Saturday, May 13, 2017

Madison Wisconsin Mini Maker Faire Was Huge!

I spent a good portion of today checking out the Madison Wisconsin Maker Faire.  I was not disappointed. I only live around an hour and a half from Madison so it was and easy drive on my motorcycle. Being as the temperature today reached 82 degrees it was a no brainer to make the trip with my bike.

The event was huge in many ways.  I arrived shortly after 11:00 am and already everything was in full swing with more projects, booths, displays, and spectators that I even anticipated.  Lots of usual things were at this maker faire like 3D printers, craft items, and activities for kids, but what caught my eye was the varied interests that makers had brought to the show along with the skill level that came with them.

This boat was one of the outstanding displays that I saw at the show.  I did not get the full details about the boat other than the fact that it was five feet long, is fully R/C controlled, has twin electric motors to power it and was hand built over two years time.  The boat is of a plywood construction with a fiberglass hand built hull.  An amazing piece of work for sure. 

A few steps away from the boat model was rather intricate display of Lego building.  The top two pictures were of a complete town with an operational model railroad. All of the buildings were put together using nothing but Lego blocks.  None of which were glued together. Another nice bit of work.  I like the skyscraper with all of the windows.  

Also at the Maker Faire was this very nicely constructed Iron Man suit.  It was nearly complete and was very well done.

Also another big hit at the faire was of course this working replica of the Star Wars R2D2 droid.  I spoke with the owner and he said that it took him two years to get R2 looking and operating as well as he did at the faire.  R2D2 was completely R/C controlled with all the correct sounds and movements that R2 would make.  I was lucky enough to get this photo as there was at least a dozen people around him all day long. 

Not to be outdone was this interesting little R/C robot/dinosaur running around on the floor.  The operator (namely an 8 year old) could move the robot all around plus also make it's head reach out and bit something.  It was fun to watch and I am sure much more fun to play with on the floor.

This is just a small sample of what I had seen at the Madison Maker Faire. The number of booths that were at the show would have taken me a couple of days to talk to everyone to fill you in on all that was shown.  Sadly to say the Maker Fair was only for one day.

I did manage to talk to some very interesting makers while I was there.  On young lady who is a school teacher was helping her 3rd grade students learn about architecture.  There school this year had just celebrated it's 100th anniversary.  So the class build a simple model of the school and even tracked down that actual blueprints for the building to get everything correctly scaled.  Impress once again.

The best suggestion I have for anyone who did not have the chance to go to the maker faire is to mark your calendar for next year to see it all first hand.  I am sure with the turnout from this years show that next years will be even bigger and better.  It was well worth the time to spend at least a couple of hours seeing the wonderful creations that were on display and meeting some of the creators in the process. 

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