MEMSI – The Product
By Eric Wong ’19
FYI-DIY is a not-for-profit social enterprise platform dedicated to empowering DIYers across America with not just the how-to, but the ‘how-tools’ to do any home improvement project. We are a movement to utilize the increasing availability of 3D printers to share new and innovative tools created by enthusiasts and designs to hack any task. DIYers of any background from your first timers to handymen/women who have never used a CAD program or use it everyday are encouraged to join the community!
Meet Lauren, a 28-year-old UX / UI designer at a tech startup in San Francisco who recently moved into a new home with her husband, cat and dog. She has an eye for style and loves taking on new projects as a form of self-expression. Although she could afford to hire help in preparing her new home, she’s excited to take on the challenge of doing it herself in her free time.
The first task that she wants to tackle is putting up a new coat of paint on her walls. However, Lauren knows that properly prepping and priming the surfaces takes a lot of time, something that she doesn’t have much of. So, she turns to FYI-DIY.
On the home page, Lauren is able to easily search for one task that she is wondering if people have ‘hacked’ a tool that she can download and get printed at her local library.
With a few clicks, Lauren is able to find the downloadable file for a paint dispenser designed by a member of the community with a few special features to make taping along edges much easier. On this page, she sees a rendered image of the ‘how-tool’ along with a short description and video of it being used posted by the tool creator. Additionally, she can see the estimated print time and costs along with where printers are available nearby if she doesn’t have one herself. For $1, of which seventy percent goes to the original poster and thirty percent goes to the maintenance costs associated with FYI-DIY, Lauren now has the file needed to get the tool printed!
And just like that, Lauren now has a physical tool to help her paint her walls quickly and easily with a finish similar to that of a professional.
With over forty percent of Americans considering starting DIY projects and 88% of who are searching online for tips and tricks to help them complete their projects, Lauren is not alone. In fact, the DIY home improvement tool market is estimated to be $14 billion dollars and growing at 6% annually. Combined with a increased availability of 3D printers across the United States with approximately 600 available just at libraries, this medium of creating tools is only being more viable. Large American home improvement stores such as Lowes have already started to embrace this new technology as it partners with Authentise to provide 3D scanning and printing services to its customer for a variety of products from light fixtures to door handles.
FYI-DIY will be a volunteer led social enterprise, led by a dedicated staff to maintain the website, curate content, and organize community events. DIYers would find not just the tips and tricks, but also the tools to complete their projects with confidence. Additionally, they would have a space to post issues that they face but have not yet found solutions to. Enthusiasts and designers would be encouraged to continue to create new, innovative tools at corporate sponsored hack-athons featuring those common issues and the micro-transaction they are given for each download of the tools they upload.