World Maker Faire New York 2013

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It will perhaps not surprise you that I spent most of my time at Maker Faire ogling the various 3d printing displays.  Although that is what I will focus on in this post AND these beasties have surely taken over huge chunks of land at Maker Faire in recent years (based on what I’ve been told, this was my first Maker Faire), there is a lot going on at Maker Faire that is NOT 3d printing related believe it or not and I’m sure that folks interested in just about anything geeky, hacky, oddball and techy will find plenty to love even if they are somehow immune to the hype surrounding 3d printing. In fact, I find it hard to imagine that anyone could fully absorb what is on offer even if they went both days from open to close, it is that big and jam-packed with interesting stuff.

I’m sure I could write plenty about my single day there, but I want to jot this down fast and loose and throw it up on the interwebs in the hope that some soul may read this tonight and decide to go to the Faire tomorrow, so here we go.

I hitched the 7 train over to Maker Faire and observed a higher than usual geek count on the train.  Geek dads (and moms) with their daughters, geek bros rapping about server migrations, geek boyfriend/girlfriend pairs with quirky t-shirts, that kind of thing; so it was pretty easy to figure out which stop to get off at and how to get to the Faire.  Of course, I am an Android geek and had plotted the path on my Galaxy S4 and used the GPS to tell me the way anyway.

So I walk past the valet bicycle parking, the sponsor, exhibitor and maker sign-in areas and the ticket booths and show the folks at the gate my e-ticket via the EventBrite app (geeky) and saunter into the never-never-land of awesome and we stop being geeks and all of a sudden we are normal. We are with our people.

I didn’t really know where the heck I was going despite the GPS guidance the Maker Faire app was trying to give me, but I attempted to head towards the 3d printing area (grotto? ghetto?encampment?) and wandered through one of the circuitry tents where Alasdair Allan was talking about how to choose your board.  No silly, of course he didn’t mean a surfboard, skateboard or snowboard.  He meant circuit board! Or more precisely, which Arduino variant is right for your project.

20130921_114135So then I found the 3d printing exhibitors and started snapping pics like a crazy person.  First up was the Makerbot booth with the slick new Digitizer (desktop 3d scanner).  This $1400 trinket is capable of scanning any item that can sit within it’s 8″ diameter and 8″ height scanning envelope and turntable it into an STL.  That’s pretty fresh, but I’m not sure I need one for that price.

They scanned the dog, they printed the dog.
They scanned the dog, they printed the dog. No, neither is a real dog.

Next I see 3d printing web celebrity Jeff Keegan.

This guy is great.
This guy is great.

I’m a big fan of Jeff’s blog, it’s weird and kind of haphazard and has these great videos of him talking too loud to the camera about RepRaps.  The man is a RepRap evangelist par excellence and I was too shy to talk to him.  I stood next to him for quite awhile when we were both admiring another exhibitor’s RepRaps later in the day hoping to tell him how great he was but the man just doesn’t stop talking very much and I didn’t want to interrupt.  Jeff, if you’re reading this, you’re great.

And right next to Jeff was the display of true RepRap legend Josef Prusa.  Mr. Prusa is a 3d printing celebrity on par with Bre Pettis in my book (gee, I hope I’m not insulting either of them by saying that) and he’s got his latest Prusa i3 set up and printing right next to Mr. Keegan and… he’s not there.

Look at how cool his sunglasses are!
Look at how cool his sunglasses are though!

So then I see this weird Vader printer I’ve never heard of. Actually I think I might’ve seen that before Jeff and Josef’s displays, anyway…

So dark it's invisible (on the web)
So dark it’s invisible (on the web)

And this colorful guy (gal?) from Vision.

pretty colors
pretty colors
Not illuminated, but still nice looking
Not illuminated, but still nice looking

And look, it’s Deltaprintr!

Three arms dancing in a manner that is challenging to conceptualize is very sexy
Three arms dancing in a manner that is challenging to conceptualize is very sexy

And the B9 Creator was there doing its DLP resin thang.

Halloween colors too
Halloween colors too
Resolution to envy
Resolution to envy, I wished I had a penny to put down for scale, cause these are small

Then I got my first look at the Ultimaker².  This is a super sexy machine to me just based on the tremendous success of the first Ultimaker and some nice upgrades, but it’s around $2500 so… Would I get this instead of a Makerbot?  I think so, but it’s $2500!

White is the new, um... untreated ply?
White is the new, um… untreated ply?
And yes, you should buy one.
And yes, you should buy one.

Next to Ultimaker was Deezmaker with the Bukobot and Bukito. And there was a guy there that very well may have been Whosawhatsis and no, I didn’t have the guts to talk to him.

Sturdy and cute Bukito. I loves him.
Sturdy and cute Bukito. I loves him.

Here’s some Solidoodles.

They do not move me.
They do not move me.

There were several 3d printer makers there that were total size queens, but this was the first I saw: Gigabot.

With real human child.
With real human child.
That may be a real building in there.
That may be a real building in there.

These guys were taking this idea to the next level, but not actually printing anything with it, so… you know, take with grain of salt.

Big, empty frame
Big, empty frame

These guys are going to Kickstarter like next week or something and it’s hard to be anything but terrified for them in this 3d printer saturated (or is it?) market.  3DMonstr says they have a huge build volume (tell that to the other guys prior), they have ball screws for all 4 axes (no, I did not ask what the 4th axes was – if they can control time with a ball screw then watch out!) and appear to be built for live action combat.

Not pretty (yet?), but maybe pretty rugged?
Not pretty (yet?), but maybe pretty rugged?

Then there’s also the gMax in this general large printer category.

