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Liveblogging Maker Faire Rhode Island

September 21st, 2009 No comments

Sean Bagge\'s Yellow SubmarineSaturday I went to Maker Faire Rhode Island and liveblogged the event from my jeejah. Here’s a hashtag search that brings up most of my tweets. For some reason, search cuts off some of my tweets (and I forgot to hashtag the first few), so here they are:

Makerbot 3D PrinterThis was a great start for a first Maker Faire, and with all the wonderfully innovative minds out here, it was high time the Northeast threw one. I haven’t been to Maker Faire Austin, but this was a very different affair from the San Francisco event. The most noticeable difference was the scale of the inventions on display. The San Francisco Faire is notable for the presence of a lot of big Burning Man art. Out here, far from Black Rock City, the gadgets on display were no less cool but tended to be smaller (and fewer seemed designed to amuse tripping burners — although the REM inducer on display by the soldering tables looked straight off the Playa).

Whoever figured out how to coordinate the Faire with one of Providence’s Waterfire weekends was a genius. Unlike the San Francisco event, which is ensconced off in the San Mateo fairgrounds, the Rhode Island Faire took over an entire square and the streets radiating out from it in downtown Providence, meaning that thousands of casual passers by got to wander into the event, learn, and participate. The weather cooperated nicely, too. Of course, the SF Faire is big enough that it needs its own space and doesn’t need as much publicity, but the point is that it would have been very unfortunate if the first northeast Faire had been tucked away in a building out of the public eye.

Big Nazo robotAll in all, this was a great time, and I even had a few minutes to stop for tacos at AS220 (an awesome & more permanent feature of Providence) before getting back on the train for Boston.

I did try to credit all of the Makers when photographing projects. If I shot your project and didn’t include your name, please let me know, and I’ll make sure to update this post to give credit.

Finally, I’ll pass on some information I picked up:

  • For info on building open source 3D printers, visit MakerBot.
  • To download and share digital designs for fabricating physical objects, check out the Thingiverse community (and get your reputation economy on).

Photos (top to bottom): Yellow Submarine by Sean Bagge, DIY 3D printer by Makerbot Industries, Huge Foam Skeletal Robot Costume by Big Nazo. (All taken by me).