The annual Detroit Maker Faire was held this past Saturday and Sunday, July 30 & 31st on the grounds of The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI. Maker Faire is an event created by MAKE Magazine and was created so that makers of all kinds could put their inventions on display. This included makers, engineers, artists, hackers, and crafters from all over the midwest. It is an interactive event that allows people to enjoy all the work that has been created. Maker Faire began in California in 2006 and has grown to include New York City and Detroit. This was the second time Maker Faire has been featured in the Detroit area and it is definitely growing, 80 percent of the makers attended for the first time this year. makeLab was just one of the 325+ makers at the event. Thousands of people turned out for the event that showcased DIY projects to the local visitors, the event provided workshops, inventions, and hands on activities. The greatest part about it is that the visitors are able to not only interact with the inventions, but they are also able to gain an understanding of how it was made. The event is truly an inspiration for anyone looking to be creative in their own ability. It allows the locals to see how the makers are working and contributing within the local communities.
The show boasted a wide variety of inventions from marshmallow shooters, re-engineered bicycles, robots, and even Gon-KiRin, a 69 foot fire-breathing dragon. A few faire favorites were on display, such as the Life Size Mousetrap and the Coke and Mentos show. There were areas of hands on activities such as make and take marshmallow shooters and Soldering lessons. Forms of alternative transportation were on display. There were 7 passenger circular bicycles, oversized bicycles, a Hostess cupcake, and even a motorized couch was driving around. A Power Wheels racing track was built on site and allowed for hackers to modify their racers to try to beat the competition. Some of the Power Wheels were modified by Arduino controlled LED lights while others were built around boomboxes in the body. This was all on the grounds of the Henry Ford, the museum interior was transformed to hold a retail area of handcrafted in Detroit goods and displayed many creations from young makers.
The Maker Faire was especially interesting as a makeLab member because there were areas that ignited inspiration of possibilities. There were tents which hosted community hacker spaces such as I3 Detroit and the soon to be opened Maker Works. Lots of homemade CNC machines, which included MakerBot’s collection of Plastic 3d Printers. The printers were printing scaled buildings, cars, jewelry, and there was even a working 3d printed drill. Shopbot tools was there showing off two CNC machines as well as a showcase of products built on them.
It was a wonderful event and I would recommend others to come out and join the fun next year.