Went to MakerFaire in New York this past weekend. This is my 4th year going and, as always, it was pretty awesome. I went both days – Saturday and Sunday. Saturday was mostly walking around randomly; Sunday was picture day.
MakerFaire is always fun and I’m already looking forward to heading back next year. I think my favorite bit about it is that EVERYBODY is totally engaged. People who are showing a product, people who are hoping to make a product, people who have zero interest in business and are just goofing off – they’re all really into it and are happy to chat with you as long as you’d like. I really enjoy that.
Anyway, I don’t have tons of notes but the pictures & videos I did take are below, in mostly chronological order. I did a handful on Saturday then a ton on Sunday, until my phone battery was pretty much dead.
I don’t think I posted any pictures from my trip last year so I’m erring on the side of spam this year – posting most everything and hoping to give people who could not attend a feeling for what it’s like..
Saturday weather sucked. Plain and simple: it sucked. It was really humid, really windy and threatened rain all day but did not rain. This produced a gross, dusty miasma that clung to everything, especially me. I did not enjoy this aspect of the show.
Near the entrance, there were a couple people playing home-made instruments. In general, things that made sound seemed to be really up from last year and, as somebody who frequently has somewhat-serious ADD, I wasn’t happy about that. There’s just too much happening all at once at MakerFaire and stuff that makes noise tends to get turned up so it can be heard. It’s a vicious circle…
My first glimpse of the new Ultimaker 2 – this is one very, very nice looking machine!! On Sunday, I got to talk a lot with Sander van Geelen from Ultimaker and I’m really impressed with the thought they put into this machine. The original Ultimaker, which I own, has been the largely undisputed king in this class for the last couple years and their new machine is going to seal that deal.
You can – and should! – hit up http://www.ultimaker.com for all the nerdy details. I don’t hesitate at all to predict that we’ll be hearing a lot about this machine…
From the left, Riley Porter, Rob Giseburt and Alden Hart at the Syntheos booth – Syntheos are the guys who added a TinyG controller to an Ultimaker and had it moving at something silly like 800mm/s or some such. Search youtube and you’ll easily find the video.
I wish I’d gotten more of the booth as they had a few things moving using TinyG and (or?) their grblShield controller. They’re really worth checking out if you’re building something that moves. Again, check them out on youtube.
Some huge frankenquadcopter, composed of 4 good-sized quadcopters grafted together. This is probably 6-7 feet across. Nice!
An attempt to do a panorama of the large inside area. Didn’t come out very good but I don’t really have other pictures of this area..
There was another, much darker area inside that contained the BlinkyTape display and Marty McGuire. Sadly no pictures..
Caleb Kraft of (formerly) Hack-A-Day? Looks like him but I couldn’t catch up and say howdy in the crowd craziness..
And Diego, also from Deezmaker, checking out a print. I think that’s their new Bukito Portable 3D printer on the left.
Last for Saturday pictures is not a picture.. I’ve always (or for the last 4 years anyway) thought that people sorta stiffed the “arts & crafts”ish part of MakerFaire. It’s not all robots and 3D printers, you know.
Here’s a video of me walking up and down the rows of this section. This covers maybe 60-70% of this part of the show. It’s not totally my thing but there are some really interesting and clever people in this part of the show..
Sunday was just beautiful. Low 70’s, bright and sunny, no humidity, bit of a breeze.. I could do that all year long.
Butterfly bikes.. What’s a MakerFaire without butterfly bikes?
GoGo Squeez, sortofa single-serve applesause pouch, and Honest Tea, tea, were there passing out samples. I enjoyed both and appreciate people giving me free (and good) food so here’s a picture. If I was in the mood for these and saw them in a store, I’d probably spend money on ‘em.
“Jobs in welding” has a big display – a 18 wheeler that I didn’t walk through. The helmet that the woman is holding in the picture below is an HMD. The rig to the right, the one the guy is looking at is somehow wired into it and it all ends up being a virtual environment that helps you learn welding. I tried asking her how the motion tracking worked but she was more of a business person than a techie, I think.
