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Conner Forrest/Medill

Chicago-based Inventables seeks to fuel the third Industrial Revolution with products such as 3-D printers.

Online store for amateur inventors and small businesses brings manufacturing to the public

by Conner Forrest
Feb 06, 2013


Conner Forrest/Medill

Inventables CEO Zach Kaplan

The advent of technologies such as 3-D printers and personal laser cutters are pushing American manufacturing into almost any cubby hole. Inventables CEO Zach Kaplan calls it the “third Industrial Revolution.” Individuals and small businesses can now produce limited runs of customized products to appeal to a niche market, without the backing of a large company or overseas support.

Inventables – based in Chicago’s West Loop serves the coming revolution as a provider of the technologies and materials fueling it. The 12-person operation keeps all items in stock and provides free learning material and software online. Where the first Industrial Revolution brought machines and the second focused on the production line, this revolution is on the digital front.