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White House Maker Faire taking place in 2014

BB pal Tom Kalil, Deputy Director for Technology and Innovation at the White House, sends word of the first White House Maker Faire taking place later this year. From the White House Blog:

Inspired by “Joey Marshmallow” and the millions of citizen-makers driving the next era of American innovation, we are thrilled to announce plans to host the first-ever White House Maker Faire later this year. We will release more details on the event soon, but it will be an opportunity to highlight both the remarkable stories of Makers like Joey and commitments by leading organizations to help more students and entrepreneurs get involved in making things.

Meanwhile, you can get involved by sending pictures or videos of your creations or a description of how you are working to advance the maker movement to maker@ostp.gov, or on Twitter using the hashtag #IMadeThis. Take Joey’s advice – don’t be bored, make something. Maybe you, like Joey, can take your making all the way to The White House.

"Announcing the First White House Maker Faire"

Bruce Sterling at Maker Faire Rome: Desirable, Buildable, Profitable

Last week I was in Italy for the first Maker Faire Rome. (You can see my photo galleries of the event here and here.) The Faire kicked off on Thursday with a series of presentations. One of my favorites was given by science fiction writer and design critic Bruce Sterling. He gave a slideshow about his Venn diagram of things that are desirable, profitable, and buildable.

For instance, things that are profitable, but not desirable or buildable, include speculation, embezzlement, frauds, hoarding, theft, vaporware, and hoaxes. Things that are desirable, but not buildable or profitable, include fantasies, speculations, the magical, and the mythical. Things that are buildable, but neither profitable nor desirable, include trash, pollution, and entropy. Things that are buildable and profitable but not desirable include niche products, hobby gear, long tail objects, weaponry, and criminal hardware. All in all, there were seven categories of products that Sterling identified, and gave examples of, in his slideshow.

An improvised explosive device (IED) is buildable and profitable, but not desirable (at least not by anyone other than the people making and using them)

Read the rest

Maker Faire Rome: Highlights from Day 1

Greetings from rainy Roma, where I'm at Maker Faire: The European Edition for a 4-day celebration of innovation, education, and unbridled enthusiasm for creativity. Today I visited about 1/3 of the over 200 exhibits on display, and hope to blaze through the rest tomorrow before I return home.

Highlights so far have included Fritzing's introductory Arduino kit, a robot that follows you when you go shopping and carries your stuff, Nicolas Huchet's handmade hand (above left), Kulptfunzel's modded Swiss Army Flashlight, and seeing my friends Julie Watai (above) and Francesco Fondi.

You can see photos and videos with more information on my Instagram feed. Dale Dougherty, MAKE's founder and publisher has even more photos.

Kids' toy hacking workshop at Toronto Maker Faire

Andy (from Toronto's excellent Makerkids) sez, "Toronto's Mini Maker Faire is back on after a 2 year gap! MakerKids is very excited to be a part of it, and we're running Toy Hacking all weekend and a Robot Battle Arena on Sunday. Bring your own battle robot, or customize one of ours on site! There are all kinds of other maker activities and projects on display at the Faire, come check it out!"

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Steampunk armada made from recycled plastic bottles

IZ Reloaded sez, "Spotted at Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2013! Using discarded plastic bottles, bits of old toys, disassembled computers and other recycled unwanted items, David Liew of the Sleeping Iron foundry has created an armada of steampunk inspired spaceships known as the Bottle Fleet. Each model has been sculpted and painted to the level similar to that of movie production models and miniatures."

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3D printing: with 2D; with holograms; and all-in-one 3D scanning

Here's a video from last week's Maker Faire showcasing technologies for printing out 3D-ish objects using 2D printers: ModelBox turns a 3D model into a series of 2D images you print on acetate and set into a frame to cheaply and quickly prototype/simulate the 3D object; Zebra Images turns 3D models into holograms; and Lynx Laboratories demos its all-in-one 3D scanner.

3D Printing on a 2D printer?! - Maker Faire 2013 (Thanks, Francis!)

Face morphing mirror at Maker Faire 2013

One of my favorite exhibits at Maker Faire Bay Area 2013 (held last weekend) was Alex Andre's Metamorphosis Project. It's a six-foot-diameter spinning disc with a hand crank. The disc is made of clear glass and mirrors in alternating quadrants. You stand on one side and line up your nose with a person standing on the other side. As the disc spins, you see a rapidly flickering image of your reflection and the other person's face. The effect was hallucinatory - I not only saw my face merge with the other person's face, but I also saw faces pop in and out that looked nothing like either of our faces. These videos give you just a small taste of the trippiness. I hope you get a chance to experience it yourself one day.

