The Maker Revolution celebrates the creation of new devices and the modification of existing ones - the transition from a consumer buying goods to eventually having a major part in their creation. The Maker Revolution places strong emphasis on free (as in speech) sharing of designs, code and ideas. Learning is self-motivated and usually just for the fun of it.
Below is a timeline of what we think are some pivotal moments in the Maker Revolution - these might be the founding of important companies; the release of game-changing hardware; and the launch of maker-enabling services. It's interesting to see the shifting of attention among the interest categories
A preview is below. If you'd like to download the full-size image for printing you can grab it here.
Let's expand a little on some of the entries in the poster.
- Adafruit and SparkFun - Two maker-electronics heavies, Adafruit and Sparkfun have been around a while and for good reason. Both threw themselves into maker culture - nourishing the movement with the right equipment and learning resources.
- Arduino - Needing no introduction, Arduino is a flagship for the maker movement. By streamlining the coding and controlling aspect of a project, Arduino really lowered the bar for entry into embedded electronics - A fantastic tool for beginners and pros, artists and designers to focus on the project rather than get bogged-down in flipping bits.
- OSH Park - Dedicated to servicing makers with (extremely) affordable, high-quality PCBs, OSH Park started as a group-buying arrangement at a universtiy. If you've ever drilled a home-fabbed PCB which holds lots of through-hole parts, you'll know how valuable this service is.
- Aleph Objects. The parent company of Lulzbot, Aleph Objects operate under a philosophy of Libre - that means anybody is free to access and modify their hardware and software designs as they see fit. These guys lead by example.
- RepRap is the concept of a self replicating 3D printer - a machine capable of replicating as much of itself as possible. We think this project really kicked things off for the home 3D printer scene.
- Prusa i3 - part of the RepRap project, the Prusa i3 is the most widely used 3D printer on the planet.
- Lilypad and FLORA - Nourishing a growing interest in wearables, Lilypad and FLORA helped show that creative electronics and art can go hand-in-hand.
- Make Magazine, Hackaday, Instructables - Maker advocates, there would be no movement if there were nobody to spread the word.
- Hebocon is a competition for crappy robots - really crappy robots. Usually we only see finished, successful projects when browsing online, while unfinished or failed projects are swept under the rug. Hebocon is a light-hearted celebration of the failures you otherwise wouldn't see.
- Spark Core the ancestor of the Particle Photon and Electron, marked a major step for the world of IoT - the first piece of maker IoT gear that truly integrated the hardware, software and application layers.
- Raspberry Pi changed the game for embedded computing projects. While intended as an educational platform, the Pi fast became a maker staple for the amount of power it can bring to a project at a small price.
- BBC micro:bit - An incredibly well-integrated learning platform, the micro:bit brings modern maker-staples like bluetooth and inertial measurement into the classroom and bundles it with excellent learning resources.
- Core Electronics - Core Electronics was founded to nourish the maker movement in Australia by increasing the availability of maker-electronics and producing educational content.
This is by no means an exhaustive list - we're talking about such a big topic that I'm bound to have missed what some might consider revolutionary moments. If you think someting is missing let us know in the comments section for this article.