How to turn virtual designs into physical objects?

The best presentation for beginners on the current and future state of Open and Distributed Manufacturing, is the Advanced Civilisation site of Charles Collis.

See in particular the overview on how to turn virtual designs into physical objects.

The site is designed to be understood by non-technical people.

Check out the site map for a good overview of what is available.

For our own overviews and open manufacturing encyclopedia, see here.

2 Comments How to turn virtual designs into physical objects?

  1. AvatarJustinmarshall

    This is a good overview, with some interesting links.
    I thought I would take the opportunity to flag up some related research/activities which may be of relevance to those interested in ‘Open and Distributed Manufacturing and how to turn virtual designs into physical objects’

    The Automake ( project is about combining generative systems with craft knowledge and digital production technologies to create a new way of designing and making objects that blurs the boundaries between maker and consumer, craft and industrial production. This project does not necessarily fit into the definition of a truly open design and manufacturing system. However as and when desktop manufacture become common place as a method for making things, then, as in the desktop publishing revolution, there will need for systems which will allow the wider public to make use of the possibilities that these production technologies afford. Automake can be seen as embryonic version of such a system, in which anyone, regardless of any prior knowledge or experience of CAD, can engage in a process of creating their own unique objects.

    On a more cautionary note, and as a researcher into digital production with a background in the visual arts, I think it is important to recognise the impact production technologies have on the characteristics of objects. Turning virtual designs into physical objects is not a passive translation from the immaterial to the material, but an active (and can be creative) process in which the technologies used often play a crucial role. The autonomatic ( research cluster, in which I work, is involved in research that investigates the creative potential of this growing family of technologies for the production of craft/design works. We see our research as part of a digital manufacturing revolution – a revolution that has the potential to enable mass customisation and highly responsive localised production.

  2. Pingback: 21st Century Spirituality · Hyperstream of 2008-10-05

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.