No, it did not print that clock. Well, maybe the case?
No, it did not print that clock. Well, maybe the case?

And this is a Tinkerines Ditto+.  Do you think the name is subconsciously saying “me too”?

Me too, me too.
Me too, me too.

And if that name doesn’t say “me too”, surely the Ulti-Replicator name does.

Need new name
Need new name

There was some other stuff there too.

I do not know what this is.
I do not know what this is.

I finally tracked down the Formlabs booth and snapped some pics of the elusive Form1.

Is elusive another word for late?
Is elusive another word for late?
Orange is important.
Orange is important.
Again, resolution to envy
Again, resolution to envy
I'm not gonna correct the position of this picture
I’m not gonna correct the position of this picture

This was a great little collection of bots that make stuff.

Snappy
Snappy

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Soo cute!
Soo cute!
In a SUITCASE!
In a SUITCASE!
I'm pretty sure this is a robot loom
I’m pretty sure this is a robot loom

Kids both love and are bored by 3d printers.  Mesmerized? Sleepy? Yes.

They will sit like this for a very long time
They will sit like this for a very long time

Did I mention that there were a lot of people there?  We geeks are legion. There were more tents like this.

Hey, I'm walkin heah! I'm walkin heah!
Hey, I’m walkin heah! I’m walkin heah!

The star of the show for me were these newborn RepRaps at the ConceptForge booth.  The RepRap Wally has been printing for a little while I think (correction: Wally’s first print was at the show!), but the Simpson only just came to life about five days ago with a glorious and giddy YouTube video as evidence of its first print.  Besides being mesmerizing to watch and mind-boggling to contemplate, these may be the RepRaps with the smallest vitamin ratio yet.  Vitamins are what RepRap symbiants (creators) call all of the things that a RepRap cannot replicate.  i.e. The things that they must pull from their environment in the same way we humans need vitamins (well, sorta… it’s an analogy, you know?).  For most RepRaps this includes threaded rods and rails in addition to motors, screws, bearings, belts, circuit board, etc.  The Wally and the Simpson have done away with the rods and rails.

And, by the way, awesome
And, by the way, awesome
The Morgan is even more homely, yet still awesome
The Morgan is even more homely, yet still awesome
This poor guy is a little patchwork (and blurry), but printing dammit
This poor guy is a little patchwork (and blurry), but printing dammit

So when I went back later, The Man Josef Prusa was there and I even told him how awesome he is.

With a Batman shirt even!
With a Batman shirt even!

Then I finally tracked down Brook and Dave and the printrbot display in The Shed (after a very helpful tip from @pb_support) and snapped some pics and chatted them up for a little minute. Brook dropped a hint about a project he’s working on that I’ll pretend is top secret that involves even more axes than 3DMonstr.  X, Y and Z plus A, B and C or something like that.  I was confused and Brook was acting confused so I didn’t press, but it sounds amazeballs.

The new not-so Jr.
The new not-so Jr.
Simple
Simple
Plus
Plus
Evil genius, compulsive creator
Evil genius, compulsive creator

And RadioShack had the most genius service to offer.  Free phone charging in a little locker.  You drop off your phone, the tech plugs it in and locks it up and gives you the key and you come back later to a charged phone.

Pure genius
Pure genius

Ok, so that’s it.  You should totally go tomorrow.  Or next year.  Or both.  It’s fun.

9 thoughts on “World Maker Faire New York 2013”

  1. Thank you for a great writeup. I attended the left coast Maker Faire and once I got past the sales reps and got to the developers I had a great time in the 3d area. Your writeup is one of the best I’ve read about Maker Faire and of course the pix are terrific. Thanks for posting. Russ

    1. Thanks Russ! I had a great time. I only wish I could gone both days so perhaps I could’ve seen more of the exhibits NOT related to 3d printing.

      _john

  2. Nice write up and I really enjoyed the pics too. Its always neat to see all the different creations that show up to makers faire. I cant wait till next year when we get to exhibit some stuff. What was one of the most interesting and innovative bots that you got to see.

  3. I’m also a big fan of Conceptforge. Both Simpson and Wally are newborn, and Wally’s 1st print was right there at the show! If you’re interested in collaborative development at it’s best, take a look at the threads on reprep.org, Nicholas Seward’s engineering and prototyping skills are second to none, and with different words he has stated that the excellence of his printers is the reflection of his collaborators.

  4. So upset, I just wrote like 10 paragraphs and the Safari on my iPhone erased it all. :( Here’s as much as I could remember:

    I sir am flattered!! Thank you so much for the kind words! I feel so bad now that I talked so much! Are you going back to the show tomorrow?

    I don’t believe that you or anyone else actually reads my blog though. I’m still trying to figure out which of my friends put you up to this as a prank. :)

    If you ever see my again (either tomorrow or in some future year), PLEASE come up and introduce yourself (and if I won’t stop talking, throw something at my head).

    It’s tough when you want to talk to everyone and you realize you can only talk to like one out of every 20 people because everyone is there at the same time.

    You tied for making my day with the man and his son that came by the booth this morning (Brian & Mathew) that told me that my evangelizing RepRap to them LAST year had convinced them to go self-source a RepRap (they made a MendelMax).

    Excellent coverage of the event. Tomorrow I hope to sneak away from the booth long enough to see at least half of what you reported on.

    Thanks again man!

    ..Jeff

    1. I’d love to go back tomorrow, but can’t make it unfortunately. I may have my steampunk printrbot GO in a condition that I’ll want to show off next year and sign up to exhibit myself. Either way I’ll introduce myself. And yes, I have read and enjoyed your blog. :-)

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