Maker Faire : San Mateo 2013

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I found my people.

We packed up the truck for the ten-hour long pilgrimage to San Mateo to embark on one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had. This weekend I rediscovered what child-like wonder is as I perused the main hall, attention fracturing over the decadent saturation of brainy eye candy. I want to thank Jeff for letting me in on this secret… we had an amazing time walking around as Mr. and Mrs. Cool Goggles.

Playing to the big kid side of me (which is more than 3/4) the first cool thing I saw upon entering the first building we came to, were giant RC controllable Wall-E robots. They could look around, change expression, and even occasionally played sound bites from the movie such as the musical clip from Hello Dolly. My pants were immediately charmed off :

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The very second thing that demanded my attention upon crossing the antechamber threshold into the ‘dark room’ was the stage containing the obnoxiously large Tesla coils. Now, I have seen performances on youtube by Arc Attack before, and though they are indeed the bees knees… I had never witness one in person; much more amazing. Around the time we were about to leave the dark area, they started their first performance… sending ten foot long bolts of musical lightning across the stage in deafening pulses. At some point they even took volunteers on stage and locked them in a cage which then became the object of the lightening’s affection. I stood with Jeff and his friend Mark debating whether or not I would go into that cage if given the opportunity. For some reason I can’t accept the fact that certain things don’t deviate from their defined behavior… like electricity. I was afraid that on a whim, a piece of lightening would change its ‘mind’ and fry my face off… which might be irrational, but I couldn’t shake the fear. In the end I probably would have gone in… :

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I saw a whole lot of delta robot 3D printers. Enough to satisfy my craving. The majority of which were huge in scale. I even talked to someone who had designed their own delta printer and had come up with an even better bearing joint than the one Mark and I are currently using in our models (Magnets! Brilliant!). :

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Jeff and I at some point stumbled across a transparent pinball machine. Though I crave making my own, seeing all the internal components at work in their analog greatness was a bit intimidating. That project may have to wait… never the less, very cool :

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My old mentor would have loved these things. I would seriously have bought one if I ever planned on having a lawn to display it on. :

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One of the makers at the show created professional armor from various video games/ movies. I had to take a picture of this guy because I happened to love this suite, from Dead Space. Extremely well made :

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The second day of the show we had breakfast with Suz and Pawel and spent the morning walking around with them. They were collecting footage for SYN Shop’s second podcast episode. We even hijacked some chairs and set up a makeshift location for a quick talk about how fantastic the show was and what our favorite things that we saw were. :

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Pawel and Suz checking out the neon yellow robot :

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I collected about a dozen miscellaneous stickers from the various booths… Covered my left boob in Maker pins… and successfully dodged getting sun burned the entire time. At the height of each day, it did get quite crowded pretty much everywhere you could possibly stand, inside and out, making it difficult to see what was where. With the ebb and flow of traffic, things we hadn’t yet seen were revealed. I saw a steam-powered printing press, the Keepon dancing yellow snow ball, and I even got to try on an Emotiv Epoch in one booth (which tickled be senseless).

After all was said and done we regrouped at a little bar called the Swinging Door, ate and cooled off a little bit. The four of us returned for one last run through the main hall since it was starting to clear out a bit. Even in the last hour we saw things for the first time that we had somehow missed.

Sunday night Jeff and I went to the ‘bring your hack’ dinner at this not very hofbrau-like “hofbrau”. I sat pinned against the bar like a wall flower, afraid to mingle with the other kids until I got a beer or so in me. Eventually I dove in and started parading around with my delta on my arm like a rat dog. I met some fantastic people and got to talk to another person who had also built a delta robot out of hobby parts. =D I could have stayed there all night mingling… but apparently bars in San Mateo have last call (What is that?).

Sweetie and Jeden :

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My new goal is to get into Make magazine one day! The plan is to keep creating stuff and keep meeting other cool people who do as well. My life has changed so much in the past year just due to my new surrounding influences that it strikes reverence into my heart. I could not have been on this amazing journey growing like I am if it weren’t for the people I now know.

Here’s to all of us at SYN Shop being at Maker Faire next year 😉

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