Modded Power Wheels racing

MAKE senior editor Goli Mohammadi interviewed Jim Burke, organizer of the Power Racing Series, an event where adults soup-up battery-operated Power Wheels cars and race them on a track, often wearing costumes. If you are coming to Maker Faire New York later this month, you can see these wacky races first-hand.

Power Racing Series Coming to Maker Faire New York

MAKE founder Dale Dougherty profiled on CNN


[Video Link] MAKE founder Dale Dougherty was profiled on a recent episode of CNN's The Next List, hosted by Sanjay Gupta.

Dale Dougherty is the founder of MAKE Magazine and Maker Faire. He believes in a simple idea: that we all have potential to be makers. He is passionate about creating a generation who are creative, innovative, curious, and making things to improve our world.
See part 2

Adam Savage's Maker Faire 2012 Talk: Why We Make

IMG 1555[Video Link] It was so great to see Adam Savage at Maker Faire again this year. Thousands of people crammed into the the giant Fiesta Hall for Adam's presentation.

Adam started by talking about his fedora, which is a replica of the one Harrison Ford wore in Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. He explained that the hat was made by a guy named Marc Kitter. Unable to find an accurate Indiana Jones fedora, Kitter taught himself millenary, so he could make one for himself.

After Kitter got good at hat making, he started his own company, the Adventurebilt Hat Company, which makes 40 to 50 pure beaver felt fedoras per year for $650 each. They are so good that Harrison Ford wears an Adventurebilt in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

I wonder how many extra orders Kitter got as a result of Adam's talk?

The stunning packaging design for Arduino products

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MassimoOne the highlights of Maker Faire for me was meeting Massimo Banzi, the co-founder of the Arduino project. He's very friendly and we had a nice time talking about design. I also enjoyed meeting Luisa Castiglioni, his girlfriend. She's a writer for a number of design magazines, including Domus. (Here's an article she wrote for Domus about makers in the Italian design world.)

Massimo brought with him to Maker Faire samples of the new packaging for Arduino's line of products, and they are beautiful. There were designed by Todo studio, which is run by Giorgio Olivero. Massimo was Giorgio's professor at the Interaction Design Institute in Ivrea, Italy.

Take a look at Todo's photo gallery of Arduino packaging.

Attract potential romantic partners with these animated LED glasses


[Video Link] I saw these glasses in action at the Maker Faire 2012 wrap dinner. The gents from macetech LLC who were wearing them were the life of the party.

We at macetech LLC are proud of our existence as an intra-spacetime provider of technology. Our goal is to insert technological developments into the time periods where they should exist, rather than where they were initially developed. The LED matrix shades project was successfully inserted into 1981 at considerable risk.

Cool Clothes and Styles of Maker Faire Attendees (Part 2)

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It was fun to see people expressing themselves at Maker Faire with colorful clothes and accessories. (See Part 1)

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Cool Clothes and Styles of Maker Faire Attendees (Part 2)

Commodore 64 keytar weilded by rollerskating hacker

Legendary hardware hacker Jeri Ellsworth (world's most awesome C64 hacker and all round happy mutant), entertained attendees at the Maker Faire with her brilliant Commodore 64 bass keytar, which she played while wearing rollerskates.

Ellsworth noted via Twitter that it uses the SID chip and is based on an FPGA - a re-implementation of the Commodore-64 computer using reconfigurable logic chips. See the video below for an overview of the instrument from Ellsworth.

What’s not obvious from the photo above is that Ellsworth wears a portable amp and rocks the C64 Bass Guitar on roller skates. <3

Jeri Ellsworth & Her Commodore 64 Bass Guitar Thing (via Waxy)

Cool clothes and styles of Maker Faire attendees


Earlier today Gareth Branwyn had the idea that we should run an image gallery of the great clothes worn by people who come to Maker Faire Bay Area 2012 (taking place now). So Gar and I went out and snapped some photos of folks wearing interesting outfits. We'll post another gallery later, because there are so many great outfits here at the Faire!

See the Maker Faire Fashion Photo Gallery