Our workshop on “Democratizing Manufacturing” took place on August 8-9, 2016 at the Washington Marriott at Metro Center, Salon A (775 12th Street NW, Washington, DC 20005). Please contact us at email@example.com if you have questions about the workshop.
Thank you to our participants! We had lively conversations with you at the workshop.
In recent years, the variety and value of the manufactured products that an individual or small team can design and prototype has increased due to a variety of reasons (lower cost of desktop equipment, CAD software, shared Makerspaces, etc.). We believe that these trends could foster manufacturing innovation, and are interested in informing a national agenda to make the most of these opportunities. We gathered a small group of innovators and manufacturers to discuss:
- What advances in hardware, software, and services would have the biggest impact on increasing the variety and value of what an individual could design, prototype, and manufacture?
- How can entrepreneurs best be supported to make the transition from “making” to low-volume manufacturing?
- What are the barriers that entrepreneurs and SMMs (small and medium-sized manufacturers) face when trying to access an established supply chain?
- How can we lower barriers to accessing new technologies by SMMs?
Session 1: Transitioning makers to manufacturers
- Democratization of Manufacturing Knowledge
- Manufacturing 101 Education and Training Modules
- Software tools on Design for Manufacturing; Intelligent CAD tools
- Leveraging Existing Resources – Best Practices
- Role of MEPs
Session 2: Innovative Approaches to Low-Volume Manufacturing
- Overview of hardware and software challenges
- R&D for a new-generation of equipment and software to increase the variety and value of what individuals and small teams can design, prototype and manufacture
Breakout: Part 1: Hardware
- Discuss manufacturing hardware to enable low volume manufacturing (and prototyping)
Breakout: Part 2: Software
- Discuss manufacturing software tools to enable low volume manufacturing (and prototyping) and small team design
- Product-specific Apps built on general purpose CAE software
Session 3: Encouraging Formation of Manufacturing Businesses
- Manufacturing businesses that can be franchised
- Models that worked (ex; MakeTime.com, Collaborative manufacturing)
- Role of government (local, state, federal)
- Reduce the cost of access to and increase the usability of existing manufacturing equipment and processes
Session 4: Lower barriers-to-access to established supply chains for manufacturing entrepreneurs
- Technical and non-technical barriers to access the supply chain
- Emerging trends in supply chains
Breakout: Solutions for entrepreneurs to access the supply chain
- New technologies that are reducing barriers to entry to the supply chain
- New technologies needed to further reduce barriers to the supply chain
- Effect of new business models on supply chains