Dutch News

14 December 2014
New urban production, the 3d industrial revolution

Production is returning to cities. Not the polluting old school industry, but small businesses producing local goods like bikes, beer, furniture from wood from local trees. At home, in 3d print shops or in fabrication labs. Especially companies that use new digital technology like 3D printing are booming. Some say urban manufacturing is the third industrial revolution. The city of Amsterdam started to stimulate the local trade and crafts economy.

Through democratization  of technology, but also triggered by new idealism concerning durability, new forms of cooperation come into existence.  Fab labs and makers spaces pop up everywhere in the Netherlands. Fabrication labs offer everything needed that crafts people need, but cannot always afford.


An interesting example of new urban manufacturing is a company in Amsterdam that produces good from local wood. Before all the Amsterdam trees that were cut down were used as bio mass, but the initiator wants to recreate a local cycle of wood  and is now producing furniture and objects from local wood. A registration system is set-up so a buyer know exactly where in the city the wood comes from.


It is not only the end product that brings people together, it is also the social interaction. Many makers festivals are organised with the slogan ‘Making is the new thinking’. Especially the new digital production will revolutionise the economy, since production is not restricted to a certain locations. An architect working with a 3D printer sums up the advantages:  ‘Transport of materials will not be needed anymore, because a house can be printed where you need it. And different from traditional building there is no waste.’


The city of Amsterdam started to stimulate the local trade and crafts economy. The initiator of the plan thinks that developments in urban manufacturing will stimulate activities and business, and will pull out neighbourhoods out of the crisis. A new label ‘Made in Amsterdam’ was introduced, and now around a hundred local companies are associated with the new movement. Of which many say that it will change the outlook of cities, as much as the previous industrial revolutions did.


Source: De Groene Amsterdammer






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