Maker Faire Detroit 2015 was Awesome

If you’ve never been to a Maker Faire then you are missing out! Maker Faire is an annual show and tell type event created by Make Magazine to ‘celebrate arts, crafts, engineering, science projects, and the DIY mindset’.

While many of the activities at this event are targeted towards kids, there is enough here to attract and entertain a geeky adult for a few hours. In fact, these events are a great opportunity to expand your breadth of knowledge by making you aware of what’s out there; and potentially even your depth of knowledge through the various people you meet.

Where else could you get hands-on with trending DIY projects & new 3D printing materials, see machine tutorials on expensive hardware, and walk away with a free issue of Make Magazine?

This isn’t your grandma’s craft show. Check out some of the awesome stuff I saw this weekend:

This particular event  was hosted by the Henry Ford Museum, which by itself is a great attraction. The building is basically one giant room filled with old cars, airplanes, and a wienermobile.

Form Model T Coupe

First Powered Manned Aircraft

Speaking of wieners, on a normal day I don’t usually get to interact with people who are engaged with their work. Yes I work with engineers and technicians on a daily basis, but very few of them really give a crap about what they are doing. Maybe there’s some sort of social psychology theory that explains why people care less when they get paid to work.

This is not the case at the Maker Faire where the average person is either a highly engaged scientist, engineer, artist, maker, or a kid who wants to be one of those things someday. (I qualify as all of the above.)

I enjoyed meeting with the MakerGear Team and seeing their 3D printed violin that no one could play. I ran into John the CEO of the Innovation Garage and I found out that he used to work at the same company as me! I also saw a couple faces I already recognized.

Ben Heck and Michael Graham

Who the Heck was that guy again? 

Scott Brusaw and Michael Graham

Scott here knows a bit about Solar Freakin’ Roadways.

Besides the great people present there was also some serious quadcopter racing, blacksmiths, HHO gas generators, glass blowers, the Oculus Prime VR headset, 3D printers of all shapes and sizes, a bitcoin giveaway, a huge collection of Star Wars cosplay gear, 3D printing carbon fiber filament, career Youtube video-makers, industrial robot arms without fences, electric bicycles, 3D doodlers and all kinds of little gizmos in the Maker Shed Tent, a 3 story hot wheels track, homemade pinball machines, and a 20’ tall delta type 3d printer.

Actually, I saw a ton of delta style 3d printers and I couldn’t help but notice that the quality of the printers you see at these events has gone up over time. People didn’t bother to bring pieced together repraps like mine anymore.

There were lots of university projects and high school STEM projects. I love seeing this stuff and I encourage these kids to keep up the good work and tell them how my own senior project played a major role in my employ-ability after graduation.

Overall, this was a great event for getting some ideas for how to setup my own display at the upcoming Mini Maker Faire Cincinnati on Aug 29-30th! I’m not selling anything or sharing anything revolutionary but I thought it would be fun to get some more direct feedback on a few projects. Come out and see me!

Here’s a few more things I saw at Maker Faire Detroit:

Kelly with Electric Bike

E-bikes are not cheap! (Neither are custom T-shirts.)

Tiny Screen Space Invaders

Itty Bitty Space Invaders made with a tiny screen 

'Seemecnc' Big Printer

Huge 3D printers like this are most useful for attracting eyeballs.

Oculus Prime Demo

Get your puke bag ready because the Oculus Prime is the future of gaming.

3D Printed Violin

3D printed violin that no one could play.

Nemesis 3D printer

It would tickle me silly if I randomly saw one of my Thingiverse designs on display…someday!

Carbon Fiber Filament

3D printing carbon fiber filament is tough stuff!

Fenceless Robot Arm

This robot senses your presence (without a light curtain) and pauses until you go away.

 That’s all I’ve got for now, hope you enjoyed it!

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