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SketchUp visits the first-ever White House Maker Faire

Today, President Barack Obama celebrated a national “Day of Making” by hosting the first-ever White House Maker Faire. And we got an invitation to join in the festivities. Imagine that. My mom is proud today.

SketchUp visits the first-ever White House Maker Faire

On the SketchUp team, we think of ourselves as “Meta-Makers” in that we make tools that folks like you use to in turn to make something awesome for yourselves. It has been great to see the tool we originally designed for architects and building construction professionals grow in all kinds of previously unimaginable directions. The Maker movement, it turns out, is deep in our collective DNA.

Maker Faire, organized by our friends at Maker Media, is a gathering of fearless, curious and inventive people who enjoy learning and who love sharing what they’ve made with one another. The SketchUp team has been participating in Maker Faires around the world since 2006, showing off projects from hexapod robotics to CNC-fabricated Wikihouses and through them we’ve made a ton of friends in the Maker community.

Since the first event over nine years ago, there has been explosive growth in the number and quality of these events. This year alone there are over a hundred Maker Faires happening in cities all around the world— more events than we could ever hope to attend. But today’s event is a bit different, a bit special. It isn’t every day that you get an invitation to the White House. Steve Berglund, Trimble’s president and CEO, was at the event today and had this to say; “It is an honor to participate in this White House event. Today we saw innovators of all ages using tools like SketchUp to help shape the future. There has been a lot of talk lately about how the Maker Movement will transform and revitalize American manufacturing. Today’s event demonstrated that the possibilities are endless.”

I think Steve is exactly right— there really are endless possibilities. He also pointed out how nice Bill Young (one of our Wikihouse collaborators and master of all things ShopBot) looked all dressed up and wearing a necktie. I’m pretty sure it was a clip-on.

Events at the White House hold a special place in our culture, and with them come opportunities to make stronger than usual statements about what we all want to see in our future. Today, Trimble has renewed and formalized its commitment to the spirit of curiosity, invention and entrepreneurship that exemplifies the Maker Movement. SketchUp Make is here to stay, and we’re going to keep making it better and better in the future. And we need your help.

If you’re a Maker (c’mon… What SketchUp user isn’t) and you want to get involved, join us today in celebrating the “Day of Making.” Make something and tweet a screenshot to @SketchUp tagged with #NationOfMakers. Better, post it to 3D Warehouse and share a link from your model the same way. And when you’re ready for something bigger, sign the Maker Pledge (I did, and so should you) and help to organize the Makers in your community to do something great for our future.

About the Author

John is a Product Management Director at Trimble Navigation, where he is responsible primarily for the growing SketchUp family of products.

Profile Photo of John Bacus