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2011 Maker Fair?

Posted by sheep 
2011 Maker Fair?
May 23, 2011 10:37PM
I have been rather busy as of late, but was surprised to see no rep-rap presence at the fair this year. Must have missed where folk decided it was not worth it. This was my first time not tied to a group. Could do the steampunk outfit thing and cart my crank organ about with me.

The commercial suppliers were there, but spread about the buildings Not all in one place. Much of the fair has seemed to be more corporate now, some with big name sponcers.

My own reprap progress has been slow. Did finally order the VXB bearing and rod kit. Need to get the threaded rod next. Not sure when that will be.

Does anybody know where the RepRappers are at the MakerFaire today & tomorrow?
May 21, 2011 04:56PM
I can't find it. If anybody knows, please respond! Thanks!
Re: Does anybody know where the RepRappers are at the MakerFaire today & tomorrow?
May 22, 2011 02:07AM
It might be helpful if you tell us where in the world you live. Probably therere are a hundred makerfaires worldwide each weekend. winking smiley

Generation 7 Electronics Teacup Firmware RepRap DIY
Re: Does anybody know where the RepRappers are at the MakerFaire today & tomorrow?
May 22, 2011 10:01AM
Nope, just one official one. The San Mateo Maker Faire.
Well I guess I'm a little late in answering this one. There was a group of them in one area of the Expo Hall-techzone, Fab@Home, and a couple of others. The Techshop building had the BitsFromBytes group.

I couldn't find Makerbot when I was there today, maybe they were only there on Saturday?
Re: Does anybody know where the RepRappers are at the MakerFaire today & tomorrow?
May 22, 2011 08:04PM
They were at the entrance to the dark room.
I found somebody with a Mendel but he was part of doing a Kinect hack. I saw an other group of RepRaps, but they were just some people selling a lazercut kit, just one set of people. They said that the RepRap group wasn't herre this year but wasn't sure why.
I saw the RepMans from BFB at the TechShop building, and I was pretty impressed. They even had a second head for support material.
I wasn't much impressed this year with the Faire. Last year aNd the year before had a better selection in my opinion. I was hoping to talk to the major people in the RepRap group (especially Eade. He said he'd be here today).
Anyways, I hope they come next year. Maybe I'll come next year with my Mendel, or I might come with my Portal turret I am going to make at the TechShop this summer.
I've been to every Maker Fair in San Mateo so far. What the heck, I live here.

I saw a bunch of plastic-extruder fabricators; in the "Maker Shed" there was a lasercut kit of some kind -- plywood construction, about a 10cm x 10cm x 7cm build area. Looked like it was inspired by the basic cupcake bot, except it was open at sides and front so people could see what was going on, and made out of sturdier stock. I got a pic of this one because the design was new to me.

There were a couple of Darwins in the TechShop area, and a couple of Mendels (and one Prusa) in the exhibition hall, but I didn't hear any of the people running them say the word "Reprap" at any time. When I wandered past they were soliciting orders to make things for people. I didn't linger there; I already knew what those were.

I'm actually more interested in the idea of hardcore shop tools that I can use to build more hardcore shop tools, so I was spending more time on the mills, lathes, die presses, etc. There was a fairly large homemade injection molding rig set up in one of the display areas, and a vacuum-forming rig that was supposed to work in your kitchen oven in one corner of the exhibition hall. Those were interesting things. But there were a LOT of uninteresting things there.

All told, I'm a bit disappointed, or maybe burned-out, on the Maker Fairs. I keep seeing the same stuff, year after year, and I get frustrated about the people who ought to be learning things and aren't. Here's your basic so-called steampunk crowd, for whom goggles are a fashion statement and gears a decoration, who actually BREAK useful things in order to use the parts to "look cool," all dressed in bizarre reinterpretations of 1880's style.... and not talking to the guys in bib overalls and denim hats who actually build and operate REAL live steam engines. And that is a microcosm of what seems to be happening; people are too busy trying to push whatever their stuff is that they don't bother to try to learn from each other. Possible synergies aren't being explored.

