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Carol’s Maker Faire Highlights « Sierra School Works

Carol’s Maker Faire Highlights

May 19th, 2014 by Karen Fraser-Middleton

These are some of the interesting things Carol Pepper-Kittredge recalls seeing at this year’s Maker Faire held May 17-18 in the San Francisco Bay Area.

FeetZ – www.feetz.co or facebook.com/Feetzshoes – 3D printed shoes based on a self-scan of your feet. The shoes were made on a maker-bot style printer and used a soft urethane that, depending on the printing density, could be stiff (for the sole) and flexible (for the upper).  This is the first soft material that I’ve seen run in a personal (non-commercial) style printer.  Lucy Beard (CEO) had worn her shoes for 3 months and they looked good.

Visualizer – https://getvisualizer.com/  A software that translates images from your phone to Sketch Up.

Camera Sculptura – http://www.camerasculptura.com/  A multi-camera booth and photo translation software to make 3D images of the human body.

Curious Customs – http://curiouscustoms.com/ Laser cut lanterns and night lights.  These reminded me of a previous Maker Fair where Adobe had a photo booth and used images to make similar lanterns out of cardboard.  These products were flying off the shelf.

Taktia – http://taktia.com/  A software and CNC-enhanced router system to make very precise but human-controlled fabricated parts. This product is incredible – I want one now.

Avava Systems – http://avava.magnuslabs.com/  modular, zero waste building system.

3D Robotics – http://3drobotics.com/  Lots and lots of drones this year. This was one of the companies there.

Q Fusion – http://survey.qfusionlabs.com/qfusion/index.php  A start up, they are developing a competitive alternative to the Arduino that has a GUI interface and appeals to those who don’t want to learn programming language.

Sound Cloud – https://soundcloud.com/  Share your music with the world.

Trash Amps – http://www.trashamps.com/Default.asp  For those interested is sustainability. Sold in kits and completed units.

Part Fusion – http://partfusion.com/  There were so many more wearable electronics this year, and some were really interesting.  I saw an LED vest that was programmed with moving images, clothes with ‘cool LED’ sewn in, etc.

3-DIY – http://3-diy.com/  Another new trend, DIY 3D via your phone, etc.  Another start-up, Poppy (poppy3d.com) is pretty cool – works with an iPhone – I’m going to order a couple.

Bootstrap Solar – http://www.bootstrapsolar.com/  Low cost solar charger system (for back country use).

Be3DPrinters – http://be3dprinters.com/us/  A competitor to MakerBot, etc. this is a sleek looking model running PLA.  The price point was much lower than the MakerBot.

MCU Gear – http://mcugear.com/en/  A modular microcontroller system – no wiring.  The inventor (all the way from Tokyo) has stacked up to 100 boards in one configuration. All are Bluetooth enabled.

Emmett Lalish – who works for Microsoft – http://www.thingiverse.com/emmett/overview  We were chatting with this guy as he was showing us his amazing 3D printed designs made on a PLA printer (available on Thingiverse) when some students showed up and said “are you Emmett?”   When he answered yes – they let out a loud shout, so I had to ask “Are you famous?” to which his colleague nodded yes.  Check out his design products – unbelievable and fully available.  The Blossoming Lamp is printed in one piece, and yet it is fully articulated.  The other toys are printed in pieces and snap together.