IfM Insights
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IfM Insights

The Maker Movement vs COVID-19: How a DIY community responded to the pandemic

The availability of 3D printers, laser cutters and other digital fabrication tools has led to the rise of the Maker Movement, a growing community with a DIY approach to design and production. As the COVID-19 crisis hit the UK, these ‘makers’ sprang into action. Their response has revealed the potential for innovation among the general public — but also the limitations of an informal network and a lack of standardisation.

Illustration by Amy Reinecke/Institute for Manufacturing

Responding to COVID-19

The UK response

Lessons for the UK

Lack of a formalised national network

Lack of clear communication on the demand side

Distributed quality control

Volunteerism and innovation



The Institute for Manufacturing (IfM) is part of the University of Cambridge’s Department of Engineering. Our vision: manufacture a better world.

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