Maker Faire Bay Area 2012: Highlights and Headlines
Maker Faire 2012 took place in San Mateo, CA this weekend. Visited by over 120,000 people, Maker Faire featured exhibits ranging from robots to 3D printing to electric cars to art installations. Here are some of the highlights that made headlines.
The maker movement has hit an interesting flux point; its amateurs and enthusiasts, much like the computer geeks of the 1970s and 1980s, now stand on the verge of watching their hobby erupt into big business that will reshape the way people everywhere live.
While walking around the Maker Faire grounds this morning I took a quick census all of the 3D printers. All told I saw 55 3D printers on the fairgrounds, 23 of which were unique designs. That’s not including the CNC machines or the stock of three dozen or so Replicator, Up! printers, and Printrbots for sale in the Maker Shed. I’m impressed!
Here’s the scene: a middle school boy goes to a fantastic summer day camp, Galileo Learning, in Hillsborough, CA. He builds a great go-kart as his final project. But when Galileo transports the go-kart to Maker Faire, the steering wheel is dangling by a single bolt. Missing a nut!
San Jose Mercury News: Maker Faire explodes into the ultimate DIY project
Maker Faire has exploded into the ultimate do-it-yourself project: In only six years, the once-intimate weekend gathering is now attracting massive crowds and exporting the experience around the globe, from Chicago to Cairo.
It’s mad science for the masses. A celebration of the do-it-yourself-mindset. A place where you go to play with robots, see a giant metal dragon breath fire, turn old computer parts into cool sculptures, and watch Coke react with Mentos mints, sending geysers of soda shooting the air over twenty feet high. Think Burning Man for geeks and kids with a dizzying array of DIY projects and science demonstrations.
PC World: Maker Faire 2012: A Gallery of Creations
That said, one of the big themes at this year’s event is the fusion of digital and tangible, with recurring favorite 3D printers taking center stage.
Outside, an even more jaw-dropping world of larger-than-life displays were set up in a festival-like atmosphere, such as a two-stories-tall metal dragon that actually breathed fire, and all manner of decked-out homemade vehicles, animatronic figures and more.
And finally, neon robot land sharks!
Maker Faire photo by Kiet Callies used under Creative Commons license.