The Makers Revolution: Rome 2014


The makers are starting a revolution!

Andrea Solimene - Guest Blogger

October 3-5  more than 100,000 curious visitors went to the Auditorium in Rome to be part of the 2nd Italian edition of the Maker Faire, an event driven by passion for technology and innovation. The Maker Faire showcased many innovators of the Third Millennium eager to display their projects and share their technological know-how and craftsmanship.

It feels like ancient history, but it was only in 2011 when Massimo Banzi, founder of Arduino (the open source hardware platform), stated that a new breed of artisans would have a huge impact in the near future. 3 Years later, the Arduino platform is the most used by the makers and an increasing number of engineers and enthusiasts is adopting it. The future is here! And the Maker Faire in Rome was the perfect opportunity to confirm it.

The visitors were given the chance to meet more than 600 innovative projects from all over the world: drones, 3D printers, wearable technology and robots. There were also plenty of opportunities for children to see with their own eyes, and sometimes touch, the future.

We came across many, maybe even too many interesting ideas. The winner of the Focus Prize was EWE Industries, a Rome-based startup that has developed not only a 3D printer but also a filament extruder. EWE’s extruder is beautifully designed, sustainable and environmentally friendly device. Davide Costa and Francesco Cavallo, two young industrial designers from La Sapienza University, are the founders of this exciting Roman startup.

Davide Costa explains: “EWE was born thanks to our passion for both technology and the invention of new products. We decided to first introduce our extruder, a niche product with an innovative design intended for domestic rather than industrial use. This way we wanted to go against mainstream."


He continues: "Soon we will launch the 3D printer that we showed at the Maker Faire. It’s our objective to create a highly customizable product that can grow and change over time. Technology is constantly evolving and our 3D printer is made to adjust to new functionalities that will be gradually added. We are continuously monitoring the market for new trends: for us R&D is of utmost importance. We are happy to have embarked on this great adventure and that the Maker Faire gave us the opportunity to show to the world what we are working on. It’s fantastic to be here, we are having a great time.”

Browsing through the numerous booths I also met the founders of Air Movie Lab . They developed Prodigy Wood, a lightweight drone (about 4 lbs) with an external wooden structure to protect its propellers.  It is built for GoPro but it can also lift heavier cameras. Air Movie Lab offered workshops during which participants were taught how to assemble a drone and how to fly it; a hands-on way to try this innovative product.

Another project I found very interesting was 3D Racers which developed a race track for remote-controlled Arduino cars. It feels like a videogame projected into the real world and it is bound to thrill audiences of all ages.

Finally, DoubleCLICK! is a project developed by Officine Sistemiche, a group of designers united by a common passion for eco-design. DoubleClick! is the prototype of a semi-automatic designer. It’s a portable device which can draw on any material and in various dimensions. It’s a simple tool that could have a high social and educational impact as it helps everybody to draw even those who usually do not have the ability to do it.

These are just a few among the many innovative projects that were presented at the Rome's Maker Faire. The sheer number of futuristic projects shown at the fair proves that the Italian maker movement is alive and vibrant. The economist Jeremy Rifkin released a video message to address all Maker Faire's visitors: "It's the beginning of a long journey to rethink the current production models. This is a revolution: the democratization of manufacturing. We create the future. The future is now.”

"Disclaimer: Seedble and EWE are currently discussing a partnership".