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The 21st Century Workshop - How to become a Digital Maker

Making things and Do it Yourself (DIY) have a long tradition. New tools are revolutionizing the workshop and local cottage industry and a new maker ethos has emerged.

The MakerFaire movement is part of the changing cultural and technological landscape. It's where science and art meet. It is where computer science and the physical sciences meet.

Governments around the world are taking an interest in supporting the growing phenomenon of “hackerspaces” — community clubhouses where hackers gather to build, invent or take things apart in their spare time. Some refer to these spaces as a kind of “shop class for the 21st century". They are designed to foster a new generation of innovators and to create new start-ups that will alter the geostrategic playing field. Fablabs are another term used to describe these community spaces. Open Source Hardware is another part of this new melange of ideas and practice.

Much of the following information was drawn from Chris Anderson's book Makers - The New Industrial Revolution. I recommend the book to anyone interested in innovation, in economic development and changing patterns of employment.

Wikipedia and You Tube offer a host of resources to understand and participate in this makerworld.

And perhaps as a forerunner of the new model of innovation and distrbution there is Techshop a shared space and tool vehicle for makers.

Getting Started with Microcontrollers and Electrical Engineering

Recommended Electronics Gear

  Arduino Resources
  Starter Kit: Adafruit Budget Arduino Kit
  Arduino - Getting Started
  Tutorial 01 for Arduino: Getting Acquainted with Arduino
  Soldering Iron: Weller Wessi Soldering Station
  Multimeter: Sparkfun Digital Multimeter
Getting Started with CAD (Computer Aided Design)

Recommended 2D Drawing Programs

  Free Option: Inkscape
  Paid Option: Adobe Illustrator
Recommended 3D Drawing Programs

  Free Option: Google Sketchup
  Free Option: Tinkercad
  Paid Option: Solidworks
Recommended 3D Printing Solutions


  Makerbot Replicator (Best Community)
  Ultimaker (Faster, More Expensive)


Recommended 3D Scanners


  Free Option: Autodesk 123D (iPad, Windows)


  Makerbot 3-D Scanner (Requires webcam & Pico Projector)
  Free: Meshlab Software for image cleanup

Recommended Cutting Solutions

  Service Bureau: Ponoko
  Software: Autodesk 123D

Recommended CNC Solutions (Machine Tool with Computer Numberical Control)

  Hobby Sized (Dremel Tools): MYDIYCNC
  Semi-Pro: Shopbot Desktop


  Canada: Canadian Crowdfunding? OSC Releases Consultation Paper On Potential Prospectus Exemptions 21 December 2012
Other Resources

  Motorola's modular phone - build your own - mix and match piece parts
  3D Builder - view, prepare, and print your 3D models on Windows 8.1-ready 3D printers
  Little Bits
  MIT FAB Lab - Resources
  Lessons From the New Manufacturing Revolution
  Make Magazine
  NGRAIN - interactive 3D software
  Etsy - Hand Made Buy and Sell
   Lego Mindstorms
  MFG.Com - B2B marketplace for sourcing manufactured parts
  Vancouver Hackerspace
  ArmyOfEvilRobots Blog
  MIT Center for Atoms and Bits - exploring the space between computer science and the physical sciences
  Mathematica to Arduino link - software to physical world
  Open Hardware Repository, a place on the web for electronics designers to collaborate on open hardware designs,
  Open-source Underwater Robots for Exploration and Education
   Julia Grace - The Hardware Renaissance is Here
  Web Interface with Control Hardware on Beaglebone Black