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In 2013, President Barack Obama mentioned about 3D printing during his annual speech before Congress, saying that it would be the future of America’s manufacturing. After the speech, the White House announced the opening of White House Maker Faire with over 100 participating partners showcasing their 3D printing works. The Maker Faire was seen as a movement to promote those who used 3D printing technology to apply in a wide range of industries. The technology has played an important role in startups, increasing awareness among students who wish to become a maker in the future.
Organized by the White House, Maker Faire is not a new thing. Actually, the first one was held by Maker Media in 2006 and it expanded to major cities around the world. Maker Fair celebrates makers or inventors who are in love with creating their own stuff. The event allows makers to publicize their inventions. In fact, Maker is not a new trend. The trend formed originally in 1910 by the culture of DIY (Do It Yourself). When the general public has access to technologies, particularly 3D printing and open source, which facilitate DIY activities today, the trend of makers revives and thrives more gloriously in the digital age.
When the culture of makers gains more interest, especially in America, facilities of making, alternatively called Makerspace, are more common to see. Techshop provides the service of Makerspace equipped with tools and electronic devices, as well as consultation and training. The fee is charged through membership. Some big companies are also more interested in the trend of makers. GE established GE Garage for makers to learn new methods of making the prototype and developing a product with modern technologies such as laser, cut, and 3D printers.
Technologies allow households to make their own products and give a space for people to express their idea through websites. This is the rise of makers. DIY commercial websites such as Etsy.com has more than one million inventors and craftsmen selling the products that they hand-make. The website has earned over a billion US dollars for the service, signifying potential business opportunity in this type of product. In addition, the chance to change to their play things into potential profitable business is possible for makers when the website Kickstarter functions as the online fundraising channel. In 2011 alone, the number of successful makers was almost 12,000 projects, raising almost 100 US dollars of fund.
New technologies are facilitating these makers to make their own product without dependence on factories in producing or middlemen in selling them. When inventors become the entrepreneurs and hobbies become businesses, makers are the one who revolutionize the way manufacturing is done in the future.
Makers: The New Industrial Revolution by Chris Anderson
Photo by Pujohn Das/ Space10
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