DIY by the numbers: Why the Maker Movement is here to stay

Throughout the world, millions of engineers, Makers, hobbyists, entrepreneurs and innovators are fueling what has been dubbed as the next “Industrial Revolution.”


“The next Industrial Revolution is right around the corner, and it’s going to be bigger than the Internet — or so says a growing army of hackers, designers, artists and entrepreneurs,” USA Today’s Tyler Wells recently penned in a piece detailing the rise of DIY culture, contributing its emergence to the low-cost, high-imagination level of makerspaces popping up across the country.

In the United States alone, there are approximately 135 million adult Makers — that’s well over half (57%) of the American population ages 18 and up — not including children and teens both interested in STEM and tinkering. Evident by the plethora of Maker Faires, makerspaces and other hubs spanning across the nation, this segment is expanding rapidly in size and economic heft. In fact, did you know the Maker Movement pumps roughly $29 billion into the economy each year? What’s even more impressive is that these figures will surely grow as more and more of the population is introduced to and begins to embrace the DIY culture.

“With the right motivation and time on your hands, you can now go through your own personal industrial revolution in 90 days, and can launch a company or product within those 90 days,” TechShop CEO Mark Hatch explains. Furthering the Techshop CEO’s belief, Gartner’s Jim Tully recently projected that by 2018, nearly 50% of the Internet of Things solutions would be provided by startups which are less than three years old.

Martha Stewart, who recently demonstrated her passion for the growing drone community, has also emphasized the importance of the movement time and time again. The queen of DIY revealed, “The Maker spirit is vital to our economy. In the U.S., 28 million small businesses create nearly two out of every three new jobs and employ half the private sector workforce. That’s why I believe it’s so important to support what they do. After so many years of seeking and spotlighting these creative entrepreneurs, I am excited that this movement has finally come to the forefront of American culture.”

Yet, the Maker Movement isn’t only limited to hobbyists and engineers but has transcended well beyond the walls of the 200-plus hackerspaces and labs. Not only is the notion of DIY being seeded and nurtured by Makers, it is in full blossom throughout the world at rapid pace, ranging from consumer products and mainstream retail to manufacturing and consumer goods.


These statistics are a mere testament to the emergence of the movement. Hear ye hear ye, a renaissance is underway!

  • In 2013, there were 100 Maker Faires around the world including its two flagship events in the Bay Area and New York and 93 worldwide mini-faires.
  • There were over 280,000 Maker Faire attendees in total last year, with a 62% rise in attendance from 2009 to 2013.
  • Around 70,000 people headed to World Maker Faire in 2013, with 47% of them being new attendees.
  • The White House held its inaugural Maker Faire in 2014. “Today’s D.I.Y. is tomorrow’s ‘Made in America.'”
  • MAKE Magazine subscriptions are up to 125,00 and growing at a rate of 20% annually.
  • There are now over 200 hackerspaces across the United States. (New York Times, May 2013)
  • There approximately 350 Fab Labs spanning across 40 countries. (World Bank, August 2014)
  • 3 million people pledged over $480 million in crowdfunding projects in 2013. (The Next Web, January 2014)
  • The world’s crowdfunding sites reached close to $5 billion in transactions last year. (Forbes, April 2013)
  • Since its launch in 2009, more than $116 million has been raised for over 1,400 technology projects — a number of which have been hardware gadgets powered by Atmel
  • By 2025, crowdfunding investment market is projected to reach $93 billion. (PBS, December 2013)
  • The 3D printing market is projected to be worth $8 billion by 2020 (MarketsandMarkets, November 2013)
  • World demand for 3D printing is projected to increase more than 20% per year to $5 billion in 2017. (Reports and Reports, December 2013)
  • Worldwide shipments of 3D printers priced less than $100,000 grew 49% in 2013, reaching a total of 56,507 units. (Gartner, October 2013)
  • The U.S. market for 3D printer manufacturing will reach $1.4 billion in 2014, attaining a CAGR of 22.8% from 2009 to 2014. (Forbes, August 2014)
  • 3D printers will grow from a $288 million market in 2012 to $5.7 billion in 2017, attaining an 81.9% CAGR. (Forbes, August 2014
  • Much of the growth in 3D printing from 2014 to 2020 will come from the healthcare and aerospace industries. (MarketsandMarkets, November 2013)
  • 67% of manufacturers are currently implementing 3D printing either in full production or pilot and 25% intend to adopt 3D printing in the future. (ForbesAugust 2014)
  • 48% of large manufacturers plan on returning production in the United States. (BCG, April 2012)
  • About 14% of U.S. companies definitely plan to move some of their manufacturing back home. (Wall Street Journal, July 2014)
  • Chris Anderson estimates that the DIY Drone community currently boasts well over 15,000 drones, compared to just 7,000 “professional” drones in use worldwide by military forces.
  • Etsy has 875,000 shops with 13,000,000 items and out of those, 2,900,000 items sold monthly. (BitRebels, June 2012)
  • There are also 15 million DIYers in over 150 countries on Etsy with 690,000 new members joining each month. (BitRebels, June 2012)
  • It was estimated in mid-2011 that over 300,000 official Arduinos had been commercially produced, and in 2013 that 700,000 official boards were in users’ hands. (Medea, April 2013)
  • Distributors estimate that over one million Atmel powered Arduinos have been sold since 2005. (Designboom, September 2013)

As Arduino’s Michael Shiloh explained, “It [Maker Movement] is sort of like cooking. You don’t need to be a chef to cook, but almost everyone can cook something.” Without question, the Maker Movement has already and will continue to thrive in our DIY-centric culture. In time, we can surely expect to see Makers shape our future — one project at a time.

Don’t forget to join the Atmel team in Queens this week for the 5th Annual World Maker Faire. Undoubtedly, this year will be amazing as an expected 750+ Makers and 85,000+ attendees head to the New York Hall of Science to see the latest DIY gizmos and gadgets, as well as AVR Man in the flesh. Once again a Silversmith Sponsor of the event, Atmel will put the spotlight on everything from Arduino to Arduino-related projects. See you soon!

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