By John Dodge
CHICAGO (CBS) — Zach Kaplan likes to build stuff.
Kaplan also knows that there are a lot of people like him, who until just recently didn’t have the tools to execute their artistic vision.
Now, with a computer, some design software and a relatively inexpensive machine, entrepreneurs can join in a new manufacturing revolution. Instead of large factories and machines making widgets, this type of manufacturing can be done at a desk, or small workplace.
“This is what it felt like in the very beginning of the Industrial Revolution,” said Kaplan, CEO of a Chicago company called Inventables. “We are in the early innings. Obviously manufacturing has been around for hundreds of years. Digital manufacturing is in the early stages. Most designers are still figuring out, ‘What are these tools?’
To help make that process easier, Kaplan’s team has designed a three-dimensional carving tool that fits on a desk.
The “Carvey” gives designers the ability to make products from of a variety of materials including wood, metal and plastic.
Kaplan, who holds a mechanical engineering degree from University of Illinois, boils the process down in the three steps: Design the product using his free software, choose your material, then connect a computer to the Carvey to cut the design
Kaplan calls Carvey “the next step in 3D manufacturing.”
“We want [designers] to go from idea to product in five minutes.”
Kaplan has launched this project on Kickstarter, where backers still have a few days to get a Carvey for $1,999.
Here is more on how it works: