Wired magazine editor and best-selling author Chris Anderson takes you to the front lines of a new industrial revolution as today’s entrepreneurs, using open source design and 3-D printing, bring manufacturing to the desktop. In an age of custom-fabricated, do-it-yourself product design and creation, the collective potential of a million garage tinkerers and enthusiasts is about to be unleashed, driving a resurgence of American manufacturing. A generation of "Makers" using the Web’s innovation model will help drive the next big wave in the global economy, as the new technologies of digital design and rapid prototyping gives everyone the power to invent - creating "the long tail of things".
©2012 Chris Anderson (P)2012 Random House Audio
"Chris understands that the owners of the means of production get to decide what is produced. And now you're the owner. This book will change your life, whether you read it or not, so I suggest you get in early." (Seth Godin, best-selling author of Tribes and Purple Cow)
"A visionary preview of the next technological revolution. If you want to know where the future is headed, start here." (Tom Rath, author of StrengthsFinder 2.0)
"Makers is must read for understanding the transformative changes that are shaping, and will shape, the future of inventing." (Dan Ariely, author of Predictably Irrational and The Upside of Irrationality)
I'm a lawyer and mediator. I represent businesses in disputes with their insurers and in other complex litigation. I also assist machinery companies and manufacturers (primarily international) with equipment sales, non-disclosure agreements, and business issues. I also mediate commercial disputes.
I've listened to all of Chris Anderson's books, and they are always interesting and thought provoking. He also writes with great flow, meaning that the story moves forward in a logical and engaging way without a lot of unnecessary repetition.
This book is the logical culmination of taking the Long Tail from the world of bits to the world of atoms. Anderson's insights regarding new manufacturing techniques (mainly 3D printing) and their widespread availability to the masses are important. Anderson always approaches things from an open source point of view, and I don't entirely agree with that (neither for that matter would Steve Jobs). The methods of monetizing open source largely remain to be discovered and proven.
All that said, this is an important and very interesting book. Anyone who works in the manufacturing field should read it.
Are you interested in the future of small business and manufacturing in the US? Do you want to know what is happening on the cutting edge of design technology? Do you know what 3-D printing, digital fabrication and the makers are? Then Chris Anderson’s introduction titled Makers: The New Industrial Revolution will bring you up short for sure. Anderson (The Long Tail; Free: How Today’s Smartest Businesses Profit by Giving Something for Nothing) is the editor of Wired Magazine who will guide you through the brave new technological world that is pushing us into the future. He opens with an introduction to the invention revolution and how it is contributing to the new industrial revolution. He explains how design and manufacturing are changing the face of the economy and how desktop factories linked to open hardware are driving that revolution. His description of 3-D printing is worth the price of the book to the unfamiliar. He clearly introduces computer numerical control, G-code and its importance, and software like CAD and its use. Those who despair for the US economy and manufacturing there is hope, for Anderson tells how custom batch work can well come home. Some may find Anderson’s approach a bit Pollyannaish, simplistic, or overly optimistic, but there is still much here to stimulate thinking and inform readers. This is a good book readily available to the nontechnical type just interested. The reading of Rene Ruiz is excellent.
TY Fine Furniture
If I had a friend that knew nothing of CNC technology or rapid prototyping and they simply wanted to understand the industry at a surface deep level, I would surely recommend this book. The problem is that the author really did not offer up any new information outside of what one might read in a couple news articles. There are surely more efficient ways to get this information outside of sitting through this book.
Probably not. Maybe good news articles, but he should lay off from writing books.
haha, really? no. This is a technical/business book, not really something tv worthy. Ok, I will play along... Charlie Sheen can play narrator/womanizer, Nicholas Cage can run around being over dramatic about 3d printers.
This book was not entirely bad, it just lacked solid information and really just skimmed the surface. More what I would expect from an article in the paper than from a full book. At times the author seems to be talking simply to use up space and meet the publishers word count. I have quite a bit of experience with cnc tools and a little background (3 college credits) on rapid prototyping (essentially what the author calls 3d printing). I found a lot of the information to be factually wrong and over simplified. Clearly the author is writing as if he is an expert on the subject, but really only has a textbook (or Google) understanding of the subject. Once again, if you are coming at this subject with no background and very little interest, you will learn a little. But you are probably better off reading up on the subject elsewhere if you want a working knowledge of the subject. This book may serve as a good superficial primer to the subject. Also remember, the author makes everything out to be easier than it really is. This technology was developed by Engineers for engineers, not to say that anyone can not take it on. Just remember, it is not going to be as easy as imagining a pretty object and then hitting print. Likewise, there is still quite a bit of post processing that needs to happen before you will ever have a reasonable final product (with certain exceptions).
Manufacturing with 3-D "printer" technology will dramatically change manufacturing. It could be another leg in the Industrial Revolution. I thought this book could have been condensed to one or two chapters. The rest seemed repetitive to me.
The world is changing. And the revolution of how people create, manufacture and design is a big part of it. This movement alone could bring manufacturing back to the US in a big way. I think everyone who is getting out of college in the next four years should read this (and other books written by Anderson) to fully understand how the business and creative world is changing.
Fascinating survey of how the world of bits has impacted product design and manufacturing. Loved one of the soundbites: "barriers to entry are now ankle high."
Great book, describing great possibilities. The best argument out there for STEM education. It should be on every high schooler's summer reading list.
Chris Anderson is a great storyteller and her managed to put together a compelling case on how the democratization of the told to make objects can fundamentally change our economy and society. The first hand accounts make the book more valuable. The only downside is obvious, in a field moving so fast, a 2012 book already started to feel a bit dated. While there was no way for the author to prevent it, an updated edition might be in order.
The book attempts to cover all the bases from the person that knows nothing about "making" to the one who is an expert maker. IMO, that's too much ground. I was bored the first six chapters and almost gave up on the book but then it got much better toward the end. Even so, its so much information I doubt many people will remember much from the book in audio format. It may be better as a hard copy reference book.
This book helped me get out of some of my stagnant thinking. I have been a small manufacturer for 7 years, making my sole living this way. It was helpful to take a break and listen to some variations of someone's experience. There are no real earth shattering concepts presented, but it covers many useful concepts that can be forgotten by those that have been "makers" for a while. I was happy to get more than a giddy overview of how a 3D printer can make anyone an inventor - it covers the thinking and resources needed to make something that is real. 3D printing is .001% of product development and this book appropriately only spends a little time on that topic and explaining its limits as well.
I will say that the author tends to gloss over the gritty and detailed reality of designing, making, and marketing products on a small to modest scale. It is indeed easier than ever before, but it is a mind numbing, back breaking, and financially risky career path. The book emphasizes the glamorous victories without much said about the hard core challenge of building a multi-discipline super skill set to create something and form a business around it based largely on "Google" knowledge. Victories are hard to come by and failures can be financial disasters that take years to recover from.
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