3D printing has the power to truly change the way that we look at manufacturing within the near future. Some people believe that personal 3D printing is going to be around within the next few years, and to some degree it already is around. Let's talk about how 3D printing is already, and will continue to effect the maker movement that we've come to cherish.
First off, what is the maker movement, and what does it have to do with 3D printing? The maker movement is a 'wave' of consumers, engineers, students, and every day people who are taking part in making things! These people come from various background, some of them are entrepreneurially based. Some are ex-programmers. Others are 3D modelers. Other people within the maker movement have backgrounds in electrical engineering. Some people within the maker movement have no particular background. There are quite a few backgrounds to look at, but most of them revolve around some form of engineering, or programming. What are these people doing? What does it mean to participate in the maker movement, and what does that have to do with 3D printing?
Typically, the maker movement involves the creation, fabrication, or 'making' of various parts, products, and systems. People at a household level are already out there creating their own custom parts, systems, or programs. 3D printing plays a huge role in the maker movement, because it gives these 'makers' the option to manufacture solid pieces from a 3D design. There is quite a bit of prototyping involved with this movement, and 3D printing is definitely there to show for it. What are some of the final products from 'makers' within the maker movement?
Lots of people have a basic knowledge about wiring systems, and electronics. Lots of these people are building their own miniature computers and robots, while writing the code for them. 3D printing comes into play by producing some very particular products for those applications. Some people focus mainly on the actual produced piece, rather than the code. It is easy for people on the consumer level to get their hands on the manufacturing technology known as 3D printing through various services, and various inexpensive printers that are in circulation today. There are tons of opportunities through this manufacturing technology.
When engineers, programmers, inventors, and various makers can get their innovative hands o the manufacturing technology that gives them a chance to manufacture whatever they like, the maker movement is in business. Oh wait, that's already here today. That is why there is starting to be a ton of growth within this industry. There are so many options to create new things, new ideas, and new products due to this manufacturing technology and because of this movement. This movement and 3D printing go hand in hand together, because they both promote the use of manufacturing on a small scale, such as within your basement or your garage. They promote the growth of technology, and sending in new ideas to the public.