An All-in-One Guide to the Maker Culture and 3D Printing


The maker culture is a thriving movement amongst all types of people who want to create and design their own objects, crafts, or computer code. This DIY community is using state-of-the-art technology such as 3D printers to design and craft their own 3D objects. This introductory guide will give you an overview of today's maker movement, resources for getting started, 3D printer reviews, links to actual project designs and instructions, maker publications, events, and directories, videos about 3D printing and maker culture, and an article list of resources about libraries and makerspaces.


What is the Maker Movement?

    1. The Maker Movement
      This is an excellent article from Raising Geeks about the beginnings and evolution of the Maker movement. It provides a wealth of links to articles, videos, resources, and community locations of makerspaces. It's a must-read for anyone looking into the maker culture.
    2. Maker culture
      This Wikipedia article gives a great overview of the Maker movement and provides plenty of links to similar subcultures such as hackerspaces, DIY culture, etc.
    3. Is the ‘Maker Movement' the next Industrial Revolution?
      ZDNet writers provide a great article on the maker culture with this piece which describes the movement as a "social revolution".
    4. What Is the Maker Movement and Why Should You Care?
      The Huffington Post's Tech blog has an exellent article discussing the maker culture, here's just a snippet: "Craft nights are replacing book clubs. Libraries and museums are being turned into "Makerspaces," physical locations where people can come together to make. The sale of sewing kits in Walmart stores has recently gone up 30 percent. And just last year, someone created Christmas cookies using a 3D printer."



Getting Started Guides

    1. Make: Ultimate Guide to 3D Printing
      Make magazine has some excellent guides to getting started with 3D printing including their special issue, The Ultimate Guide to 3D Printing which is available online.
    2. 3D Printing for Beginners
      This website provides many guides for getting started. Newbies will be taught the ins and outs of 3D modeling software, what materials to use for 3D printing, and much more.
    3. How to Get Started with 3D Printing (Without Spending a Fortune)
      The folks at Lifehacker have put together this great guide to getting started with 3D printing. They provide videos, ideas inspiration, and 3D printer reviews.
    4. Introduction to 3D Printing
      This is a great guide from Instructables that will set you on your way to 3D printing bliss. It discusses technologies, printers, materials, Online communities and services, designing and printing, and examples.


 3D Printers

    1. The shape of things to come: A consumer's guide to 3D printers
      This is an excellent guide that reviews and provides feature sets for 20+ 3D printers. From the authoritative writers at Engadget.
    2. MakerShed's 3D Printers & CNC Machines List
      The Maker Shed has a great guide to 3D Printers & CNC Machines which provides a quick snapshot of printer options ranging in price from $299 – $5,539.99.
    3. Choc Creator 1
      This is the 3D printer for me!! It prints everything in chocolate. This is not only a great innovation in the world of 3D printing, but may indicate that these ingenious devices may be designed to print certain types of objects in the future.



3D Projects

    1. Thingsiverse
      Make, share, and discover over 100,000 3D models at Thingsiverse. This is the world's largest 3D printing community and a place where you can find designs, talk about creations, and remix 3D things, no matter their technical expertise or previous experience.
    2. Makerspace Sample Projects
      The Makerspace directory has put together this list of articles that are all project ideas and detailed, step-by-step instructions for making 3D things such as a Soda Bottle Rocket, Bird Feeder, Amazing Rubber Band Cars, and more.


 Maker Publications

    1. Make
      A bi-monthly publication from Maker Media, an O'Reilly Media company. MAKE brings the do-it-yourself mindset to all the technology in your life. MAKE is loaded with exciting projects that help you make the most of your technology at home and away from home. It follows in line with the Hacks books and Hardware Hacking Projects, but it takes a highly visual and personal approach.


Maker Events

    1. Maker Faire Events
      The Maker Faire is a festival of invention and celebration of the Maker movement. "Part science fair, part county fair, and part something entirely new, Maker Faire is an all-ages gathering of tech enthusiasts, crafters, educators, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, science clubs, authors, artists, students, and commercial exhibitors. All of these "makers" come to Maker Faire to show what they have made and to share what they have learned."


Makerspaces Directories

    1. The Maker Map
      An online and mobile map of makerspaces in museums, retail outlets, etc. Why aren't Libraries a category in this application? Perhaps not enough of them are listed as having makerspaces! Libraries offering this type of DIY space will want to list themselves here.
    2. Hackerspaces
      This is a directory of events and listing of all active hackerspaces throughout the world as well as a source of information and resources.
    3. Makerspace
      This is a directory of makerspaces as well as a community and source of information and teacher resources.


Maker Videos




Libraries and Makerspaces Resource List

  1. Libraries, Hackspaces and E-waste: how libraries can be the hub of a young maker revolution
  2. What is a Makerspace? Creativity in the Library
  3. Makerspaces, Participatory Learning, and Libraries
  4. The Makings of Maker Spaces, Part 1: Space for Creation, Not Just Consumption
  5. Library as Makerspace: Creating and Nurturing Communities of Teen Writers
  6. A Makerspace Takes Over A Local Library
  7. Making Things in Academic Libraries
  8. Makerspaces Move into Academic Libraries
  9. Manufacturing Makerspaces
  10. The Library as a Makerspace
  11. Fab Labs at the Library