Manufacturing Expertise for the People: The Open-Source Hardware Movement in Japan

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MATT KREBS

Manufacturing itself is changing as open-source sentiment grows with the “maker” movement, especially in FabLabs around the world. “Makers” are open-source hardware enthusiasts who want anyone to be able to make almost anything. This ethnographic research, conducted in 2013, centers on the “makers” in FabLabs in Japan. The research addresses cultural coherence among actors – human and machine – in these FabLabs, and changing notions of expertise enabled by open-source, DIY manufacturing practices. Are modern machines like 3D printers changing manufacturing? Will they change the world?

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