Here's the same electric giraffe we've seen for years. Here are the same muffin cars and motorized recliners. Here are some fire-belching sculptures. Okay, they're new sculptures, but we've seen fire-belching sculptures at the previous fairs. They're cool, but show us something new! Here are the same mostly useless tschotschkes for sale. Here's the whole room dedicated to bright flashing lights and sudden loud noises, because everybody must like those. I don't. Here's a panel of a couple hundred push lights. You push one, and it turns on. You push it again, and it turns off. That's it. Wooo, it's interactive! Interactive, but also completely trivial. Here's a whole room full of electronic parts for sale. Electronic parts that you can get for half those prices from online sources and surplus places. Here's a little ROV, wandering around with a guy following it with a remote control. Okay, cool toy, but not more interesting than an RC car minus the body. Which, on looking closer, it actually may be.

All told, a whole lot of noise and flash with occasional interesting bits sticking out here and there. But way more noise and flash than interesting bits. I thought the food vendor who'd carefully constructed a wood-fired brick pizza oven that was portable, in the back of a trailer, actually had a useful DIY project there that was more interesting than most of the exhibits.

Re: Does anybody know where the RepRappers are at the MakerFaire today & tomorrow?
May 23, 2011 06:49PM
You hit it on the spot exactly. That's 100% I felt about the Faire this year. This was my 3rd year now, but I was overall very disappointed with it this year. There were some cool things (I always loved the TechShop building, I loved the fire belching things that were barely here this year, I LOVED the huge hand I actually got the privilege to operate 3 years ago but I only got to see that year, but the rest of the stuff just got annoying), but what sucked were all those useless things like just art. Useless functionless art, which I consider ugly. Then some big companies selling things. I broke the people down into 6 tiers:
Tier 1: People making some little thing just to show
Tier 2: People making some little thing to show and attempt to sell
Tier 3: People making something huge just to show for our enjoyment
Tier 4: Tier 3 but are also selling it or their services for it
Tier 5: Small companies selling their maker products and kits
Tier 6: Big companies like Cliff Bar and Honda showing off their products and advertizing, LAME

Yeah. I hope it's better next year. And I am really wondering what happened to the RepRap community. There were at least 10 people there last year which is what made me make my RepRap. I only saw somebody with one for a Kinect hack to 3D print your hand or face or whatever, and somebody selling lazer cut kits. Then a ton of other ones like Fab@Home, RepMan, etc.
I'll have to email Wade (I got contact with him last year when he was here).
Re: Does anybody know where the RepRappers are at the MakerFaire today & tomorrow?
May 23, 2011 09:56PM
And I am really wondering what happened to the RepRap community.

... We're very slightly disorganized. And we're not really sure who's in charge.eye rolling smiley

You guys think Wade or I am in charge and should set up the booth. And I think you guys are in charge and should set up the booth. smileys with beer Since you guys are "Official" and so on, if you say that you're running the "Official RepRap Booth", that booth is de facto the "Official RepRap Booth".smiling bouncing smiley

It is a little unfair for a fellow in the Bay Area to say "I know, a guy in Vancouver should set up and run the booth since he's more official than I am!".

We do have a dedicated* mailing list for this stuff, as per:

I didn't get any nibbles when I made the blog post back in March, which was a bit silly on the part of you guys.sad smiley

Soooo... I'd suggest you guys get organized earlier next year if you want there to be a well organized and populated RepRap booth. smoking smiley

One of RepRap's 5 to 10,000 "Officials".
*I need to rename the mailing list reprap-dev-social, since you guys are devs.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/23/2011 09:59PM by SebastienBailard.
Re: 2011 Maker Fair?
May 23, 2011 10:52PM
Julie, I've merged this thread with the existing one.
See you at next years' faire.
Re: 2011 Maker Fair?
May 23, 2011 11:18PM
I just posted a long reply in the other thread, that got moved. Do not know where it went so here it is again. Not sure what happens when posting as a thread moves.


As said there I was surprised not to find the group as in years past. I will admit, I went steampunk myself, something I have done since 1984 or so at science fiction conventions. Guess I was Tier 1 this year, or perhaps Teir 2 as I found some junk watch parts to sell. (Not from working watches, floor sweepings from a repair shop.) Local market for that is saturated at the moment.

The club I regularly attend with is having the same problem. No one wants responsibility. Even the bib overall steampunk group was lamenting the fact, someone wrote a book "Definitive Steampunk" and left them out. Like writing the definitive airplane book and leaving out the DC-3. Personally I would compare this to The definitive book on Television and leaving Philo T. Farnsworth out. But that is just mainstream.

Heard Adrian's name mentioned a few times. Debate over credit or not type stuff.

