Wikipedia describes the Maker Movement as a “contemporary culture or subculture representing a technology-based extension of DIY culture.”
Typical interests pursued by Maker culture include engineering-oriented projects such as electronics, Arduino-based robotics, 3D printing with Atmel-powered printers like the MakerBot or RepRap and the use of CNC tools.
Larry Magid, a technology journalist who writes for the San Jose Mercury News, recently noted that the Maker Movement is growing exponentially by taking advantage of 3D printers, inexpensive microcontrollers, robotics, CAD and the ability to control machines with computers, tablets and smartphones.
The truth is, says Magid, we are all Makers to a certain extent, even if some of us don’t know it yet.
“All of us – even Leonardo da Vinci – were late comers as far as the Maker movement is concerned,” he explained. “Our prehistoric ancestors millions of years ago, figured out how to turn stones into tools so that they could make things. Only they didn’t have fairs, books and websites to document the process.”
And now Will.i.am, the technophile founder of The Black Eyed Peas, has offered a ringing endorsement of the Maker Movement and related culture on Facebook.
“Every young person is going to be inspired to be a maker from now on,” said Will.i.am. “It’s like how everyone used to want to be a musician, an actor, an athlete — but a maker is what people are going to want to be.”
Indeed, as Arduino’s Massimo Banzi once famously noted, “You don’t need anyone’s permission to make something great.”