Small-scale production via the internet

The Economist has an article on how the internet revolutionizes production, taking as an example the tripod mount and stand for the iPhone called “Glif”:
  • Two men from New York had an idea for an iPhone stand.
  • The internet funding platform Kickstarter was used to finance the development.
  • They sent their 3D models via email to a Dutch company which sent them back “printed”, three-dimensional prototypes.
  • A short-run injection-moulding production firm will make the final product:
    Injection moulds commonly produce millions of like results; Protomold specializes in smaller runs, and can make dozens to thousands of castings at a reasonable per-unit price.