Maker Faire Rome!Posted: November 6, 2013
Trying to sort out the backlog of stuff so I can get this blog back up to date! First, Rome! A few of us on the Maker course went to visit the Maker Faire which was hosted in Rome, to have a look at what being a “maker” involves.
These images are a few of my favourites from the faire, but there was so many different things that I enjoyed, some more conventional than others..
There was without a doubt a strong influence of 3D printing at the show, and during the conferences many people spoke about the sudden increase in 3D printing and the possibilities it can hold, and seemed to be very excited about the medium. However it was also pointed out that this hype over 3D printing may not quite be deserved, and while this is a new and exciting technologies it like anything else has it’s limitations. I personally noticed while going around the faire that while there were many interesting and creative uses of 3D printing, for example coral reefs printed using sand from the area and then returned there to house marine life, there were also many people who had simply 3D printed generic objects (skulls, hearts, shapes) and had put in no creative input and were purely showcasing the technique itself. Personally I do not think that is enough to be of any interest, in the same way that a bucket of paint demonstrates nothing more than that paint exists.
This was a really interesting construction set by Bare Conductive, using newly developed paint that conducts electricity which allowed you to draw working circuits onto paper and work with small arduinos and LEDs. They were selling sets of greetings cards, houses, and the pens themselves which I bought. While I know practically nothing about circuits or using this paint, I am excited by the idea of learning and there are plenty of guides and tutorials online for me to look at.
This is me wearing a pair of wheel skates, which to me really summed up the spirit of the “maker”. The man who had made them wanted people to test them out to see how well they worked, and being the helpful person I am, I gladly volunteered (plus it looked really fun!). Being someone who can already rollerblade to a reasonable level I thought I would have a relative advantage as these seemed like a similar sort of design. I was wrong. These wheel shoes were possibly the most difficult thing to balance on I have ever experienced, and even with the two support poles and the man holding me up I was still falling all over the place, let alone moving around! I somehow managed not to fall on my arse infront of a crowd of people, thanks to a lot of support (physical, not verbal) from the maker, and stumbled back over to the chair after a minute or so.
Assuming I was just using them poorly, I asked the guy if he was any good with them. “No! I can’t even rollerblade!” he said, “I just thought it would be a cool idea, so I made them last week and brought them here to see if anyone could use them”
“Has anyone been able to use them so far then?” I asked him
“Not really, everyone’s just fallen about like you”
This really made me laugh because he’d simply had an idea, thrown these things together in the space of the week and brought them along having absolutely no idea whether they work or not, and was enlisting strangers to test them
This was another object that really amused me, a fully working mobile phone with a sim card like any other, but in the completely impractical body of an old phone. While it has no wires and can be taken anywhere and used just like a normal phone, the idea of carrying it around in public and using it to make phone calls is.. completely ridiculous. And that’s exactly what I love about it, it’s quirkiness.
Another thing that caught my eye was this set of jewelry made out of completely untraditional jewelry materials of laser cut plastic and knitted yarn. Not only are these in themselves unusual for jewelry, but I’ve never seen them combined together before either, I really like the use of pattern which is repeated, but on textures which contrast each other