Here is a thought provoking graphic on the economic impact of Makers, in just one country. But how do you really measure a whole movement, one where individuals around the world using tools such as those found in Fablabs are empowered to innovate - whether for personal reasons or during the process of creating new business opportunities? Those of us within it see things happening all around, with the possibilities only expanding as access to knowledge and digital fabrication methods grows. Go forth and Make something - and you'll improve us all while you are at it!
The New York Times reports on how surgeons are just learning to use new digital fabrication tools to create models, so that they can first practice delicate procedures:
Where will the doctors (and engineers and educators and artists and architects...) of the future get their first experiences with such cutting edge tools and approaches? Fablabs are an ideal training ground for students, and a great place for entrepreneurs to test their ideas.