Midwest RepRap Festival

We’re a US-centric site, but aside from events in New York or California, we don’t see many hacker, maker, or 3D printer events aimed at the parts of the country filled with corn and WalMarts. The 1st annual Midwest RepRap Festival aims to change that with enough events, speakers, and activities to make Elkhart, Indiana look like the hoppingist place around.

Officially, the festival started yesterday but the schedule of events really ramps up today. [Josef Prusa] will be taking the stage talking about the state of the RepRap, and a ton of 3d printing vendors will be there showing off their wares and selling some really cool stuff. There’s also tons of experienced RepRappers available to help you tune your machine to perfection; just as well, because the festival is going for the world record for the greatest number of 3D printers printing simultaneously.

If you’re around northern Indiana, you might want to check out the festival and send us a few pics or videos.

Rewiring a free carnival sign

Late last September, Hackaday along with other hackerspaces including North Street Labs, 1.21 Jigawatts, Maker Twins, made their way to the NYC Maker Faire via the Red Bull Creation contest. The objectives of the contest were simple: build a game in 72 hours, have people vote on it, and join the Red Bull crew in Queens for a carnival-like atmosphere.

When the Maker Faire was over, Red Bull had some leftover props from their Midway at Maker Faire setup, including a few illuminated carnival signs. Without any use for them, they graciously gave Hackaday, North Street, Maker Twins and the Jigawatts the signs to their respective rides.

Now that things have settled down and the rides have returned to their home base, the folks over at North Street decided to improve their sign. At Maker Fair, these signs were illuminated by 50 incandescent bulbs, all wired on the same circuit. [Steve] over at North Street had the awesome idea of adding a persistence of vision aspect to the sign, so work began on wiring every fourth bulb in series.

To drive the light circuits, North Street repurposed the Arduino Relay shield originally used for the lights on the Centrifury, their competitive centrifuge and spinning hell of a game. In the video after the break, you can see the addition of POV lights really brings out the carnival atmosphere. A literally brilliant build, and a wonderful addition to the scariest game ever made.

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Continental Europe’s first Maker Faire

Continental Europe’s first official sanctioned Maker Faire is well underway in the Netherlands, tucked away at the Open Lab Ebbinge in the city of Groningen.

Of course the Groningen Maker Faire will feature cool builds like the bike-mounted workshop built by [Bertoa] we’ve seen and a few wind-powered beach animals inspired by the work of [Theo Jansen]. Also on the schedule are a 3D printed zoetrope, delta robot pick and place, radio controlled submarines, and of course a fleet of electric go karts.

A few of the talks involve a mashup of Google Earth and 3D modeling from [Ronald van Aalst] [Dick Stadaand], and a very interesting talk on disability insurance for self-employed entrepreneurs from [Biba Shoemaker] and [Andre Jonkers].

[buZz] from the NURDspace hackerspace in Wageningen wrote in to tell us he’ll be participating in the Groningen Maker Faire’s Scrapheap Challenge, an awesome contest that pits teams against each other to build something in a setup very similar to the fondly remembered Junkyard Wars.

Of course, Hackaday’s writers and editors are about 3,000 miles away from continental Europe’s first Maker Faire, so we can’t provide any live updates. If you have any pictures or video, send them in and we’ll put them up.

[Ian's] Global Geek Tour: New York

[Ian Lesnet], founder of Dangerous Prototypes and Hackaday alumnus, entertains us once again with his Global Geek Tour. This time around he’s visited New York City for the Open Source Hardware Summit, Maker Faire, and a tour of the geeky attractions the city has to offer.

There’s a 25-minute video embedded after the break. [Ian] starts off with an homage to [Anthony Bourdain] but don’t worry, that subsides after a couple of minutes. This year he skipped the hotel and rented an apartment in the village for the same price. After making a survey of the local food offerings he heads off to the OSH Summit. There are interviews with a lot of big names in the industry, as well as a look at some distillery hardware and a mobile hackerspace built in an old ambulance acquired from Craig’s list (go figure). Next it’s a tour of Hack Manhattan, a hackerspace from which the screenshot above was pulled. We loved seeing the box labeled “abandoned projects” and were surprised to see the hackerspace is keeping bees. Are there any other spaces doing this? Before heading over to the Maker Faire [Ian] checks out some of the local shops. There’s a stop a Radio Shack, the Makerbot store where even the display cases are 3D printed, and finally a tour of some local component shops.

We’re always entertained by these world travelling videos. Here’s one he did in Seoul, South Korea.

Escape from New York: Hackaday edition

Woo we’re home from Maker Faire! The Hackaday boss man [Caleb] and [Scott], [Phil], and [Andrew] from Squidfoo are back in Springfield, Missouri. I’m safely back in the bosom of Appalachia in Pensyltucky, and we hope every one else at Maker Faire NYC 2012 made it back home safely.

Don’t think this is the end of our coverage of Maker Faire, though. Honestly, the Internet situation was terrible at Maker Faire, and between tethering on my droid and a MiFi, I was lucky to post what I did. There’s more stuff coming down the pipe, and now that I have a decent connection we’ll be posting more videos to the Hackaday YouTube channel.

Of course this wouldn’t be a proper Hackaday post without a hack, therefore I will humbly submit something I discovered around the Delaware Water Gap: Every GPS unit has a setting to avoid New Jersey. All you have to do is enable the ‘avoid toll roads’ setting. Yes, it’s an easy modification to preserve your health and sanity, lest you accidentally find your way into a suburban swampland.

Picking locks with Toool

What Maker Faire would be complete without teaching children the joys of jiggling and twisting locks until they’ve opened? Toool, the open organisation of lockpickers made their way to New York this weekend to show off their bumping skills and get the kids interested in manipulating small mechanical devices.

The guys from Toool had a very cool setup – just a bunch of tables and chairs with a few picks and torsion wrenches. There were a few classic Master Locks on the table, but also a series of six tumbler locks each labeled with a number 1 through 6 signifying how many pins were in the lock. The idea is to get someone started on a one-pin lock, and eventually have them work their way up to the full six pins.

In the video after the break, one of the more animated guys from Toool explains why they were there, and also shows off picking a Master Lock twice in under 30 seconds. Seriously, people: educate yourself on locks before buying one.

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Running into the Form 1 printer at Maker Faire

The Form 1 resin printer Kickstarter met its funding goal in just about 8 hours, and after five days is on track to be the most successful Kickstarter to date. Being so successful meant we had to drop by the FormLabs booth at Maker Faire to see what the hubub is.

From the sample prints floating around the booth, the Form 1 printer has amazing resolution – a 3 inch tall statue of a Greek god had as many features as a life-sized statue.

In the video (both above the fold and after the break), [David Cranor] goes over the features and finishing process of objects made on the Form 1.

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