The Economist's Paul Markillie on Digital Manufacturing

Saturday, 28 July 2012 05:30 Written by  Published in Point Blank Show

The Economist's Innovation Editor, Paul Markillie joins us to talk about the magical world of 'digital manufacturing', the subject of his special report which was published earlier this year. In this 20 minute chat Paul shares his experiences which took him to some interesting places across the world. Manufacturing has already gone digital. For instance, in 2008 at the Beijing Olympics, 23 of the 25 world records in swimming were broken not just because the players trained hard, but they wore body suits which mimicked shark skin making them more hydro-dynamic. It had a lot to do with the new-age manufacturing process which has sprung up new kinds of materials. They help make groundbreaking products cheaply.

Although the concept of 3D printing is relatively new, Paul reckons that we may soon see service engineers not having to scratch their heads for that elusive spare part which can fix your washing machine. They could just print that piece of plastic or metal to the exact specifications and get your machine up and running in a jiffy. From making high end jewellery to popping small food filaments for icing your cake, 'digital manufacturing' is an exciting new domain. (photo courtesy:

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