This past weekend, my family and I attended our third Maker Faire at the New York Hall of Science. "Part science fair, part county fair, and part something entirely new, Maker Faire is an all-ages gathering of tech enthusiasts, crafters, educators, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, science clubs, authors, artists, students, and commercial exhibitors. All of these “makers” come to Maker Faire to show what they have made and to share what they have learned." Just as I felt last year, there was so much to see, more than we could cover in one day. We were happy to see a lot of new exhibitors and some old favorites like EepyBird's Mentos/Diet Coke Geyser and The Life Size Mousetrap .
We were blown away by the this WikiHouse, a collaboration with 3D modeling program Sketchup. Wikihouse is "an open source construction set. The aim is to allow anyone to design, download, and 'print' CNC-milled houses and components, which can be assembled with minimal formal skill or training". In case you're wondering (I was!) CNC stands for "computer numerically controlled". The parts are 'printed' (cut) from a standard sheet material like plywood using a CNC machine. The pieces are numbered and assembled like a jigsaw puzzle. Amazing!!!
Speaking of computer numerically controlled tools, we want one of these Handibots! Handibot is a digitally controlled power tool that cuts into wood, plastics, aluminum, foam, composites, and other materials.
Some of the Handibot's handiwork!
As much as I enjoyed seeing all the new technology, I am a low-tech maker myself. I loved seeing small exhibitors showing their handmade work, especially the young Makers like Aanika Atluri at her Leaf Couture booth. She started making shoes and doll accessories out of her parent's hosta leaves and came to Maker Faire to share her ideas!
Young Maker Ellie White weaves thick rugs from upcycled cotton t-shirts and felted wool sweaters on her giant potholder looms.
Fine tool sellers Garrett Wade had a booth for the first time and offered a fun wooden boatbuilding project.
Mario used Arduino to build Marcel, his mechanical monkey. Made from cork and wood and wire hangers, it is a mix of low-tech and high tech. Marcel followed Mario's voice commands. The kids and I were entranced! Look for this upcoming movie about Mario.