Advanced manufacturing technologies (AMTs) enable many new ways of combining materials and embedding functionality. As a result, they can make previously difficult trade-offs practical, such as geometric complexity versus production time and cost. AMTs can also revitalise manufacturing and generate new employment - when they are combined with Web 2.0. Already a few companies - such as Fabjectory, Figure-Prints, Ponoko and Shapeways - have recognised the possibility of this combination, called by some 'Factory 2.0'. For example, Fabjectory and FigurePrints take digital data that describes a customer's character (or 'avatar') in a virtual game, and then manufacture a 3D physical image. In doing so, they connect the synthetic economy of virtual world transactions with the real economy of exchanging physical goods for money. This paper discusses further the concept of AMTs.
- factory 2.0