Imagine if you had a “Board of Directors” to guide you: What would you make and bring to market? What project is sitting in your garage or shed just waiting to become a money-maker or even the world’s next hot startup?
Well dig it out. Dremel wants to help make your dreams come true. Here’s how: The company has just anointed five “Chief Makers” and part of their purpose will be to help guide you through every stage of the Maker process — from creating a product, sharing it, getting it to market, and maybe even creating a company.
The “anointing” is the culmination of its very first round of selections under its “Maker-in-Residence” competition, which Dremel launched last July.
Dremel announced its Maker-in-Residence winners at a press conference at World Maker Faire New York. The company also showcased its new VRT1 vacuum-powered rotary tool and the partnership between its 3D Idea Builder printer and the Sprout by HP 3D scanner.
Each Chief Maker will receive $5,000 in Dremel tools, including the Dremel 3D Idea Builder printer and a Sprout by HP. Perhaps even more importantly, they’ll be providing support in moving from workbench to market sales — support from a company that has itself withstood the test of time. (Dremel has been in business for 80 years.)
Dremel conceived the Maker-in-Residence program to support Makers at every level, from developing and highlighting outstanding projects, to helping makers navigate the tricky path to market. The new Chief Makers will collaborate with Dremel to become part of the “central nervous system” of the Maker community.
‘Making more Makers’
“From North America to Europe, industrial and emerging markets, this movement is truly a global market,” said Dremel President John Kavanagh during his opening remarks for the awards.
One of Dremel’s roles now is to enable that market by making its rotary cutting and its digital and design tools easy to use, simple, safe, and reliable, as well as to serve as a “social catalyst” for the Maker Movement at large. Kavanagh himself got his first Dremel tool handed down to him from his father.
Already an integral part of the Maker Movement by virtue of its tools and 3D printer, Dremel was looking for a way to do more by way of helping conceive, develop, and share project ideas. It has launched a program to take 3D printers into schools.
“We really wanted to keep a close finger on the pulse of the movement and walk the walk,” said Dremel’s Tim Turbett, its brand marketing director. “Now we’re making more makers — and making more friends.”
And the winners are…
The five new Chief Makers are:
- Haley Yurkow of New Albany, Mississippi, an artisan and owner of Mississippi Mojo
- Celina Muire of Austin, Texas, a woodworker and pyrographer (Someone who produces designs on wood, leather, or other materials by using heated tools or a fine flame.)
- Keith Hahn of Buffalo, Wyoming, who creates high-end custom log furniture and decorative ironwork
- Shaun Crockett of Roeland Park, Kansas, professional remodeler and home improvement expert
- Sean Harrington of Woodland Hills, California, who combines his technology and engineering backgrounds to create puppets and theatrical props
The search for the Dremel Makers-in-Residence program began with a call for entries to find the makers who embody the passion, enthusiasm, and expertise in DIY projects.
The five were chosen from 217 entrants using criteria such as how well they engaged other makers, and how well they already worked to educate other makers.
Along with working with Dremel to develop new project ideas and articles, helping beginners, and highlighting the most interesting and exciting projects direct from the community, the newly appointed Chief Makers will form a sounding board for Dremel.
“Many makers may not have the bandwidth — or even know how — to market their designs, or do all the extra pieces they may need to do every day,” said Dremel spokesperson John Hauter. “That’s where we can team together to help all Makers.”
That help could be as simple as how to set up an Etsy account to get money to finance the next fun project, all the way up to how to develop a formal go-to-market strategy, get financing, and possibly get them on the road to forming a startup.
VRT1 gives a clean cut
Dremel also used the press conference to put the spotlight on the handy VRT1 dustless rotary cutting tool that it announced in June. Designed to reduce the cleanup involved with dusty projects such as those involving drywall, wood, glass, or ceramic, the tool attaches to the end of the typical 6-HP wet/dry shop vac and uses suction to turn a turbine, which in turn drives the cutting tool. Available now at Lowe’s home improvement stores, it costs $29.99.
At its exhibit, Dremel showcased on-going partnership with HP’s Sprout Division. Dremel representatives were cutting derby cars, handing them out to attendees who then took them to the Sprout exhibit, where they could have them scanned using Sprout’s 3D scanner.
The scanned image was then manipulated with either a chosen photo as a backdrop, or the car could be digitally inserted into a video. The final outcome could then be emailed to the attendee.