2 Must-Know Machines To Understand “Makers Movement”

Imagine when you have a specific image of iPhone case designed in your head. If you really want it, you’ll probably first go through all the EC sites. Staring your screen for an hour, only to find out that the one you’re looking for isn’t there can be quite annoying. With tiny piece of hope, you will probably walk to your nearby stores just to make sure that there isn’t one.

Not finding the one you want can be quite frustrating. Moreover, looking for an alternative solution isn’t the best feeling.

Well, what if you can turn your dream-iPhone case into reality, and make it on your own?

The makers movement is a key to this, letting you to explore, become maker yourself and to actually have the things you want in real life.


So what is the makers movement all about?

Makers movement is a trend where it allows individuals (YOU) to become a maker.

In the past, manufacturers were the ones who used tools and machines. They would be at their lab, working on their projects to make things. What about now? We have all kinds of machines, such as 3D printer or later cutter, which are open for you at makerspaces all around the world. With the spirit of DIY (do-it-yourself) and DIWO (do-it-with-others), you can design anything you want. Who knows, you might be the future Thomas Edison.  

So, what are the must know machines that you should know to understand a bit about this whole momentum?

We had a great opportunity to join together with an excellent maker Morishita-san from HILLTOP, company located in Kyoto which is professionalized in aluminum processing and prototype development,  at the workshop to learn the types of machines. Here’s what we learnt.

3D PRINTER | Making by adding

A 3D printer is a printer to make three-dimensional object. It moves like an industrial robot where the successive layers of material are piled on top of one another through computer control. To put this simple, it’s a printer to make things by adding layers.

What can you make? Well, basically anything!

If you are a beginner, you can brainstorm your idea of creating your one-and-only smart phone case or even cool cookie cutter for baking. If you are planning about having your own startup, you can use it for a prototype.

LASER CUTTER | Making by reducing

Laser cutting is a technology that uses a laser to cut any material.

Once you set up the design and size, a laser cutter works by directing a powerful laser beam onto a material, and it is cut or etched precisely according to shape. In simple terms, it doesn’t use a blade but cuts with the beam of light, and not by adding but by taking away.

What you can do with it? Again, anything you want! You can use a paper and turn it into an artwork, or create and curve your own stamp.

Thanks to this movement, we won’t need to sit and wait for stores to place the goods anymore, but it lets us make things on our own, with the help of others. Pretty cool eh?

To conclude I would like to ask you a question.

If you were to make anything you want, what would it be?

Again… a huge thank you goes to Morishita-san, who is a chief designer at HILLTOP, a prototyping professional and certainly a great lecturer! If you want to learn more about prototyping development or aluminium processing make sure to check their website.

If you don’t want to miss this cool/contemporary phenomenon, AND if you’re student in Kyoto… there’s no excuse why you won’t say hi to Kyoto University Entrepreneur Platform. Great place with all sorts of machines to explore. Great hosts, too! To find out more make sure to check their website (Japanese) and follow their Facebook page for upcoming events/workshops.

Last but not least, thank you so much to all the participants at the workshop for exciting maker’s experience. Hope to see you all soon!

Featured Photo: “Jam Jar Collective laser-cuts, Maker Faire, Newcastle, UK by Cory Doctorow is licensed under by CC BY -SA2.0

Photo: “Zortrax M200 3D printer” by Creative Tools is licensed under by CC By 2.0