Week 2 Reflection: The Maker Movement and the Future of DIY

This week in class we were immersed into the FabLab and the unique tools and services that they offer for the local Champaign-Urbana maker community. The reading of “The Maker Mindset” stood out to me as it highlights how fast this method of manufacturing is growing and soon before you know it, there might be one in every home. The ability to be able to print anything on a whim while being able to customize it directly to your specifications is vastly different compared to previous manufacturing methods. The Wired article by Chris Anderson called, “In the Next Industrial Revolution, Atoms are the New Bits” shows how this is such a revolutionary technology that has been around since the 1980s but now is taking off and beginning to become affordable and widely used.

Jeff Ginger from the FabLab taught us about how many tools there were at our doorstep when it comes to being able to use it. The way he runs the FabLab is very interesting to me as it curates the Do-It-With-Others mentality versus the Do-It-Yourself method. Collaborating and being able to receive feedback is instrumental in being able to achieve a fine tune product or service. And the way Jeff approached it really stood out to me and how the maker movement is actually a maker community.

This week we also were put into groups based on the strengths and weaknesses of our classmates. I thought that this was extremely helpful since we are able to utilize each others’ knowledge base while also contributing our own. My group had a wide range of majors such as Information Systems and Information Technology and a Mechanical Engineer and me as Technical Systems Management and Architecture. This means that our multidisciplinary will have the leg up when it comes to implementing our product or at least have the resources to do so at our disposal. We brainstormed some ideas such as drones and tools for a GoPro, however, we did not apply the design thinking process yet and so determining the problem first would be the first. Upon determining the groups, we were taught how to utilize the Cura software and print something out on the Ultimaker machines. I choose to print out a bottle opener with DFA on it for my organization and it was extremely helpful learning how to do it on a low fidelity product first rather than jumping in with a tedious 3D printed model. ┬áSo now I am looking forward to further immersing myself into the technical side of it and being able to create my own models rather than obtaining it from thingiverse.


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