The Maker Faire was held in the Bay Area this weekend. I was here to help, to experience, to learn, to relate. I'd been planning this for a while, and this is Day three.
Saturday at the Maker Faire. The Faire was just beginning, but for me it's the last day. It's a day for me to find those things that interest me. No volunteering today! Today, I went as media. Luckily for me, I found some media types to pose with me for a photo in the Press Room. .
There was so much to see, it was a bit overwhelming at first. I decided I had to make myself some priorities. I wanted to pop in on Lynne Bruning who'd invited me to come by as she works with eTextiles. I wanted to visit the Maker Shed, the DIY hobby store. It is usually an online store, but for the MakerFaire, it is as 'brick and mortars' as a fairground can provide. I wanted to visit the SteamPunk area. I wanted to look at the robots. I thought it would be cool to put something together that was a collection of robot shots. I wanted to pop in on Michael R. Phyxx, the maker that I helped yesterday. I hoped that he'd finished his piece.
The eTextile Lounge
I was lucky to find Lynne and a few other eTextile folks in the Fiesta Hall. Lynne had an LED project for us to work on, I got a close up look at a couple of electro-luminescent light projects (think light wire) and I was able to get a close up look at a LilyPad project, the creation of the Thread Witch. A few quick encounters, providing some valuable information for me to take back with me.
The Maker Shed
The Maker Shed is a hobby super-store, with a heavy leaning towards electronics. I learned some interesting information about the Arduino, the name for the hardware, software and community which is the foundation for, among many other things, the LilyPad. It makes sense that there is a strong industrial arts influence in Making. The Arduino was created by Italian industrial artists who wanted to save a few steps in their electronic circuit designs. The specification for the Arduino is licensed under the Creative Commons license. It permits anyone to make derivative versions of the hardware, so long as the origin is credited. And they do!
Several models of 3-D printers were on display, and I got the chance to see them at work. Models were quoted as low as $350.00 and as high as $2,000. The core of the 3-D printer is the open source extrusion system. Companies can create solutions that use the base extrusion system.
The SteamPunk area was tremendously exciting for me. A fire breathing dragon, a giant steam boat, Steam Punk art pieces... bubbling, steaming art displays. Propane collecting... pressure building... then Whoosh! (just like that.... Whoosh!)
A collection of robots moving from one place to the other, taken over 3 days. I was very lucky to line up an interview with none other than R2 D2! Hello, there's an R2 D2 club!!!
Michael R. Phyxx and The Water Causeway
The last stop today? A visit with Maker Michael R. Phyxx. What awesome timing!!! Karma indeed! Maker Michael, and a wonderful team member of the Maker Corps were putting the finishing touches on Michael's piece. I got to test drive it... and it worked beautifully! It didn't take much from me to take the water all the way to the upper cylinder. Hooray! I wonder what it will look like when there is a parade of people walking around the tower. Pretty impressive, I'm sure!
The Make folks bill it as The Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth! I get it!
Trish writes as for Patch and as Handmade Penguin for the Handmade Penguin blog