There is a movement afoot and, with the help of education, tools and equipment (such as welcomes you at MIDAS!) to more easily and cost-efficiently bring ideas to life, it’s gaining tremendous steam!
The Maker Movement – or in more familiar terms, Do-It-Yourself – is growing in participation in schools, communities and industry throughout the province, and, of course, beyond. What makes this a movement, rather than simply the act of puttering in one’s garage, is the resources, equipment and materials available to support it in ways we’ve never seen before.
This movement is grassroots innovation and it’s being enthusiastically embraced and fostered in more and more communities, nurturing an ever growing number of people, creative and curious.
The digital age has really blown the lid off what was formerly tinkering, or on a larger scale, inventing and innovating with significant effort and resources to bring an idea to prototype, using specific manufacturers located by and large overseas. Inventing and innovating, as it has previously been known, has required very specialized software and fabrication equipment, not easily accessible either in terms of cost or location and has made it prohibitive for potential innovators to see a project through to completion let alone market.
With technology expanding as it is, so fast and with such scope, the creative process of invention and innovation is being transformed. The access we have to imaging, scanning, drafting and other specialized software as well as the fabrication equipment to translate plans into tangible, surprisingly high quality, prototypes allows and encourages Maker creativity and invention unlike any time before.
MIDAS, and our MIT certified facilities, is a great example. As part of this movement gathering momentum, every day we see makers contributing to what is becoming their own market ecosystem, developing incredible new products and services. The combination of ingenious makers and innovative technologies such as the Raspberry Pi mini-computer and Arduino micro-controller along with 3D printing are driving innovation in manufacturing, engineering, industrial design, hardware technology and education.
Makerspaces are cropping up in communities big and small. Offering everything from Repair Cafes – where makers offer up their talents to fix and repurpose everything from computers to mobile phones to toaster ovens – to workshops on soldering and Arduino to imaging software education to actual fabrication and prototyping equipment, as we do here.
Inquiry-based and more hands-on education trends are beginning to trend as well. Schools, for pre-schoolers through secondary students, are offering more and more resources and opportunities to explore and nurture their curiosity. Through electronics and technology, young people are challenging their own creativity, innovating unlike ever before through coding, robotics and other fun and hands-on ways of expanding their knowledge and experience in the various facets of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art (Design), Mathematics, or STEAM.
While many makers consider themselves simply hobbyists or enthusiasts they are a vibrant and fundamental source of innovation, embracing creativity, developing new products and generating value in the Maker community. In fact, it’s not unusual for some of these Makers to take the leap as entrepreneurs and start companies. We see it all the time!
While there are several industry professionals who take advantage of the incredible Maker opportunities at MIDAS, it’s not necessary to be an engineer or techie to enjoy all a space like MIDAS offers. Check out our #madeatMIDAS features to see the examples of ordinary people making extraordinary things.
That’s what’s so great about the Maker Movement: accessibility! You don’t even need to bring an idea… just your imagination and curiosity. The ideas will flow soon enough!
What can MIDAS can help you make! Check out our calendar of courses HERE!
Introduction to MIDAS from MIDAS Fab Lab on Vimeo.