The premise of this thread is that it should be possible for an individual or small group to produce complex products which have become common in the early years of the 21st Century, through development of a sufficient level of automation.
A simple example is a zipper, which is an accessory in clothing so common as to be ignored, but my impression is that manufacture of zippers whether made of metal or other substances, requires the labors of hundreds if not thousands of people.
The zippers are made by machines tended by a few individuals, but the organizations required to manufacture, market and distribute the products in the complex society of 2016 are massive, and for the most part, they are global.
On Mars or any other off-Earth location, there will only be a few people in a community for an extended period of time, so the ability to make complex products on site will require a level of automation not currently available on Earth.
Is there a market for automation capable of "manufacturing" a zipper on demand?
There are two possible markets that I see ...
First, those who are preparing to build and support communities away from Earth will be interested.
Second, those who are preparing to sustain themselves and their families in the event of the disruption of the fragile, global economy of 2016 will be interested.
A possible third category might be those who see an opportunity to deliver custom made products to local customers.
If anyone is interested in seeing this thread develop, please send suggestions via private message on this forum.
If anyone would like to create a new thread along these lines, please do that.
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