What do a fifth grade student and a seasoned executive have in common? Not a lot, you’d think. At least that’s what I thought before I started my 11-week, 22-state listening tour to meet MakerBot customers throughout the United States.
In every school and business I’ve visited in the past 3 weeks, I’ve seen a multi-generational community join together around a central creative purpose. Everyone wants to take their big idea napkin sketches to the next level, and a communal 3D space devoted to Real-Time design and prototyping allows that.
These 3D maker spaces, and our customers, continue to blow me away.
In CT, at the Whitby School, sixth graders and their teachers move through a professional product-development process: research, design, make, iterate, repeat. Students and teachers imagine and create something out of nothing in the classroom.
In NY, at the State University of New Paltz, college students run the SUNY Innovation Center and help local entrepreneurs test and iterate on their ideas with 3D technology. Each brings their unique skills to the conversation: entrepreneurs bring their business acumen, and college students, who now accept Desktop 3D printing as the “new normal,” bring their Real-Time prototyping experience. Together, they quickly leap from 2D conceptual ideas to physical products and solutions.
In GA, at Georgia Institute of Technology, students run an Invention Studio that includes a wood shop, metal shop, electronics shop, and now a 3D print shop complete with “3DP Masters.” These 3DP Masters help student and faculty inventors create, quickly iterate, and print on demand.
In FL, a big part of the MakerBot family is Florida Polytechnic University, where their RAD MakerSpace Innovation Center brings together faculty, students (current and prospective), entrepreneurs, and young people from the community around one idea – creating and turning hypothetical ideas like a floating light into reality.
Whether people have decades of professional experience or are young students, the divide between the generations is not great when it comes to dreaming big ideas and turning them into reality.
I’m lucky. I’m seeing a new start-up culture emerging that bridges generations, and these communal 3D Maker Spaces are becoming magnets for quickly turning sketches into reality.
3D Maker Spaces give every generation a common language for going from Creating to Making.
|Tagged with||3d design, 3d printing, education, Georgia State University, Georgia Tech University, Jonathan Jaglom, Kennesaw State University, Learning Lab, listening tour, Yuri Salnikoff||Leave a comment|