Maker Faire Daily — Dream On!

And just like that, another Maker Faire has come and gone. It’s amazing the amount of effort that goes into one of these epic shindigs, both from all of those on the MAKE team and from the hundreds of other makers and presenters, the staff of The Henry Ford, our loyal sponsors, our local Detroit support community. We all spend many months charging up the giant Maker Faire capacitor and then we cackle like bug-eyed mad scientists for three days as the charged energy is released and we see where it all takes us. And for Detroit, 2011 — charged it was! To those of you who participated in the Faire, however you participated in the Faire, we can’t thank you enough. We hope you had as much fun as the MAKE/Maker Faire team did. And if you were watching from afar, we hope you had fun, too.

I can’t give the Maker Faire Daily team enough high-fives. Dale Dougherty, Mark Frauenfelder, Becky Stern, Matt Richardson, Bridgette Vanderlaan, Chris Connors, Steve Hobley, Michael Doyle, Bethany Shorb, Willow Brugh, Stuart Gannes — you all make a lovely sensor array.

Here are a few of today’s sights and impressions from our Maker Faire Daily blog team. There are lots more posts (and some video) on the Daily site, and more to come. –Gareth

Maker Faire, where dreams come true

This young man told me that, on the way to Maker Faire, he told his mother he hoped there would be a workshop where he could make his own guitar. His mother told him, “Dream on!” Maker Faire, where dreams come true. –Mark Frauenfelder

These aren’t the planks you’re looking for…

Planking reaches the Maker Faire. These Storm Troopers, from Garrison 501, were British, so that saved time explaining what planking is. (Google it, go on, you know you want to…) — Steve Hobley

Electronics lab trainer from 1984

Electronics prototyping of yesteryear. –Mark Frauenfelder


This guy has one awesome RoboCop costume. And although you can’t see it in the picture, he’s got the walk down – 100% accurate. –Steve Hobley

TNNA has a Maker Faire Robot! For needlepoint or cross-stitch. This is cool. –Bridgette Vanderlaan

Matt learns to sew

I stopped by National Sewing Council‘s area, where Jessica showed me how to use a sewing machine to make my own dog collar. Admittedly, I didn’t think I’d be very good at it, but it was much easier than I ever thought it would be. Next stop, Project Runway! –Matt Richardson

Tornado chaser

This ride was made for Willow Brugh!

Breaking electronics

Check out these inquisitive kids at the MAKE Lab tent, where they’re taking apart computers, VCRs, and other electronics to figure out how they work. Breaking is part of making! –Becky Stern

Pint-sized air-propelled racer

Strapping your toddler into a gas powered leaf blower on wheels might not be the most politically-correct thing to do, but if I were in that seat, I’d be getting pop a “World’s Greatest Dad” mug, stat. –Michael Doyle

See all of our Maker Faire Detroit coverage on
See the entire Maker Faire Daily feed


Sector67 Wins Power Racing Series!

Sector67 just won the endurance race and the overall competition in the Power Wheels Racing Series. Congratulations to all the teams!



MAKE Flickr Pool Weekly Roundup

Build Your Own Obama Speech

Yesterday while walking around the DIY music section of Maker Faire Detroit, I heard a very familiar voice, though what the voice was saying was absolute nonsense. “People vote community achieve promise and hope together strength.” I followed the sound to find Ashley Lewis standing behind a keyboard telling a group of visitors about her Obama Board project. Each key on the keyboard is labeled with a word from Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration speech and when you hit the key, that sample from the speech is played, allowing you to string together your own sentences out of the president’s words. It was interesting to watch the way people played the keyboard; some mashed on keys and some tried to make a coherent sentence, which I found to be much harder than it looks. After talking to her about the project, it’s clear she’s a big fan of Barack Obama, but she revealed that she didn’t vote for him in the last election—she’s Canadian.

If you wish to comment, please keep your comments about the technology used and the piece itself and not about your wider political feelings, whatever they may be.


If H is a Chair…

Love this great video of Andrew Byrom, faculty at Cal State Long Beach, who mingles typography with product design. From TedX LA.

Andrew takes us through his obsessive inner workflow, where anything can become letters. Starting with words written on streets, to the way that blinds hang, anything has the potential to be turned into a typeface. My favorite project is the box kites that stem from his near-fanatical zeal for typography.


Death Star Dress from CRAFT

Rachel Hobson posted this amazing dress on CRAFT. I think the TIE Interceptor “bow” and starry stockings really help sell it.

Our pal Bonnie Burton has an interview with crafter and Star Wars superfan, Jennifer Landa, over on about her rad Death Star dress she made and wore to Comi-Con.

There were times when I thought the skirt wouldn’t work. Originally, I tried making the skirt out of a giant soccer ball pinata! That was a disaster because the actual structure of the pinata wasn’t perfectly round. I couldn’t find a balloon large enough so I ended up using a beach ball instead. Another challenge was actually getting into the skirt! You can’t sew a zipper onto papier mache! In the end, I cut slits on the back and sides and then used black ribbon to tie it together. It wasn’t a perfect solution but it worked temporarily and the skirt is still in tact! Thank goodness!

Read about what she used to form the skirt and how she pulled the entire outfit together over on


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