Written By
Max Brown

09.28.16

What is the maker movement?

The maker movement has evolved from nascent novelty to a mature, viable option for mass production. Most recently, a partnership between multinational auto manufacturer Peugeot and Divergent 3D signals a continuation of this trend. The new partnership plans to explore 3D printing for volume production. Brian Patrick Eha of Fortune explores the rise of hardware companies that are part of a growing maker movement, which is poised to change the dynamics of global commerce.

What is the aim of the maker movement? To empower people to create anything they can imagine. To take machinery that used to be cost prohibitive and make it accessible to everyday people.  We see this on a local scale in Los Angeles with hardware incubators like Make in LA.

The theme of the maker movement is reminiscent of a time when artisan craftsmanship was the norm. This also coincides with an increasing desire to move away from generic and disposable goods and towards quality. Going beyond the desires of artists and hobbyists, 3D printing has practical applications as well. Industrial designers and engineers use 3D printing to rapid prototype ideas. The faster people can iterate on their designs, the more quickly they can bring their ides to fruition.

How popular is the maker movement? New startup Glowforge recently received $27.9 million in preorders, after already receiving $9 million in funding from maker enthusiasts including venture-capital firm Foundry Group. And littleBits is an education tool that is used in over 3,000 schools across the globe. It serves as a tool to facilitate technological literacy in children and introduce them to engineering concepts. Even better, exposing children to these unique tools helps create the next generation of innovative makers.

For more insight on the maker movement, read the full article on Fortune.