She did say that the helmet, just the helmet, cost US$70K, which sounds just nuts to me. Oculus Rift, anybody? Still, if you want to learn welding and don’t know where to start, you might want to look them up..
The Science Channel was there, talking about their popular Punkin Chunkin show. For those not in the US that don’t know about pumpkin throwing, hit up youtube – it’s fairly crazy, in a good way. The display had little catapults that kids used to shoot stuff into the holes in the signs.
OpenROV was there – they’ve been at every show I’ve been at – but this time with a pool and a working version. It was tethered but it did move around quite nicely and streamed back video. Control was via a video game console controller that kids got to play with.
LittleBits was there, of course. It’s a neat product if you’re a parent and wondering about getting a young one into logic/electronics. I couldn’t really get close to the actual display but they had a couple tables setup and were doing classes/demos or something – that I managed to get close to.
I have no idea what this was but people were really into it. Check out the link if you’re curious..
Social Gumball machine and teletype? Not sure what it is but that is what the picture says.
The MakerShed. It’s maybe 4 times as long as the width shown here. Beware your sanity if you enter and don’t like crowds…
This guy made sound-making things. I wanted to hate them because they were loud but they actually didn’t sound bad and looked pretty cool..
Exactly what it says except that it was also the secret fast route to get a bottle of water – the food places had huge lines which was not great if you just wanted a drink. Behind this is the entrance to the grassy knoll.
360 panorama, centered on the Arts & Crafts area. This was taken while standing under the blue umbrella on the picture above.
Lousy picture of Brooklyn Aerodrome’s display, also a MakerFaire regular. They make a cool RC flying wing type deal for $25.
“Make Rockets Here”. The sign does say it all.. Air-powered rocket kits for the kids to make. They had a variety of ways to pressurize them – from bike pumps to what looked like a small electric compressor. Also a quick video of a launch, partially obscured by somebody’s thumb.
Missed the EepyBird show but they had a good-sized stage again this year. They’re the Mentos and Soda guys..
Hive76, (ex- ?) home of the awesome Jordan Miller, was there making lots of noise – they had some cool machines, all of which were turned up to 11. Grr..
Farmhack.net had a big display, which I (sadly) didn’t get enough time as I would have liked to check out..
If you don’t know http://publiclab.org/, you should check them out – they’ve got some really interesting things going on. They were there talking about their balloon mapping kits.
Some quadcopter action.. The crowd in the background is watching a demo of somebody flying one.
Hey, kids! Come play with these drill presses!! Actually, there were no drills present – note the ink roller on the near side of it.. They were for stamping.. uh.. stamps. Fairly low-tech but the kids seemed really into it.
Couple panaoramas of the grassy knoll..
I remember taking this picture but have no recollection of what was inside this shipping container. I’m guessing it was plant-related.
A whole row of small displays outside the MakerShed, near the end of the grassy knoll.. I didn’t really get to check these out:
Composi-Mold.. Interesting stuff – you can make a mold with it then melt it back down to make other molds, reusing it over and over. Food safe and green. I thought it was something to do with honey, which I like and which this looks like, but it was not.
Looking back across the grassy knoll. Circus Warehouse is on the near right, Live-sized mouse trap game beyond that. Composi-Mold is on the near left with the MakerShed behind that (off-frame) to the left. The picture makes this area look a lot smaller than it was.
Inside the MakerShed, a class/talk going on – looks like motor control via Arduino stuff.. I don’t know how many different talks happened but there were 4-5 setups around the show, each with different schedules. You didn’t have to sign up, you just had to show up early if you wanted to sit..
Random shots from around the inside of the MakerShed.
I think I’m going to stop here and call this Part 1 of 2. Part 2 of 2 will be more random notes and some sample of the 100+ pictures I have left…