Before the Industrial Revolution, custom products were handmade by highly skilled individuals. Basic products that most people have in their homes today were very expensive and considered luxuries because of the time and skill that it took to make just one. What the Industrial Revolution brought about was the ability to mass-produce identical items. The result? Millions of units of a single product could be manufactured in short amount of time, increasing availability and reducing the cost for consumers.
Researchers from the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Department of Visualization at Texas A&M University want to take things even further, with custom cyber manufacturing, using the technology behind origami and kirigami manufacturing. The goal is to give non-manufacturers the ability to design and customize products such as chairs, lamps and desks for their own use.