Why Makers Matter to Manufacturers

04.05.17 11:12 PM By Jennie Hempstead

On September 27, 2016 the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Small Business Hub, located inside the Wright Brothers Institute held a Collider event entitled "Maker to Manufacturer: Building the Maker Community". The Collider's purpose was to bring makers and manufacturers in the southwest Ohio region together to explore how the two communities can work together to support economic development, engage the next-generation workforce and harness the spirit of the maker to work for the manufacturing industry.The Collider event took place in the newly installed AFRL Maker Hub, a maker space for AFRL scientists and engineers (located inside of Wright Brothers Institute).

19 participants from both communities attended, answering questions such as:

  • How do we educate the community about the Maker Movement?

  • What motivates someone to seek out and join a makerspace?

  • How can the community leverage makers and makerspaces for economic development?

  • Can makers become manufacturers? How can makerspaces support entrepreneurship?

A user of the AFRL Maker Hub at Wright Brothers Institute - Springfield Street

Topics such as the differences in motivation, finding like-minded partners and profit versus creativity were explored during the open discussion. Manufacturers in attendance also voiced frustration about having the desire to leverage the maker community, but not knowing how to engage them in traditional manufacturing practices.

To read the full article, click here (originally published on Linkedin January 31, 2017).