The World's Largest Show and Tell: World Maker Faire 2015
The Maker Movement got started back in 2005 with the launch of MAKE Magazine. The publication brought together a large amount of people interested in tech-influenced DIY builds that eventually poured over into the consumer market, further aided by online crowdsourcing websites like Kickstarter. Maker Faires are a celebration of this movement where anyone from an individual hobbyist to a large company can showcase their ideas and innovations to the world.
Maker Faires take place all over the world, and it’s easy to find one nearby throughout the year. Just head to their website and explore the map. However, the two main flagship events, the original Maker Faire and the World Maker Faire, take place annually in San Francisco and New York, respectively.
These events offer a lot to discuss and learn from in a wide variety of fields, such as science, engineering, art, performance, craft, and technology. It’s the ultimate meeting place for DIYers to strut their stuff and get inspiration from others.
During Craftsman MAKEcation, we took a look at 2015's World Maker Faire at the New York Hall of Science in Queens, an event touted as the world’s largest show and tell. The event itself is huge and took over both the museum and the extended grounds for the weekend.
This year saw an abundance of drone for sale and for show. It was the first time an arena was constructed for the Aerial Sports League Drones, a group that was formed four years ago for people to compete in a series of races, combat, and other challenges. Events went on both days under the tent and were very popular.
Another common sight was prosthetic and robotic hands. People and organizations focusing on health concerns were a huge part of the Faire, and many chose to tackle the problem of affordable substitutes for people who need a hand or arm. 3D printing and other designs showcased many ways to create intricate designs that would be accessible to anyone.
If you’re a DIYer with a knack for problem solving and home building, then you’ll be interested in NASA’s new initiative. The organization debuted a new contest at the Faire, calling on people to submit concepts and designs for Martian habitats that could be constructed using 3D printing technology before the astronauts even arrived. The winners have already been announced but more challenges and prize competitions from NASA can be found here.
Of course, solving big issues and pushing technology further is one part of the Maker Faire and many groups chose to celebrate the artistry and fun factor of the maker movement. Two of our favorites included a full-sized metal horse sculpture with an intricate gear system and engine that allowed it to run realistically in slow-motion and a life-sized version of the Mouse Trap board game that really worked in its trademark Rube Goldberg fashion to capture the pivotal mouse.