Makers: the digital inventors 2.0
People have always liked DIYs, using their ideas and their manual skills to create new products. Today, with the digital era, the innovative artisans are called Makers, people passionate about technology that design innovative and futuristic products.
Who are the Makers?
The makers are all those people who create innovative products and share their ideas thanks to their digital knowledge and using technological tools. Their approach is “let’s do it together,” instead of “do-it-yourself.” They are in fact a well-spread international community, present in over 100 countries, that exchange information either directly on the web, or in the Fab Labs which are specifically organized laboratories.
“The maker is a person who feels pleasure in building objects with his own hands, with his own inventiveness, his technique, and his skills. The maker does what the artisans have been doing for centuries, with love for their work and his art, with the support of new technologies: he is a digital artisan, who uses new tools to reinvent a profession that is disappearing.”
(From the manual for aspiring Makers “DEL MAKER.- the practical and complete guide to becoming protagonists of the new industrial revolution”)
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What do the Makers do?
The new 2.0 artisans create their products through technological tools such as cutters, printers, 3D pens, software, and open source hardware. For example, they can build a light bulb by equipping it with a Wi-Fi processor that controls twitter and changes the color of the light if someone tweets his name. They draw their products on the computer and then print them on 3-d printers. Makers from all over the world are using a lot of the Italian “Arduino” hardware platform. Thanks to which they can quickly and easily make small devices such as lights, speed controls for motors, light sensors, temperature and humidity and many other projects which use sensors, actuators, and communication with other devices.
Mini Makers grow up
For the little creative geniuses, many educational centers, associations, and schools organize mini-makers, or laboratory activities on STEAM objectives: Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Music. In these laboratories software designed for a class are often used such as Scratch, TinkerCAD, Raspberry Pi and Blocky games. In particular, children will have fun learning the Modeling of objects in 2D and 3D, 3D Printing, Interactive Art, Robotics, Video Art, Electronic Music, Computer Programming. There are many schools that from 2016 have been able to experience the Minimaker 3d printer. It is the first 3D printer designed for schools and has already defined the new standards regarding safety and reliability for educational use. Thanks to this new tool, children and young people can participate in FAbLabs, real creative Ateliers, where each engine is functional to the educational path of each learner.