In preparation for my maker space class, I’m reading Makers by Cory Doctorow. This is a fantastic book, and does a great job describing the maker mentality and culture. I’m very sad that I didn’t select it as one of the texts for my course.
There is a great dialogue in this book talking about 3D printers. When one of the characters asks “what are they supposed to do with those” 3D printers, we get a powerful narrative in response.
Everything…Make your kitchen fixtures. Make your shoes and hat. Maker your kids’ toys–if it’s in the stores, it should be downloadable, too. Make tool chests and tools. Make it and build it and sell it. Make other printers and sell them. Make machines that make the goop we feed into the printers. Teach a man to fish, Francis, teach a man to fucking fish. No top-down ‘solutions’ driven by ‘market research’…the thing that we need to do is to make these people the authors of their own destiny
That is the power of the 3d printer, the maker movement and DIY culture. You have, at your fingertips, the means of production to shape the world in which you live, and you can do so free from dictates and mandates of companies worldwide. Where computers and the Internet gave us all the tools to become authors, the maker movement has given us the tools to become manufactures, creators, inventors and tinkerers.