To make things has always been a defining part of being human. But recently there has been a large resurgence of people who like to get together in Maker Spaces to DIT (Do it Together), where they can share resources, knowledge, and friendship. Many similar movements, such as the Men’s Sheds Association and the Irish Countrywomen’s Association have carried this Maker tradition and provided its foundation. In contrast, the modern Maker Movement is characterised by being dominated by enthusiastic younger people of all genders doing, often using high-tech tools and equipment. Kids are usually welcome in Maker Spaces. Misfits, nerds, geeks, oldsters, anyone really is welcome to learn new techniques for making and to share what they know.

Makers Believe poster
Makers Believe poster

Why now?

A number of advances have catalysed the Maker Movement. The rise of inexpensive 3D printers, and easy-to-use CAD software have made rapid prototyping from idea to object very popular. Easy to use microcontrollers, such as the Arduino, can be programmed by anyone to control robots and gadgets, to automate things, even to adjust lighting sewn into clothing! Maker Spaces often make use of these, alongside expensive tools most could not afford to put in their own garden shed, such as CNC (computer-numeric controlled) mills, laser cutters, and electronic test equipment. MAKE: Magazine and its associated Maker Faires have been instrumental in promoting Maker culture, which is taking hold world-wide.

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