Hello and happy Monday y’all! Today I am going to talk a little bit about the “Maker Movement.” I’ve mentioned this movement before, but I’ve neglected to go into depth about what this movement really means. I find that when Tim and I try to explain the maker movement, people understand better when I, the communications major, rather than Tim- the biochemistry major, give a simplified explanation. So, that’s what I will be doing today. Also, a picture’s worth a thousand words, so expect lots of those as we look to describe the Maker Movement today. PS- It is really fun to listen to Tim explain the MM though, because he is so passionate about it. Even though I don’t always comprehend the words coming out of his mouth, I get really excited about what he’s saying because he speaks with such a charge!
Ok, so here is the simplified, easy to understand definition of the Maker Movement-
The Maker Movement is the movement that has begun due to new, exciting technology which allows people to use computer controlled tools to create very intricate and extremely precise pieces. These pieces can range from something fits in your hand to whole wall installations.
The movement involves all sorts of tools, a few of the most common being CNC machines (these are giant routers/engravers), laser machines (these etch, burn, or cut through a variety of materials), huge vinyl cutters (the crafting world already has miniture versions of these, ie- the Cricut), and 3-D printers. Yes, I said 3-D printers. When Tim told me about this one, I couldn’t quite wrap my head around the concept until I went and saw the process in person. Basically this machine heats up a plastic cord (similar to weed eater line) and dispenses it layer upon (very, very thin) layer until the piece is complete.
So, why are we- interior designers- so excited about this new, developing technology? The truth is right now, most of the geniuses using these incredible machines are creating seriously cool (possibly life changing) prototypes…. or star trek action figurines (no, really they are). But Tim and I see the potential that the maker movement has for the interior design industry, and most especially for the type of designs that we want to create. Having the precision of a computer is incredibly valuable to create an impressive design, but it’s also incredibly valuable when you want to create a personal design. Let’s look at what I am talking about. . .
For this project, we used a CNC machine to route out these specific shapes into a piece of plywood. Once the shapes were routed out, we then used a lazer cutter to cut out the leather pieces that would fit perfectly into the routed out areas.
Next, take a look at these mirrors!
Those ornate, baroque style mirrors were made with hundreds of wooden shapes that were cut out with a lazer. The technology allows us to cut out any shape we can dream of and therefore create a completely custom look/piece. Read more about the mirrors here.
The crafting world has been using small vinyl cutters (Cricuts) for a couple of years now. They’re super fun for smaller projects, but there are also big vinyl cutters out there that make it possible to take on large scale projects. We used a silver vinyl cut out to completely change the look of this prized pew a client of ours had.
The TV is always a focal point in a room, so I like to figure out ways to make them a little more appealing than the big black square they are. Below we used a water jet to cut out this intricate acrylic frame, which fits perfectly around the TV. Read more about the room and this TV frame here!
For this next project, we used a CNC machine to route out (engrave) some shapes into a thick slab of wood.
Instead of insetting leather pieces, this time we filled the voids with a concrete product (ARDEX) and ended up with this beautiful table top!
Finally, here’s a recent window display I did. I was in charge of creating the backdrops here. Our trusty CNC router came in handy again as we blew up a pattern and had it cut into MDF panels. Read this post to see why I ended up choosing an alligator skin pattern. PS- In case you didn’t know- skins are in!
These are just a few of the projects we’ve completed as we embrace The Maker Movement. We love these tools because they literally allow us to create anything our minds can come up with. It’s so exciting for us to be able to create custom pieces that really speak to and tell the stories of our clients. We’re excited to continue to bring attention to The Maker Movement and show how it can change interior design and how we use our spaces to inspire us! Stay tuned for more story filled spaces!!