Last night, I spent time at one of the Create Spaces in Seattle called Metrix.   Create spaces are just like an artist hive/colony  but they tend to be a bit on the geeky side.    I was working on our O’Blu Mendel.   It turns out that we blew out the thermistor (a device to measurement temperature) on the plastic extruder head.   While it is not a big project, it did meaning taking most of the extruder apart and replacing the bad part (for a total cost of maybe $4 plus my time).

{photo compliments of Matt Westervelt @ MetrixCreateSpace}

One might ask, why wouldn’t I do this task in our lab.    If you work at home or if I work in our lab, it is DIY (Do-It-Yourself).    If one works at a create space, it is DIWO (Do-It-With-Others).     Perhaps this is a new social thing.

Saturday night  is MakerBot/Mendel night.  People come by – some bring their Bots – some to talk – some to share – some to gawk.   Last night there were 4-5 MakerBots plus 3 Mendels (plus the parts for two more Mendels).    People (general public)  stop down just to see/to witness a bot make something out of plastic.    Their eyes light up and there’s a strange expression on their face (if they get too close, you can sometimes hear their brain gears turning).    You hear comments like:

You mean like a StarTrek replicator?

You can do that?”

“Sure but it costs $20,000!”

” It costs $500-$800, you’re kidding.”

It is my observation that humans are enthralled with the concept of  turning an idea into a physical object.   We (via the net) are terming this idea/process “Making”.   People who do this are “Makers”.   Archeologists tell us that being able to imagine an outcome is a large of a what drove human development.  We all thank a magazine called “Make” for telling the world about something that many of us take for granted.    To me, it is a little bit like having a garden at home and growing things to eat (as there is nothing better than a tomato or carrot or lettuce fresh from the garden).

I’m an engineer and I can not remember a single time in my life when I didn’t make things.   My parents would stop at the local fruit stand and bring home empty fruit boxes (which back then were made of clear pine).   It was perfect material to make my next creation.

I made to learn and learned to make.

This morning a read a really nice article called “The Lost Art of Building with Your Hands” by Mitch Albom.    Mr. Albom points out that it doesn’t need to be high tech to fun and rewarding.

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