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President Obama proclaims National Day of Making



President Barack Obama has proclaimed June 18, 2014, as National Day of Making, calling upon all Americans to observe the day with programs, ceremonies and activities that encourage a new generation of Makers and manufacturers to share their talents and hone their skills.

Below is the official text of Obama’s Presidential Proclamation:

Our Nation is home to a long line of innovators who have fueled our economy and transformed our world. Through the generations, American inventors have lit our homes, propelled humanity into the skies, and helped people across the planet connect at the click of a button. American manufacturers have never stopped chasing the next big breakthrough. As a country, we respond to challenge with discovery, determined to meet our great tests while seeking out new frontiers. During the National Day of Making, we celebrate and carry forward this proud tradition.

Today, more and more Americans are gaining access to 21st century tools, from 3D printers and scanners to design software and laser cutters. Thanks to the democratization of technology, it is easier than ever for inventors to create just about anything. Across our Nation, entrepreneurs, students, and families are getting involved in the Maker Movement. My Administration is increasing their access to advanced design and research tools while organizations, businesses, public servants, and academic institutions are doing their part by investing in makerspaces and mentoring aspiring inventors.

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I am committed to helping Americans of all ages bring their ideas to life. Alongside our partners, my Administration is getting tens of thousands of young people involved in making. We are supporting an apprenticeship program for modern manufacturing and encouraging startups to build their products here at home. Because science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) are essential to invention, we launched a decade-long national effort to train 100,000 excellent STEM teachers. And we are expanding STEM AmeriCorps so that this summer, 18,000 low-income students will have learning opportunities in these vital fields.

As we observe this day, I am proud to host the first-ever White House Maker Faire. This event celebrates every maker — from students learning STEM skills to entrepreneurs launching new businesses to innovators powering the renaissance in American manufacturing. I am calling on people across the country to join us in sparking creativity and encouraging invention in their communities.

Today, let us continue on the path of discovery, experimentation, and innovation that has been the hallmark not only of human progress, but also of our Nation’s progress. Together, let us unleash the imagination of our people, affirm that we are a Nation of makers, and ensure that the next great technological revolution happens right here in America.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 18, 2014, as National Day of Making. I call upon all Americans to observe this day with programs, ceremonies, and activities that encourage a new generation of makers and manufacturers to share their talents and hone their skills.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this seventeenth day of June, in the year of our Lord two thousand fourteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-eighth.

BARACK OBAMA

3D printing a city of ideas

Writing for the official MakerBot blog, Blake Eskin notes that buildings designed today may not open for well over a decade. As such, architects often create models to help people understand what the future structures will actually look like on the ground.

However, before presenting their ideas to clients, governments and communities, architects need to envision the final design themselves with sketches, computer renderings, animations and physical models.

“The earlier you can look at a physical object, the sooner you can understand a building and also make better design decisions,” said W. Scott Allen, an associate architect and designer for Perkins+Will, a global architecture firm that has 7 MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printers in its offices.

Indeed, Allen recently set up more than 40 6-inch towers on an office conference room table to reimagine the space around the Bernardine Monastery in Lviv, Ukraine.

“You might have an entire set of models that are exceptionally functional and some that are wildly impractical but just look really awesome,” explained Allen, who made the models on a MakerBot Replicator 2.

“Rapid prototyping profoundly changes our own creative process. Making all of these on the MakerBot frees us up to test more ideas for clients and come at a nicer solution in the same timeframe. You can almost print at the same speed that you can draw.”

As we’ve previously discussed on Bits & Pieces, the DIY Maker Movement has been using Atmel-powered 3D printers like MakerBot and RepRap for some time now. However, 3D printing has clearly entered a new and important stage in a number of spaces including the medical sphere, architectural arena and science lab. To be sure, the meteoric rise of 3D printing has paved the way for a new generation of Internet entrepreneurs, Makers and do-it-yourself (DIY) manufacturers. As such, the lucrative 3D printing industry remains on track to be worth a staggering $3 billion by 2016.

How 3D printing empowers Makers

Chelsea Schelly, assistant professor of social sciences at Michigan Tech, says 3D printing can be used to help empower individuals.

“When you produce something yourself instead of purchasing it, that changes your relationship to it,” Schelly explained. “You are empowered by it.”

As Dennis Walikainen of Michigan Tech News notes, the principle might sound simple at first, although its ramifications are wide ranging, especially for middle and high school educators. In fact, that’s where Schelly’s 3D printing research began – at a teacher workshop coordinated by 3D printing guru Joshua Pearce.

During the workshop, one local high school teacher designed and printed a snowblower part that typically retails for $200.

“Instead, he made it himself and saved the money. And he saved the hassle of bringing the machine to the shop to get it fixed,” said Schelly. “The early feedback from the teachers is that the students are more engaged. They take pride in making these things for themselves. This could be seen as part of the larger ‘Maker’s Movement,’ where people are doing their own production processes.”

Joshua Pearce concurred, noting that more individuals are likely to begin designing and creating their own products as 3D printer prices drop significantly.

“As 3D printing [is] open-sourced, the costs plummeted from tens of thousands of dollars to $1,600 for assembled printers today, and the new RepRap printers are down to $500 in parts. As the price drop continues, they will become household items, like desktop printers. This has the potential to disrupt the way we manufacture,” he explained.

“The number of designs is exploding. There are a lot of helpers out there. Give us what you’ve got, and we’ll build on it and give you what we’ve got—and we all benefit. [For example], an open-source Chinese smartphone, made with a 3D printer, was [recently] posted online for $130, and 100,000 sold in 90 seconds.”

As we’ve previously discussed on Bits & Pieces, the DIY Maker Movement has been using Atmel-powered 3D printers like MakerBot and RepRap for some time now. However, 3D printing has clearly entered a new and important stage in a number of spaces including the medical sphere, architectural arena, science lab and even on the battlefield.

Indeed, the meteoric rise of 3D printing has paved the way for a new generation of Internet entrepreneurs, Makers and do-it-yourself (DIY) manufacturers. So it comes as little surprise that the lucrative 3D printing industry is on track to be worth a staggering $3 billion by 2016.