Explaining the joy of making stuff to a non-maker

I was chatting with someone about the shop, and how fun it is to putter around, and a bit about all our varied tools.

Them: “you know you there are shops with CNC routers where you can just send your files and they make it for you?”
Me: “sure, I know that”
Them: “why don’t you do that?”
Me: “because I like the making part”
Them: absolutely baffled expression

It’s the process, my friend….


The satisfaction of doing it yourself, there’s sentimental value to things you’ve put blood, sweat, and tears into, and the sweet dopamine response of getting those instagram likes documenting the photogenic parts of the build process.

Not to mention learning. I can buy pretty much anything I’d want these days pre-made, but then I wouldn’t know how to make it myself. There is value in learning to work with suppliers and manufacturers if you want to go to scale, but there’s no labor cheaper than your own for prototypes.

Even if you do plan to scale whatever it is you’re making, making it yourself in the beginning can also save you and your manufacturer a lot of time (and thus money) if you work out most of the kinks and develop a better understanding of how to design for scale from the get-go.

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Man, i must be weird. I have no problem at all using premade stuff to get to a result faster, im all about knocking out whatever it is i want to make so i can move on to the next thing, and the quicker i can get there, the better. But it takes all kinds, right?

@duskglow - not weird at all, and sometimes, it’s great to have someone else do the work. This is about being a Maker (capital M intended). I don’t knit because I need a sweater. I knit because I like the process.


It’s also in what steps people choose to take to do themselves vs to go premade/service too.

Some people like to grow the trees themselves but buy premade furniture, others buy ready wood at the lumberyard and woodwork it themselves.

And there’s just some processes that frankly you won’t get the detail you need, or are too messy/dangerous to do, but can still feel satisfied doing the design work at least. I looked at DIY PCB manufacturing at home and I was like… these are ugly boards, hard to do multiple layers, expensive startup cost, and lower detail, than just uploading my designs to a fab shop.