This weekend was the first Maker Faire in NYC , specifically in Queens, on the site of the former World’s Fairs.
We attended and were amazed by the quality and quantity of cool stuff going on. My top 5 favorite things:
1. 3D printing. You can buy a kit to make your own 3-D printer, called a Makerbot, from Make, but the items it creates are plastic and not super attractive.
Instead you can create your own CAD file for a 3-D object and send it to Shapeways, and they will print it for you–and you can choose what you want it made out of–stainless steel, gold-plated steel, glass, or sandstone (as well as plastic). I’m eager to try out this service.
2. NextFab. If you want to be able to play with 2-D and 3-D printers, as well as laser cutter machines, you can become a member of the organization, and then go and use them for a low price. Unfortunately they’re in Philadelphia.
3. Nick Yulman, a musician from Philadelphia, created his own multi-instrument percussion set out of unusual items such as matchsticks, plastic caps, and mini drums. Most of them are inside boxes or frames that resemble Joseph Cornell artwork. All controlled through midi. He composes his own pieces.
4. Soldering classes. For a small fee, you could buy a mini electronic project and have staff teach you how to solder the pieces together. Always a useful skill.
5. The LiveScribe Echo pen. If I were still in college, I’d buy one in a second. It has a microphone to capture lectures. It allows you to write down an outline of a lecture, and then when you go back and tap a word in your outline, the pen plays back what was being said at the moment you wrote that word. The audio can be saved as MP3 on your computer. Your written notes are also saved as PDF files on your computer. It comes with 4GB or 8GB of storage.