Makers or hackers are people who create things. This could be using technology such as electronics, computers, programming, CNC machining, 3-D printing or all of these. Also included is the wider DIY community from knitters to people who restore furniture and vehicles or people who renovate their houses and even somebody who likes to cook! Ordinary people can make extraordinary things.
The maker movement has accelerated with the introduction of hacker spaces. These are places where nerds can congregate to share their knowledge, learn and build things together. Many hacker spaces are important centres for the development of open source software and hardware. Most hacker spaces have open membership and want people from all walks of life to join. Just because you do not know anything about technology does not bar you from membership. You can collaborate with people who do have the knowledge to make your dreams reality.
Hackers pull apart devices and use the parts to create amazing new devices such as robots.
I think eventually makers will transform our society. Soon it will be possible to make any sort of device, even a mobile phone, with off-the-shelf components. We won’t be dependent any more on huge multinational companies to make all our stuff. You could download all the design documentation for free, then 3-D print a really cool custom housing for it. Stick in all the components and then download the latest version of android and install it on your new phone. You could then connect wirelessly to a public mesh network – for free. Before this happens the mobile phone may have become obsolete – replaced with a smart watch or something.
Further on into the future, if breakthroughs continue in robotics and 3-D printing, it will be possible to 3-D print almost anything. Just put all of the components in the correct resource bin and press print. The current proprietary world where everything is protected by intellectual property laws and copyright will start to be irrelevant. In this world everyone is a maker.
What is the Maker Movement?
The Maker Movement is the convergence of social media, the Internet, high technology, 3-D printing, free 3-D design packages, open source software, open source hardware, computer programming and more. It is now possible everyday people to create extraordinary gadgets.
What is a Maker?
The simple answer is we all are. Once upon a time our society was full of makers: the butcher the baker, the candlestick maker etc. Throughout our recent history and the industrial revolution we have transformed from makers to consumers with everything we buy being manufactured in large factories or imported from overseas. There were always people that continued making people who chose to make their own clothes, knitting and pottering around in the back shed.
Now I believe we are at a stage where normal people are once again able to make even the most complex of electronic gadgets at home or in a hacker space. With the Internet and social media we are all makers again. When you post a status on Facebook, take and upload photos, upload a video to YouTube, modify a Wikipedia article or add a definition to Urban Dictionary – you are making.
What is a Hacker Space?
Also known as, maker space, hack space, hack lab and of course the back shed. These are places where nerds can congregate to share their knowledge, learn and build things together. Many hacker spaces are important centres for the development of open source software and hardware. Most hacker spaces have open membership and want people from all walks of life to join. Just because you do not know anything about technology does not bar you from membership. You can collaborate with people who do have the knowledge to make your dreams reality. Oh, and did I mention, it’s lots of fun.
Who can join?
Anybody can join. We welcome people of all ages, cultures, backgrounds etc. You do not need to have a background in computer programming or electronics. If you do join you may choose to collaborate with others or pursue your own solo projects. I look forward to the Eastern Suburbs Hackers Group being a place where you can ask any sort of question and you don’t feel embarrassed being a newbie – because we were all newbies once.