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Pages 521-522
First published 2 September 2013

Impact of Personal Fabrication Technology on Social Structure and Wealth Distribution: An Agent-Based Simulation Study

Amber Ferger, Wai Fai Lau, Philipp Ross, Wyman Zhao, Hiroki Sayama, Steen Rasmussen


The recent surge of the "Maker" movement (Anderson 2012) is largely driven by the increasing availability of the personal fabrication technology such as 3D printing (Lipson & Kurman 2013). Widespread diffusion and adoption of personal fabricators based on von Neumann style general purpose constructors are considered as one of the central possibilities of living technology (Bedau et al., 2010; Rasmussen et al. 2011). This is expected to cause a major shift of design and manufacturing power from large firms to individuals, in ways similar to how personal computers and information technology changed information production and dissemination in our society over the last few decades.