Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Maker Faire 2013

Hey, guys! Do you remember last September when I posted about Portland's Mini Maker Faire? No? Well, no worries you can check it out here.

Anyway, I got to go again this year. Yay! I was even lucky enough to get to go solo. Now, I loved going with Max last year, and I want to take him again, but we do have rather different interests, so it was nice to get to play on my own this time.

So here's my trip to 2013's Portland Mini Maker Faire! I know I missed some stuff, but enjoy all the goodies I did find! (Note: these are just in the order I wandered the Faire.)



I saw a lot of 3D printers at the Faire, but this was the first I wandered over to. The booth was OpenFab PDX and they were printing F-F-Fiddles, which are just what they sound like - little fiddles! There was a guy playing one too and it was pretty spectacular. 



Look at all the pretty goodies by Digital Craft PDX! They have a great range of services and were super friendly to boot. 


I've always wanted to try glass blowing, so the glass is what drew me over to Tool Shed PDX, but they were also there with a full welding tent and doing some awesome projects. 


Man, I wanted to buy one of everything these guys had! The kits at Low Voltage Labs were super cute. Teach those kids to solder early! They were also doing Raspberry Pi demos, which is cool, but I liked the blinking lights. What can I say, I'm easily distracted. :)


That would be a bee hive! Full of real bees! Bridgetown Bees was holding court on city beekeeping! Especially will all the sad bee news that's made the headlines recently, I just had to pick up some info.  


The Perlan Project is working on setting a new altitude record for glider flight. They also collect valuable data on atmospheric conditions. Plus, kiddos in a plane!


 I'm a huge fan of Trackers Earth. I kind of want to lie about my age so I can go to all the classes. I have a dream of one day being a camp counselor for them. sigh Anyway, they had a spread of booths that were all popular. This is where they were letting visitors try archery.


The Intel tent had a really fun activity this year. You got to make an LED light wand, then go into a dark tent where there were computers set up with software that would track your light and displayed you painting with your light paintbrush. Ok, that was a horrible description, but it was really fun!


There were a lot of cool characters wandering around. I'm pretty sure these guys were with the armor booth in the next picture, but they weren't the only ones posing for photos! I saw several incarnations of The Doctor, a collection of pirates, many Star Wars characters, a healthy smattering of steam punk, and a few comic heroes. 


Midnight Armor can help make your cosplay dreams come true! Especially if they involve vacuformed armor pieces. :D


Portland has so many cool clubs! Here are some of the awesome bots built by the R2D2 Builders Group. Lots of photos taken there!


I'm not sure who this little guy belonged to, but he sure way cute. He had a donation sign on his head and was getting fed change from all the little kids! Genius! (I'm pretty sure he was fundraising for an FTC team.)


Look; another 3D printer! This one was running at the Thomas Houha Designs booth. But the wood cutting was the real story there - check out the tiny treehouse! These models were gorgeous! I want!


So many cool components for sale! It was like a candy shop and toy store rolled into one!


I've had a steep learning curve about robotics challenges recently, so it was cool to see the robots of not 1, but 2 FRC teams at the Faire. This one is from the Flaming Chickens, from Catlin Gabel, Portland, OR. 


Here's another awesome frisbee chucker, this one by team Mean Machine, Portland's 1st place team from 2013. 


There were also rocket. Lots of rockets. I'm not sure which rocket booth this was, but there were tons and they were all pretty awesome. 


Hooray for sword fighting! The folks from Academia Duellatoria were back to give all these techie-types a taste of the classics with historic fencing demonstrations and lessons. 


Pirates! They were putting on a lovely show and firing canons off every hour or so. Arrr! (Don't forget tomorrow is Talk Like A Pirate Day!)


This is the current challenge board for the First Lego League groups. It's called Nature's Fury and encourages kids to think about people's reactions to natural disasters. This one was brought by Oregon Robotics Tournament and Outreach Program, who you can be sure I'll be looking up soon!


This is a car covered in yarn! How cool is that?!? I kind of want to do this to my car, but I don't think Matt will be into it. Ah well...


Everything's better with a trebuchet! 


In the back workshop area they had a bunch of video game demos set up. This one is controlled by a chair you sit in. You lean side to side to slalom down the ski slope. 


These kids are controlling the game entirely by sound. They have mics instead of controllers and change pitch and volume to play. 


You know an exhibit is going to be good when it has a warning sign like this. 



That's 2 big Tesla Coils I got to see in action! Don Anderson was doing a great show every hour or so. We got to see big arcs, he fried a CD, toasted a banana, and made all sorts of great light effects.  


I really wish my camera hadn't been giving out by this point, but what can ya do, eh? You can see at least a bit of pretty electricity here, plus those two glowing rods in the back? Those are florescent lightbulbs his lovely assistant is holding up. No, they're not plugged in, and yes, they're glowing rather brightly. 

Ok, that's only about a third of the pictures I took, and I only took pictures of half of what was there! So much fun stuff! Mark your calendars now; don't miss Portland's Maker Faire next September! Or look up the one in your area because they are not to be missed!

TTFN!
Cady

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