Every 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 the amazing mix of entertainment and budding entrepeneurship. My favorite is the new technologies.
Do you know about the Tech Shop?
They have opened new Tech Shop locations in Detroit, Michigan. Another is planned for Brooklyn, New York. Check out the TECH Shop web site. Geek Dad Father's Day weekend is coming up!
How about 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.
From Printbl.com this plastic "wire" is for 3-D printing machines. The colors are bubble gum to banana yellow and "gem stones translucent" shown below.
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.
Below are examples shown at Maker Fair:
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
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.
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.
The Clorox Maker Contest ends on June 22, 2012 at 11:59 p.m. PT ("Contest Period"). 2 Grand Prizes: $2000. 2 First Prizes: $1000. 8 Second Prizes: $500. Here is the premise for the contest for would be inventors and makers.
Another thing I love about MakerFaire is the clever ideas and entrepreneurial spirit.
How about this sign for MAKEY, MAKEY made from...
spray painted keyboards. Very clever, and it was just wired to the temporary hurricane fencing used to delineate booth spaces.
"MaKey MaKey is an invention kit for the 21st century. Turn everyday objects into touch pads 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, lover laser cutters.
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.
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.