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October 9, 2011

The ultimate goal is a vertically integrated system:

Raw materials–>processing–>feedstock

This would work with dozens of processes, only a few of which would be used by a single smith. The specialization of labor also blends the fabbersmith with more traditional artisans, makers, and manufacturers. A fabbersmith has the internet and various other resources at his disposal, and need not try to do absolutely everything.

Thus the start is the manufacturing processes, since some are developed.The second is to find sources of material, from dirt to dumpsters, and processes to convert them to useful materials. Since the current economy can provide the feedstock for a while, there is little reason to try doing more than identifying processes to exploit later. Later might be sooner than we’d like, but it is later.

Some things, such as open source ecology( is working towards a very basic set of a handful of machines. the fabbersmith is not worried about being able to start off in a third world hamlet with just a set of blueprints. This movement is starting in America, and is fine with jumpstarting off the current economic model. A fabbersmith should not be afraid to seek out a local machine shop to build parts for a CNC router for example, he should simply seek out the most economical and efficient process for making it. The main problem with commercial, closed designs is support, and being able to keep going on the transition to a resilient community and business model.


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