What is Makerfaire?
It is not a tradeshow. Makerfaire is a gathering of smart and talented groups and individuals who share their love for making things. And there is nearly no limit as to what ideas or projects on display. There is no age limit or restriction and kids of all ages are encouraged to interact with everything they can. If you ever go to shows and see, "DO NOT TOUCH" you did not see that here. Touching, inspecting and learning is very much warranted.
What was there?
3D Printers, Galore!
|I attended World Makerfaire 2012 NYC this past weekend and was totally blown away by the talent. The hot topic this year was 3D printers. There was a 3D printer at almost every turn and they were all busy constructing objects. There were many kinds on display from hand-built printers all the way up to commercial machines and most, if not all printers you saw were open source where the plans and schematics are freely available to the public|
|The level of detail is amazing for such a relatively inexpensive machine. This vase was produced on the printer above.|
These are the Droids we are looking for.
There were also many robots and rovers scurrying about the faire. From life size "Danger Will Robinson!" bots to spider-like critters. Again all hand made by creative individuals. There were even some robotic sporting events and contests.
This robot was hand made using mostly off the shelf and 3D printed parts.
|Kids of all ages play games with robots. This lego maze was one that anyone could participate in.|
This spider bot moves autonomously and can avoid nearby objects
There was no shortage of robot building tutorials. You could sit and build anything from the extremely simple to the more complex walkers and spiders.
1, 2, 3, 4, Lets have a giant robotic thumb war!
Young proteges abound!
|There were many stations where kids could learn to use tools, assemble things, and even learn to solder. Under supervision kids and adults alike could build and program electronic circuits as simple as blinking an LED, to wireless communication between gadgets. This event wasn't limited to the high tech, either. There was a section for jewelry making, clothing design, and even learning how to use an old fashioned weaving loom.||
This talented maker created amazing jewelry using sterling silver and heat-shrink tuning found at most hardware stores.
There were live performances by individuals and groups throughout the faire. The only requirement was that your instruments were hand built. There were other non musical performances as well, like acrobatics, a full life-size mouse trap, and even the famous Mentos-Coke Zero show by Eepybird.com:
Take to the skies....
Along with the bots and droids, were aviation machines. There were many spots throughout the faire were you could spot RC helicopters, drones, and Quad/Hexapod flyers.
|A pilot show off his self made quad-copter as spectators watch.|
Saving the planet one strip of bacon at a time
Want to earn about heating your home with lawn clippings, or run your car off of bacon grease? At Makerfaire you could do that. Talented people showcase converting and creating bio diesel and use compost to create energy. Build your own hydroponics units to grow herbs and veggies.
|Now that's a salad spinner!||This gentleman built a cycle powered mulch maker.|