Maker FaireIt’s not too often that the blood literally drains from our faces at the exact moment that we stumble across the realisation of how something can radically change the world.

In fact, the last time that rather weird feeling happened was back in 2011 at an international trade show in Taipei, where we stood marvelling at the future of human transportation in a giant convention centre.

But…it happened again on Saturday at the V&A Waterfront.

We were at the Maker Faire.

A seemingly chaotic blend of overly-enthusiastic geeks and technology, all presented very much like an underground hacker convention. On display was a mind-boggling collection of 3D printers making everything from Star Wars characters to heart stents, Arduino circuit boards powering LED games and VR-enabled closed circuit drone racing – to single out just a few highlights.

On the surface of it, it may just have looked like a bunch of kids playing with geeky toys. But on more considered reflection, what we were witnessing was a glimpse at the future of manufacturing and world trade.

It felt exactly the same as blogging did in 2004.

Maker Faire is a global event created by Make magazine to “celebrate arts, crafts, engineering, science projects and the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) mindset”. But for us it’s a whole lot more than that.

It’s the antithesis of drab, regulated, expensive, structured manufacturing. The event represents the very essence of the can-do-anything collective mindset that is so exciting at this juncture of time. Technology as we often say here, has eliminated the gatekeepers that used to exist in this space and the possibilities that this capability opens up now, are truly staggering.

If you are a designer, a manufacturer or an engineer – you should consider it an obligation to get to the next one. Because the value innovation that this technology is about to already producing will change your world forever.

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As an added something to chew on – here’s MIT Media Lab’s glass 3D printer that creates optically transparent glass objects that can be e-mailed to other printers around the world at the click of a button.

GLASS from Mediated Matter Group on Vimeo.

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