This post is the culmination of several things that I have noticed in the last few weeks. It all came to a head when I posted on Twitter:"I'm a bit concerned about this latest "maker" push (eg 123D) and how it's (subtly) trivializing engineers and designers."
Last week as many of you know, Autodesk revealed a new initiative aimed towards the "maker" crowd with their 123D software. "Maker" is the new buzzword for things that people have been doing for a long time. Tinkering. Makers are people who build a custom bike, or hack a device to get it to do some new function. With the advent of cheap 3D printing via things like MakerBot
it has come to mean people who can now produce items physically themselves. It's really a pretty cool concept and a great first step towards the mythical Star Trek Replicator ("Earl Grey, hot!")
Carl Bass announced the debut
(actually not quite ready yet) of 123D recently at the Wired Business Conference. In the interview he stated: