What is DiDIY? Start here

Digital Do-It-Yourself (DiDIY) may be defined as the ensemble of all those manufacturing activities (and mindsets) that are made possible by digital technologies. DiDIY is accessible to more and more people every year thanks to the availability of hardware tools and other machines that:

  • are directly controlled by some computer, or more exactly by some software, instead of a human being; we call this possibility to transfer (digital) designs, without manual work, directly to manufacturing tools ABC, that is "Atoms and Bits Convergence"
  • are much cheaper and simpler to use than they were even a few years ago.

The first, immediate consequence of these characteristics is that DiDIY can be really ubiquitous. The second is that DiDIY does much more than give some people cheaper and faster ways to perform the same DIY activities they were already doing: DiDIY, instead, gives people the opportunity to do things that they could have never done otherwise, like "sculpting" by controlling a 3D printer, versus using hammer and chisel with one's hands. DiDIY also gives people more opportunities to do things together, by freely exchanging designs and know-how through open online communities.

We say that DiDIY is everywhere because, like the software that makes it possible, DiDIY is extremely flexible. Any tool that is controllable by electric signals can be controlled by software. Software, in turn, can process designs and instructions of every conceivable sort.

For all these reasons, DiDIY can lead to the emergence of new scenarios in the roles and relations among individuals, organizations, and society, in which new opportunities and threats emerge accordingly. The mission of the DiDIY Project is to study these scenarios, and all their long term implications for European society. The deliverables of the project, which will end in June 2017, will include guidelines, for EU educators and policy makers, about how to deal with DiDIY and maximize its positive impacts on society.

To continue your discovery of DiDIY, please visit our page of DiDIY resources for beginners, or the official DiDIY blog.