Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Maker Faire

The Maker Faire events are one of the most fun ways to spend a weekend I've found, the only problem being when the stuff I bring proves to be one of the most popular items there and supervising an endless flow of kids keeps me from visiting some of the exhibitors I personally wanted to see.

Last weekends Faire filled a large exhibition hall at the Denver stockyards with demonstrations of everything from Rube Goldberg robot making to high end 3-D modeling software. There were exhibitors with fancy clothing 

Laser cut doo-dads like this light switch cover

 which might inspire other things made the same way

An exhibit of the steps involved in custom motorcycle building 

Some very fancy steampunk lamp fixtures 

An exhibit of stuff produced by the STEM students at a local school including fighting robots and pumpkin tossers 
Metal working, casting, metal cutting and engraving
Another exhibit gave everyone a chance to raid a junkyard for parts and build their own robot

And of course a chance for the kids to take a shot at a stuffed camel

with a huge Nerf gun 
This year the nerf gun featured a rifled barrel which got the kids noticeably smaller groups. This called for better sights 

 which the folks at Epilog Laser were kind enough to knock out right there

I also brought my can crusher and the kids ran some 3 large bags of cans through it for me. We discovered that when mounted horizontally, the crusher can't reliably hit a rectangular trash can sitting directly under it. Turned vertically, it tosses the cans about 12-15 feet giving the kids a challenge to catch them in a bag.

A rudimentary Iron Man exoskeleton which may find application in assisted living facilities was right next to me but somehow I don't seem to have any good pictures. That's it behind the crusher.

There was one drawback to all this. When the nerf dart (2in dia x 12" long) hit the table holding the camel, the bang of the impact on the sounding board of the table immediately attracted every kid within 100 yards to get in line for a shot. As a result I was busy herding cats being range officer from 9 AM to 6 PM at which point I was barely able to remain standing. It also meant I missed seeing some of the exhibitors I really wanted to talk to. The Solid Works rep, for example.

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