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Maker Faire Inspiration & Technology

 Maker Faire with the San Francisco Metal Arts Guild  in 2010.arnEvery year the Maker Faire comes to San Mateo. In the past, I participated with hands-on projects (left photo) but this year I just went to look around. As usual, there was an amazing mix of entertainment and budding entrepreneurship. My favorite is the new technologies.



Look at this 3-D printing shown below.
The forms in this photo are a little silly and decorative, but you can see the potential of the technology.

3-D printing doesn't have to be in white any longer.  by Printbl is colored bio degradable materials for 3-D printing at Maker Fairel

From this plastic "wire" is for 3-D printing machines. The colors are bubble gum to banana yellow and "gemstone translucent" shown below.

3-D printing material at Maker Faire

These plastics for 3-D printing are all biodegradable PLA.

Check out Sugru! Air cured silicon rubber.  It "hardens" when exposed to moisture in the air. It is soft and flexible when cured.
Sugur Hack things better at Maker Faire

Below are examples shown at Maker Fair:
Sugru Samples at Maker Faire
Sugru has adhesive properties but is flexible.

  • It sticks to most materials, from steel to cotton
  • Colors can be mixed to get a huge range of in-between shades
  • It's flexible when cured so great for prototyping parts

Sugru at the Maker Faire
A package of Sugru contains individual envelopes.

  •     It bonds to most hard plastics used to make gadgets and car parts;
  •     It's stable up to 180C/360F so it's good for dashboards in the summer;
  •     It comes in black - interior repairs can be very subtle.

Sugru at the Maker Faire

Have you ever used Sugru? I have been using this to fix things around the house and it is phenomenal. Just rebuild the broken parts with Sugru (it is kind of like dense Play Dough) and then come back the next day. It is hard, ready to go. 

Another thing I love about MakerFaire is the clever ideas and entrepreneurial spirit.  Makerfaire 107

How about this sign for MAKEY, MAKEY made from...
Makerfaire 108

spray-painted keyboards. Very clever, and it was just wired to the temporary hurricane fencing used to delineate booth spaces.

Makerfaire 112
"MaKey MaKey is an invention kit for the 21st century. Turn everyday objects into a touchpad and combine them with the internet. It's a simple Invention Kit for Beginners and Experts doing art, engineering, and everything in between." They funded themselves successfully on Kickstarter. It was a good fit for the Kickstarter young adult geek audience.

There were numerous technology companies demonstrating their equipment priced and sized for the consumer.  I love, love, love laser cutters.
Makerfaire 010
These consumer models cut wood, plastic, fabric, felt, paper, cardboard, etc. at 600 dpi. They cut all the way through the material or can be rasterized for creating patterns and designs.
Laser cutter at the Maker Faire
Before you buy a Laser cutter consider the size of the laser bed.
This one was small which keeps the price lower but may limit your projects. Go as big as you can afford.

I know how to solder and weld, but thought this sign was hilarious.  It was at a large booth for Radio Shack.

AHsoldermakerfaire 092

Go to Maker Faire if it is in your area.
There is so much to see, do and learn.

This post was updated on March 31, 2022, to provide current links.