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The Maker Movement

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In the last decade the Maker Movement has grown in popularity as technology has become more accessible to individuals. The Maker Movement is a technology based extension of the DIY culture. Individuals, or Makers, are typically inventors, hobbyists, and entrepreneurs who are putting a technological spin on projects. Many are using technology such as 3D printers, Arduino microcontrollers and robotics as they create new devices or modify existing products.

Makers have begun to come together in spaces known as Makerspaces or Hackerspaces. A Makerspace is typically a place where people with interests in tinkering with technology can meet and work on projects and learn from each other. Members will often pay monthly dues for access to the Makerspace and equipment. Many Makerspaces also offer classes to members where individuals can learn how to create a project or use a piece of equipment or tool.

Many are calling the Maker Movement the next industrial revolution as Makers are able to turn their projects into actual products. Products like the MakerBot 3D printer and the Square credit card reader started in Makerspaces. Part of the success of some of these products is due to Kickstarter campaigns and individual’s ability to get financing. For example, a 3D printing pen raised over $2 million on Kickstarter and is now a product sold all over the world!

To learn more about Makers and Makerspaces check out this TED talk video.