MakerFaire K.C. First Impressions

I arrived at the Kansas City MakerFaire bright eyed and bushy tailed, excited to meet up with like minded people and see awesome projects. I was not disappointed in that respect. The building itself is quite beautiful with giant main rooms and decorated 40 foot tall ceilings. If you haven’t ever seen the Union Station in Kansas City, I suggest you check it out. It is really quite fantastic on its own.

The event seemed rather well organized. There were talks on different subjects as well as clearly outlined areas for each event. The place was absolutely packed, but walking around still managed to be tolerable. Volunteers in bright red shirts were wandering around offering assistance to anyone looking lost or confused. I didn’t run into a single person complaining about the event. I’ve been to a ton of large events and there are usually a few people who were upset. I didn’t find any here.

The booths covered subjects from all over the place. There was knitting, model rocketry, robotics, lego construction, random hacks, cast making, and of course, 3d printing.  I’ll be posting projects separately, as there were only a selected few that I think our readers would enjoy.

There were only 3 things I found frustrating.

1. Some of the coolest stuff I found, we have already covered.

2. I didn’t have time or ability to get as much detail on any one project as I would have liked. I’m used to seeing full write-ups with schematics and pictures. I only had a couple minutes with anyone. There were constant distractions as well as an amazing amount of noise (tesla coils especially!). I walked away felling almost like there was no point in doing interviews, but I guess this is how “on location” stuff works.

3. My footage is shaky. I apologize in advance. I didn’t end up bringing a rig with me to stabilize the camera and I spent the whole time wishing I had. I know how frustrating shaky footage is. I’m truly truly sorry. I will flog myself appropriately at my soonest opportunity.

after the break is a small gallery of random pics from the event with pretty much no accompanying info. Actual posts will be coming soon with details.

19 thoughts on “MakerFaire K.C. First Impressions

  1. We were there on Sat. and enjoyed the show. I cannot think of a better venue and enjoy all the extras such as Science City, the trains, Planitarium, etc. About 10-20% growth from last year. Hope it keeps growing.

  2. We were there on Sunday. The aisles were a bit cramped and it seemed a little heavy on the 3D printers, but there was other things I hadn’t expected to see – jewelry, food dips, DeVry. I thought the kid made crafts were neat though, love to see kids getting involved creatively – recycled computer craft (clocks mostly), wallets, hair things and such.

    I actually looked for Caleb – selflessly wanting a HAD sticker – but there were too many people with scruffy beards, lol.

  3. With respect to Item 1, are you saying people should surprise you next year or that you did to good a job covering hacks and exhausted the pool prior to maker faire?

  4. We (Omaha Maker Group) were there on Saturday, and all felt like it was well worth the trip down from Omaha. Glad to meet and chat with you, Caleb, and we invite you to check us out when you are in Omaha!

  5. I looked for Caleb as well but just as I was giving up hope of finding him, another HaD writer sat down next to me and he came over to talk to her. They were both super cool and he gave me a free HaD sticker for my car! Everything went better than expected.

  6. I just wanted to take a moment from my busy schedule to point something out to Caleb:

    “I will flog myself appropriately at my soonest opportunity.”

    TMI, waaaay TMI. But that’s not what I wanted to point out.

    You see, “soon” is an adverb, and thus soonest is also an adverb – a superlative adverb, but still an adverb. Opportunity, which calls, knocks and is often lost, is a noun.

    Adverbs modify things (verbs, for example) that aren’t nouns. I wish to suggest that since you are modifying the noun “opportunity”, you probably wanted an adjective of some kind.

    May I suggest “earliest”?

    An aside: I will be very happy when all the complexity of the english language is lost through frequent use and abuse by the public.

    Five or six centuries ago, English was even harder to master than it is now – we still had tones, spellings varied by weight and there were rules of conjugation and tense that made french look simple in comparison.

    There is magic in precise meaning and usage, but it isn’t very impressive as magic goes.

  7. Caleb, first, it was cool to meet you and the SquidFoo guy just outside the entrance, and thanks again for the sticker. Second, I agree that a bunch of the stuff had been covered here before. Yes, there was plethora of 3d printers, but I did see one interesting one that had a total BOM of $300, with print quality comparable to the MakerBots. The homebrew jet engine, although not novel, was pretty sweet. I already have some ideas for next year’s MakerFaire…

  8. I have a complaint! That disney radio station was horrible. It was so friging loud I couldn’t even carry on a discussion outside. What the hell were they doing there anyway?

    1. The last band that played on Sunday was just bad too. The singer couldn’t sing and we had to wait to film anything. Normally we would just record with the music in the background but we didn’t want to have that playing. Oh well to each there own.

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