Sunday, August 1, 2010

Maker Faire - Detroit

The kit at the "Learn to Solder" station. For a buck, you got a small
set of parts, which when put together was a blinky led badge.
It was popular, especially with the kids, but a lot of grown ups
had them also.

Seen at the giant mousetrap art show, I assumed he was
taking stereo video. There were a lot of cameras around.

A swing set with a water bar at the top.
Very popular, even though it wasn't really hot.

Another performance art piece. Volunteers were pulled
out of the crowd to pedal or just ride. It played music that
sounded like an old record on a turntable. The music varied
in speed corresponding to the speed they were pedaling.
They then had to pedal backwards...
There were flames also.
Vehicles were popular. Pedal, electric, solar or gas.
They were all there.

Saturday I let my inner geek out. I attended the Maker Faire in Dearborn at the Henry Ford Museum. When I mentioned I was going, I was asked what the Faire was. It's hard to explain. Think technology meets art, meets learning, meets community. A celebration of the hackers ethic along with a big helping of do it yourself. Not I mean hacking in a good way, like taking apart something you own or repurposing it for a use the original manufacturer never intended.

There were not a lot of vendors selling things, probably ninety percent of the booths were just people and schools showing off projects they were working on. There were projects for kids, like pvc marshmallow guns, or the learn to solder station. There were demonstration for adults, like a laser etching station or cnc woodworking tools, some homebuilt. I saw my first 3d printer, a homemade device that prints small parts out of plastic.

Music was popular, there were a lot of homemade music devices, some acoustic, some computer controlled. There was a stage where bands played the whole day.

There was also a lot of geeky style performance art. From the ride pictured above, to a full sized Mousetrap game that dropped a two ton safe on a car to the Coke Zero - Mentos performance.

A lot of robots, from small table tops to a Nerf machine gun area protection robot.

The only photography display I saw was Bill Schwab from North Lights Photography. He was doing a brisk business selling wet plate collodion portraits. I didn't get a chance to say hi, he was pretty busy. It was interesting to see an old process be so popular.

As part of the admission, we had access to the Henry Ford Museum. I didn't see much of it, except to go in the building to see the displays inside. A full, tiring, but very fun day. I hope they do it again next year, I would be back.

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