference in Monterey. In The Beckoning Promise of Personal Fabrication, Neil talks about his Fab Lab, a low-cost lab that lets people build things they need using digital and analog tools. It's a simple idea with powerful results. His Fab Labs, set up in communities around the world, let people build eyeglass frames, toys, computer parts – anything they need and can imagine. As Gershenfeld explains, this kind of empowerment leads to education, problem-solving, job creation and invention, in a truly creative process. Enjoy!
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