We got this wonderful letter from MAKE subscriber Jim Kelly that we thought we’d share with all of you:

Make: Team,

Issue 21 is, in my opinion, the best issue of MAKE to date. I’m blown away by all the DIY fabrication tools that are now available to the small business or hobbyist. Reading through this issue reminded me of an article in an older issue of MAKE – after a few minutes of digging, I found it. Issue 3, page 44, The Maker’s Ultimate Tools by Saul Griffith.

Isn’t it amazing how far we’ve come in less than 5 years!? MAKE Issue 3 (2005) suggests a 3D printer for $25,000, a 3D scanner for $30,000, and a plasma cutter for $10,000! Jump forward five years and we’ve got the MakerBot (page 46) for under $1000, the DIY 3D Scanner (page 54) for under $100, and the OpenSource plasma cutter called RepTab (page 66) for around $1000.

My son will be 8 years old in 2015. At this rate, he may have access to all of this technology in his classroom. If I have my way, he’ll definitely have access to it at home.

make volume 21 little cover.jpg

MAKE Volume 21 is the Desktop Manufacturing issue, with how-to articles on making three-dimensional parts using inexpensive computer-controlled manufacturing equipment. Both additive (RepRap, CandyFab) and subtractive (Lumenlab Micro CNC) systems are covered. Also in this issue: instructions for making a cigar box guitar, building your own CNC for under $800, running a mini electric bike with a cordless drill, making a magic photo cube, and tons more. If you’re a subscriber, you may have your issue in hand already, and can access the Digital Edition. Otherwise, you can pick up MAKE 21 in the Maker Shed or look for it on newsstands near you!

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor for Boing Boing and WINK Books. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.


  • Pinski1

    I hope he does. The only thing that would hold him back would be imagination. And that’d be the only limitation we, as humans, should ever experience.

  • Rick

    Already in place, many schools in the UK have 3D scanning, laser cutters and 3D printers.

    Most schools have 2D and 3D Computer aided design systems in place and many primary schools have access to such equipment.

    Computer aided manufacturing equipment – CNC lathes and routers are fairly common place.

    What the UK needs is the skilled staff who can encourage the students to use this equipment in imaginative ways.

    • David

      I’d like to see a write-up of the UK schools using this equipment and how many schools have this.