Maker Faire 2012

It’s that time of year again: Maker Faire is in Vancouver. Wen and I went last year and we went back yesterday to this year’s much larger show, now hosted at the PNE.

For those who don’t know, Maker Faire is a celebration of people who create things – electronics, crafts, art. It’s all there.

This year there was a heavy focus on 3D printing. At the 3D printer bar you could watch plastic be extruded into intricate shapes before your eyes, play with printed objects and ask the experts anything you wanted:

3D Printer

3D printer

3D printer

Watching these shapes form before you eyes, layer by layer, it like looking into the future:

3D printer

3D printer

Here’s Wen playing with a hear-shaped set of gears. It’s mind-blowing that you can just print these with the click of a button (and the machine costs less than $2K).

Wendy plays with heart-shaped gear

But it’s not just 3D printing. There were lots of great art projects.

Andres Wanner‘s Arduino-powered drawing machines were creating beautiful art:

Art robot

Art robot

Marginally Clever‘s Drawbot was on display; I’ll probably end up buying one off his site because they’re just so cool. Similarly, this printer was “etching” lines in sand:


The awesome nerds from UBC Eng Phys had their robot collection (I did Eng Phys out east in the ’90s; seeing what they’re doing makes me wish I could do it again). And the Victoria Makerspace was showing off their laser cutter via wooden bookmarks:

Victoria Makerspace Laser-Cut Bookmarks

Amongst the many art projects was Ron Simmer with his mirrors + diode sculptures:


Diode Art

Diode Art

Diode Art

I also likes this magnet + compass table:


It wasn’t all electronics though; there was a fair bit of craft, too.

Basket weaving


I thought this quilted QR code was awesome; unfortunately I couldn’t make it scan:
Quilted QR Code


Cam didn’t really love the Yarn Party but put up with it (he’s splayed on a giant ball of yarn):
Cam at his Yarn Party

And Wen got to paint with flowers:

Wendy paints with flowers

One common theme was a love of bikes. Lots of them everywhere, including bamboo-framed ones:

Bamboo Bike

Bamboo Bike

Felted bike

Knitted Bike

This bike was a portable photo mat:

Camera Bike

And here are a few closing photos for you, including ancient computers (that Osborne-1 is technically the world’s first portable) and electric cars.



Electric Car

Geometrical shape

It was a great time; the highlight for me might have been when Cam got to meet Yoda:

Cam Meets Yoda

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