Make it yourself

It can be better than
what the industry sells you !

By Jérémie François

Licensed under CC-BY-NC

Presented at the
FabCon 3.D 2014 / (video available)

A maker Hero

The aeolipile : a 1st century steam engine

  • He made it in his garage
  • A technological breakthrough
  • Without backing of business angels

Micro-fabrication at home

An age of steam for the curious makers

Industrial techniques and knowhow

readily available, in your house.


  • Know it all and for free
  • Education is secondary - but usable !
  • Learn and get stimulated by the community
  • Lots remains to be fixed (3DP)
  • Environmentally responsible? cf. waste makers

Do it your very own way !

Hobby? Work?

  • Has a real future
  • but is it just cool, or useful?
  • Only businessmen need to care!

Inventors -vs- Businessmen

  • Egg or chicken : valorize or innovate?
  • Makers share ideas (no lawsuits)
  • Not naive though: attribution (CC-BY...)
  • Still, some ''Coopetition'' of ideas

The trouble
with big companies

Profit is compulsory

  • Be responsible:
  • Norms, reliability, mass marketing, after sales...
  • Feed the bills, employees... and shareholders!

How to innovate

  • Restricted set of people and skills
  • Employees are not inventors
  • What incentive anyway for them?
  • Unfair competition: makers do not seek money !

Greed vs. innovation

  • Short viewed shareholders (volatile market)
  • Protecting the I.P. is costly (and inefficient)
  • Play and pay for the patent wars (big players only)
  • R&D hindered by ROI "pauses"
  • Marketing and forward-looking statement vs. facts

Not selling makes it so easier !

Invention vs Production

  • No customers!
  • No investors!
  • No third-parties!
  • No respect for patents ?

Smaller structures are smarter

  • Iconoclasts allowed (less to lose)
  • No time+money lost with intellectual property:

    “Made in my garage” ® ?!

  • Shared/diffused responsibility
  • CC-BY, fork-me... who to suit?

Still, why can it be done
better than the industry?

(not always of course)

Handmade vs. “Professional” quality?

Where to buy if there is no production (ie. market)?

  • Mass production introduce a cost/savings bias
  • Where does “value engineering” stop...
  • ...and "planned obsolescence" begins ?

Home made -XOR- Professional quality?

  • Now, define "quality"!
  • What about craftsmanship?
  • Design and produce tailor-made tools
  • Also: weight, volume, energy consumption...

Home made -XOR- Professional quality?

Hacking expensive products is not uncommon!

(talk about the warranty then)

You can fail, no harm!

  • Try again: a single success may be OK
  • Unconventional ideas are less risky
  • No angry flocks of customers (almost)
  • No need for a market, nor investors

MIY : costs and benefits

There are people who have money
and people who are rich
- Coco Chanel

Paying with your time

  • No cost when it is a hobby!
  • Cheaper than hiring or contracting
  • Learning now improves productivity tomorrow
  • Self-esteem is priceless!

Cost and benefits

  • A technical success always open doors!
  • Community recognition: judged by facts!
  • (else) making no money brings sympathy
  • (else) curiosity fights aging !

Make it

Nobody is in your way, in your garage

(they are not even knowing when you fail)

Share it

  • Tell it or make it first (else someone will do it) ;)
  • A businessman may patent a half-baked idea!

Hero failed hard on these two

(but he had no internet)

(and slaves were too cheap at the time)

Did you notice ?

''Family and Maker Day''


''Consumer Day''

Now, go and make it!

jeremie francois at gmail com