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President Obama Attends First White House Maker Faire

Since his inauguration, President Obama has been a proponent of the innovators and industries behind technological advancement in the United States. He backed a number of alternative energy source projects, and was responsible for an increased focus on advanced manufacturing that paired government and private funding to start a network of research and development institutes across the nation. America Makes (previously NAMII) was the first institute to get underway, with two more on the horizon.

Continuing in the same vein of promoting advanced manufacturing and innovation, President Obama declared June 18 as National Day of Making. To celebrate the day, the White House hosted its first-ever Maker Faire, which drew attendees from across the US.

White House Maker Faire

“Our Nation is home to a long line of innovators who have fueled our economy and transformed our world,” said President Obama. “Through the generations, American inventors have lit our homes, propelled humanity into the skies, and helped people across the planet connect at the click of a button. American manufacturers have never stopped chasing the next big breakthrough. As a country, we respond to challenge with discovery, determined to meet our great tests while seeking out new frontiers. During the National Day of Making, we celebrate and carry forward this proud tradition.”

More than 100 attendees brought their innovative spirit with them to the White House giving President Obama a first-hand look at their creativity, which included a 17-foot robotic giraffe, a 128 sq.ft. portable “tiny house,” and a 3D pancake printer. Along with 3D printers, the event featured laser-cutters, design software and desktop machine tools.

Along with the festivities, President Obama took the time to announce plans to increase the number of makerspaces across the country with the involvement and assistance of more than 150 colleges and universities, 130 libraries and the support of major players in business and industry including Intel, Autodesk, Disney, Lego and 3D Systems.

President Obama looking over the 3D printers on display at the first White House Maker Faire. Courtesy of the White House.

President Obama looking over the 3D printers on display at the first White House Maker Faire. Courtesy of the White House.

The US government will also seek to support new businesses in the tech fields with the Small Business Administration’s Accelerator competition, which will hand out $2.5 million in $50,000 chunks to winning startups.

“Today, more and more Americans are gaining access to 21st century tools, from 3D printers and scanners to design software and laser cutters,” added President Obama. “Thanks to the democratization of technology, it is easier than ever for inventors to create just about anything. Across our Nation, entrepreneurs, students, and families are getting involved in the Maker Movement. My Administration is increasing their access to advanced design and research tools while organizations, businesses, public servants, and academic institutions are doing their part by investing in makerspaces and mentoring aspiring inventors.”

Below you’ll find a video of President Obama speaking at the Maker Faire.

Source: White House 

About John Newman

John Newman is a contributing editor to Desktop Engineering magazine. He covers the rapid prototyping and manufacturing beat.

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