The Maker Faire

2013 at Newcastle Centre for Life

This weekend I attended Maker Faire UK at Newcastle’s Centre for Life. It was fascinating: in previous years i’ve been inspired by the Laser Cutters, Plotters and 3D Printers on display.

This year, those devices are practically mainstream, and it’s no longer enough to show a thing that you’ve cut or printed. The star of the shows were the couple of devices that turn those technologies into a bit part in a bigger show:

The Arduino and Rasperry Pi

What couldn’t a person do with powerful, cheap open source computing, processing, control units?

I’ve clearly seen only the tip of the iceberg, but I don’t think you could easily come away from a faire like this without being impressed by the
possibilities for democratising invention and technology that open source thinking has created.

Not just possibilities for engineering or computing or pole dancing robots, which were a lot more more effective than they should have been,
there were some very biological exhibits on show:

A man showed me a copy of his heart he was building. At least I think that’s what I saw.

Internal organs were modelled in knitting, electronics were incorporated into fashion objects, living organisims were forming the basis of arcade games, and some robots were knitting.

Let us be careful how we re-combine the elements of the above sentences untill we have improved as a species, yes?

But not too careful.

I’ve long been intending to visit (and join) the Star and Shadow based ‘Maker Space‘, but this show has made it a certainty.

This is what the Maker Faire looked and sounded like: