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Brief Published: 14 Apr 2014

Hacking Homewares: Factory in the Cloud

Cloud Collection, Francis Bitonti

Brooklyn-based product designer Francis Bitonti and US 3D-printing firm Makerbot have collaborated to launch the world's first factory in the cloud.

Bitonti's Cloud collection of homeware – including decorative plates, bowls and vases – is offered by Makerbot as a downloadable, customisable 'print at home' code for a $1. "We tried to make something where the consumer could engage in the narrative of the object and be part of the design, but not necessarily have to become the designer," Bitonti said.

For those without a printer, pieces can be printed in one of three US Makerbot retail stores or via 3D Hubs – a global network of more than 4,000 printers. Prices start from $75.

Mass-market demand for 3D printing is ramping up. Earlier this month, Micro – the "world's first truly consumer 3D printer" – launched on crowdfunding site Kickstarter, priced at $300. The campaign reached its funding goal of $50,000 in just 11 minutes and now has more than $2m in pledges with 23 days to go.

For more on the future of at-home manufacturing, take a look at 3D Printing Outlook 2014. For insights into flexible manufacturing, see SXSWi 2014: Future of Making.