Vancouver Mini Maker Faire 2011

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This past weekend was Vancouver’s first Mini Maker Faire and even the weather cooperated.

Vancouver 2011 Mini Maker Faire

Part carnival, part technology showcase, and part craft show, it’s definitely not your grandma’s kind of faire – you actually have to sign a waiver to gain entry due to some of the exhibits on display and their inherent dangers.

Like this truck that shoots flames:

Vancouver 2011 Mini Maker Faire

or this giant, electric walking spider that people drove around the fairgrounds:
Vancouver 2011 Mini Maker Faire

a somewhat safer pedal version patrolled the row of tasty food vendors:
Vancouver 2011 Mini Maker Faire

There were lots of hands on demos for things like glass blowing, laser cutting, soldering, Arduinos(!) and spin art among a bunch of other crafts and exhibits:

Vancouver 2011 Mini Maker Faire Vancouver 2011 Mini Maker Faire

as well as items for sale:
Vancouver 2011 Mini Maker Faire

My favorite area was the 3D printing area where I got to see up close for the first time the predessor to my Thing-O-Matic, the RepRap which can actually print a good portion of it’s own parts (minus the motors & electronics):
Vancouver 2011 Mini Maker Faire

Vancouver 2011 Mini Maker Faire

Another Thing-O-Matic in the wild!
Vancouver 2011 Mini Maker Faire

It was cool to see some sample prints from another 3D printer and to chat with the guys that operate them as I was troubleshooting my first prints. I was also able to connect with a number of great people at the Vancouver Hacker Space and the Victoria MakerSpace.

Vancouver 2011 Mini Maker Faire

A Nintendo Nunchuk controlled Xylophone:
Vancouver 2011 Mini Maker Faire

And lastly, something to use that old iMac for:
Vancouver 2011 Mini Maker Faire

I really enjoyed the MakerFaire (and spent WAY too much money at the Solarbotics booth buying Arduino stuff)….I’ve been trying for a couple of years to make it to the big one in San Francisco but scheduling has just never worked out. I’m really glad Vancouver’s turned out to be so great and hope that the organizers are able to make it an annual event. The crowds that turned up and the favorable responses from people I talked to seems to suggest there is a huge market for this kind of event in Vancouver with so many talented and creative folks around. It was also really cool to see so many kids enjoying the faire and learning about technology and the DIY culture that is the mantra behind Maker Faires.

I didn’t take as many photos as I normally would…I was too busy enjoying the faire.

You can view my whole MakerFaire photoset on Flickr.

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