The Darwin stuff looked so dated. Mendel and derivative will probably not date a quickly. Saw an interesting variation at the element 14 booth, but when I tracked the guy down I found he was a "famous" big name corporate blogger, I had never heard of before. I guess I am just infamous, Every where I looked I would see 2 or three people I knew. Probably 1000 acquaintances. The guy sitting next to me at lunch seemed real familiar. Turned out we knew each other 20 years ago.

Was really weird as it was hard to see the difference between ESC and Maker, with FTDI and element 14 at both "trade shows." A half harted speculation at ESC regarding home DNA sequencing lead me to search for the Open PCR Booth. This was not a joke as I was making a prediction of where this technology and mindset is leading. If anything this was the year of the Arduino. Was there anything in the maker shed not Arduino based?

Was exited to find the carousel. I collect merry-go-round pipe organs. Even brought a small home made crank organ with me. These things are expensive. I then found out this was some GE corporate thing, and not a local group hackerspace project. Now I want to know If I can get a GE grant for my own art projects. Guess I must blog more, but am too busy making stuff to blog often or keep all my friends and acquaintances up to date. Even here I have not posted for months.

Hard to say the fair was better or worse than other years. As time passes this will be measured as a golden age era of this sort of thing. The expansion has probably diluted some of the uniqueness. More people are aware of the stuff now. In past years I was part of E.R.P.S a rocketry group, which I am the somewhat reluctant president of. That kept me pretty much in the maker shed years past and never before have I been able to explore. I also learned what it is like to get there late and made one of the last parking places. 40 minutes from freeway to parking garage. which normally takes about 5.

It probably did not help that I sometimes work with the company that provided the event security this year, but I did learn that the attendance was about 40,000 each day for a combined attendance of 80,000. So it is pretty easy to get lost in the noise.

Re: 2011 Maker Fair?
May 23, 2011 11:54PM
Let's keep perspective here. Maker Faire is a Make Magazine Event, and the ultimate goal is to sell more magazines. It's not some grass roots meetup in some abandoned warehouse by a bunch of tresspassers with common interest gathering to geek out. I mean, the blogs are more interesting than the articles for cryin' out loud!

(no offense to Phillip and the gang, I love Make for what it is)
Re: 2011 Maker Fair?
May 24, 2011 12:26AM
It's an important place to see and be seen. It'd be good to have a thoughtfully set up and well attended space there.

-Sebastien, RepRap.org library gnome.

Remember, you're all RepRap developers (once you've joined the super-secret developer mailing list), and the wiki, RepRap.org, [reprap.org] is for everyone and everything! grinning smiley
Re: 2011 Maker Fair?
May 25, 2011 06:26AM
When will the Maker Fair this again.

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Re: 2011 Maker Fair?
May 25, 2011 08:58AM
Here's the 2011 schedule:

2012 Bay Area Maker Faire would probably be May 26-27.

-Sebastien, RepRap.org library gnome.

Remember, you're all RepRap developers (once you've joined the super-secret developer mailing list), and the wiki, RepRap.org, [reprap.org] is for everyone and everything! grinning smiley
Re: 2011 Maker Fair?
May 27, 2011 04:35PM
At Maker Fair UK there were:-

3 Makerbots, 1 RapMan, 1 Mendel, 1 Laser-cut Mendel, 2 E-maker Huxley's and 4 Huxley seedlings.

Surprisingly as the country of the project origin we didn't have an "Official RepRap Booth".

However the UK Maker Fair organisers put nearly all the RepRap community together seperated from the Maker Bot community who were on the mezeneen floor with the exception of the Laser cut Mendel that was on the end of the Element 14 (Farnell stand) also on the mezeneen floor.

Bodge It [reprap.org]

BIQ Sanguinololu SD LCD board BIQ Stepcon BIQ Opto Endstop
BIQ Heater Block PCB BIQ Extruder Peek clamp replacement BIQ Huxley Seedling
BIQ Sanguinololu mounting BIQ standalone Sanguinololu or Ramps mounting Print It Stick It Cut it

My rep strap: [repstrapbertha.blogspot.com]

Buy the bits from B&Q pipestrap [diyrepstrap.blogspot.com]
How to Build a Darwin without any Rep Rap Parts [repstrapdarwin.blogspot.com]
Web Site [www.takeaway3dtech.com]
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