When Craftsmanship Meets Technology
Steve Kwak was a dad and an IT pro who was just so fed up with dealing with cords. We all know this problem: they are everywhere, they make the room look messy, you can never find the right one. Steve took it upon himself to create a way to fix this. This was when he created a prototype for the Cord Buddy: a tool that uses magnets to keep the cords in place.
At first, Steve handled everything himself from manufacturing to accounting to sales. He began trying to sell his Cord Buddy by selling on Amazon and some small retailers. In 2013, Steven partnered with The Grommet to sell his invention. And he never looked back.
There are countless success stories like this. One person sees the need for something in the world and begins to solve the problem. This private, small scale way of creating often leads to the most innovative, unique projects. This is the basis of the Maker Movement.
What is the Maker Movement?
The modern day Maker Movement is a combination of the age old human drive to create, combined with a cutting edge technology. From 3D printers to laser cutters, from plotters to soldering machines: all of it can be used to make a perfect, personalized item that is just right for the person or their family.
It is an exciting new chapter in history. Makers combine traditional artisanship with the benefits and opportunities of modern technology. Today makers are doing projects using digital fabrication: they create one model using a computer program (ie. a 3D model or a 2D design) and let a 3D printer or a laser cutter do the job. The results are astonishing:
As Adweek defined it, the Maker Movement is connected independent inventors, designers, and tinkerers. It’s a community of everyone interested in practical creativity: from computer hackers to designers, from crafty moms to traditional artisans. A “maker” is anyone who, essentially, creates things. This spans all over the map: from crocheting to pickling to soldering robots to drone making.
The movement is based around the concept Do it Yourself (DIY). It is the kind of thing that popular sites like Pinterest were built on. Instead of purchasing goods, people use their own workshops, garages or bedrooms to create unique, personalized objects.
Where can you find the most creative makers?
Although a huge part of this includes baking, crafting, home improvement, a huge side of the Maker Movement is about technology. One of the main events of innovation and creativity, Maker Faire, connects hundreds of thousands of makers that come out to try the latest technology, test robots, fly drones or pick the best micro controllers.
Of course, makers show off their inventions and get to see other things that fellow makers are doing. Maker Faires happen in many cities around the world. This year’s biggest gathering, World Maker Faire is being held in New York on September 23rd and 24th.
This movement is so exciting because it is open source. It’s giving people the resources and ideas they need to become creators rather than users. Innovation that could make huge changes in the industry is occurring right now, in people’s homes.
Although it seems like mass production has taken over, modern technology is making it easier for individuals to create and sell customized, beautiful and creative projects.
Where can you find some ideas for making your own stuff?
- Instructables.com – One of the biggest databases for makers, where you can find blueprints for just about anything you like.
- Makezine.com – The main magazine that connects all makers.
- Thingiverse.com – Amazing database full of various ideas as well as 3D models for easy customization and use.
- Hackaday.com – As the old adage goes, life hack a day keeps the doctors away.
- Ikeahackers.net – Ideas how you can improve your TUFFING bunk bed or other furniture from IKEA.
What if you want a special personalized gift, but have explored all that Etsy has to offer already? Try these websites:
- Thegrommet.com – A selection of some of the most innovative tech gifts and products. P.S. CUJO is on The Grommet, too! We are among the makers and engineers that are ready to address the most specific needs, may it be a gift you seek to find or a gadget that improves your daily life. Only 3 percent of submissions are accepted to become a part of The Grommet’s selection. So obviously, we are excited and proud to be a part of this community of creators and inventors!
- Artfire.com – Another popular marketplace for handmade crafts. It is especially popular for handmade jewelry.
- Zibbet.com – Proudly advertises being home to 54,578 independent creative, and counting
We would love to see some of the amazing things you are making out there! It can be a chair, a cake, or a robotic arm: we’d love to see it all!
Share a picture of your creations in the comments of this article on our Facebook.