Maker Faire Austin 2008 Fabrication
As always, the Maker Faire was an awesome experience. There were makers from all over. All of the really great stuff was exhibited like engineering, crafts, sustainable technology, art and other interesting things that can be conjured up by makers. Can you guess what my favorite part was? Fabrication, of course.
In the fabrication area, makers included the RepStrap, an off-shoot of the RepRap, the Fab Lab, MIT folks, based out of Massachusetts. Sponsors included ShopBot, showing their modular puzzle-like house structure cut out by their machines, Laser printing, and OnlineMetals.com, my favorite metal supplier.
On my infrequent moments that I was able to get loose and roam around (thanks to Jim Newton with TechShop), I was able to see peek in at the various robots, fire, lightning and forging around the fabrication area and get away for a few bites to eat. Jim Newton was really generous and a great maker comrad. I urge anyone to check out his operation at TechShop. If you live in an area that has one, I envy you!
My exhibit included the prototype of my, now pretty dated, version 1.2 machine. The public was generally impressed with the machine and the letters and fonts it was cranking out. A few of the new features that I included on this macine for show is the rigid wire parallel system. This is a technique used on striaght edges for drawing tables used by architects. I also showed a machine prototype that serves as my experimental platform to test size, flexibility and new z-axis assembly. I will get into more detail of this new assembly later, along with a new machine I will be introducing in a few weeks. The machine test bed can be seen in the image on the left side. I was also visited by many out-of-towners, coming to the Maker Faire only to see my exhibit. To those, thank you and I am honored. And speaking of honor, I was given two Editor's Choice ribbons for the exhibit and the machine... Thanks O'Reilly!
I am contemplating traveling to San Mateo for the next Maker Faire. Let's see if that happens.