++++++ A great review of the educational powers of making. Hands-on experience can make students into scientists, artists, and engineers right now. Taking apart items to see how they work directly relates conceptual lessons to reality. By building first and analyzing through models, an iterative process connects thought with action. Sharing ideas can spread the excitement of discovery, and break the barriers of “ownership” that limit the spread of information.
++++++ Digital 3D to sewing patterns - CAD generally isn't used for soft goods products, but this maker adapts a video game model to sewing patterns and brings the character to life. Sewing patterns are usually developed via physical prototyping so this seems to be a new method for interfacing the digital world with fabric design.
++++++ Launching products through crowd funding is a growing trend that has spawned a marketplace where users pre-buy an item and if the funds reach a critical mass, the item is funded and produced in small-to-medium size production runs. Websites like “kickstarter” and “indiegogo” connect entrepreneurs to an audience interested in innovative projects, enabling the realization of projects that may struggle to reach commercial success through traditional industries. Make Magazine’s Maker Fair NYC had presentations from assorted entrepreneurs who have produced their ideas, sharing the challenges they faced and what it took to overcome them.
++++++ Hacker-spaces or Maker-spaces are fabrication studios open to the public that act as a gathering place for a variety of makers. Given the usual solitary task of realizing projects, spaces for group work connect specialists in order to design collaborative projects that surpass what individuals could accomplish on their own. Excellent way to learn new skills- electronics specialists can teach basic circuits + soldering, fabric specialists can teach pattern design and sewing, computer specialists can teach programming and robotics.
++++++ Mobile maker-spaces take the tech community to the road, packaging a fabrication shop in a large box truck to tour schools. Stanford University students run such an operation, dubbed the "Sparktruck." Equipped with a 3D printer, laser cutter, vynil cutter, and assorted hand tools, the truck introduces classes of kids to digital prototyping technology. Kids generate ideas and write them down on post it notes. This mobile platform is a less expensive way to educate the most amount of kids as opposed to 3D printers in every school.
++++++ This article goes in-depth talking about the economics of making, how small scale local production feeds the local economy and builds community. Beyond the community he sees an economic model that supports a healthly lifestyle, unlike the workaholic, stress-saturated lifestyle perpetuated by traditional economics (like capitalism).
Already he sees a shift from a “time-is-money economy of debt-based currency, corporations, and hourly wages to a real-time steady state ecology of alternative currencies, creating value through making, and direct peer-to-peer exchange.”
An example in Spain is a derelict cookie factory that was repurposed into a maker space. The cheap rent and creative environment attracted a range of techies, artists, musicians, and makers of all types. Aside from the day-to-day interaction, this community also puts on festivals to draw in people from the town and kids. One such festival focused on recycling, utilizing waste as a raw material for creation.