Photo by Luther Goh
In May this year, local startup Pirate 3D launched their own Buccaneer 3D printer with an overwhelmingly successful Kickstarter campaign that made global headlines. The device seems not only easy to use but also beautiful to behold. The price: only US$347 plus shipping. They intended to raise just US$100,000, but as I write they have crossed US$1 million already.
It’s a good example of trendy tech enjoying crowdfunded glory. Some people are wondering if it’s a sign that local makers will soon experience boom times. But the truth is, such stories are rare in the Singapore maker scene.
Look around and you’re more likely to find modest maker meetups around town where friendly tinkerers exchange tips about down-to-earth projects, including everything from origami-inspired sculptures to mesmerising LED displays for the visual effects industry. Like the Singapore Makers Meetup, which happens every two months at HackerspaceSG. They are organised by local hack-ducator William Hooi, who works at the Science Centre Singapore conducting workshops for kids. In his free time he manages community projects like the Singapore Makers meetup group and the HacKIDemia Singapore chapter.
William is also part of the team behind the coming Singapore Mini Maker Faire in late July, a geeky gathering that Singapore’s makers, hackers and DIY enthusiasts are eagerly anticipating. It will be held at the *SCAPE Warehouse over the last weekend of the month, and provides a platform for some 60 or so local inventors to showcase their DIY projects and share their craft skills. If you turn up you’ll find that it’s a wildly diverse crowd. Still, William believes they share one important quality: the maker mindset.