This past weekend, I went on a spontaneous trip to Maker Faire in New York City with some friends working in the Lewis Research Group at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. We woke up at the crack of dawn to drive down to New York City for the day on Saturday and be the first group of people to enter the fairgrounds. After a four hour commute, we arrived – the fair was teeming with geeks and techies displaying all sorts of cool projects including a robotic coffee dispenser, battle bots and 3D printers with unique designs and inks.
Wandering through the Maker Pavilion, I came across tons of SolidWorks customers and fans involved in 3D printing such as MakerBot, Black Point Engineering, and Vader. The BlackPoint Engineering team designed the Orion 3D printer, known for its parallel connects mechanism, entirely in SolidWorks Premium in under a week. Serving a designers looking for 3D printing services, re:3D cited the SolidWorks Part Library as a key tool for its customers, 95 percent of which use SolidWorks. Most of the makers I spoke to had used SolidWorks either in school or in the industry before going on to use the software in their own businesses. Leaving the Maker Pavilion, I walked into the Microsoft tent stumbling on a SolidWorks employee doing a demo of the 3D printing add-on in SolidWorks on the Surface. After nerding out with makers and SolidWorks fans, I made my way to the Maker Shed to check out some special events and seminars.
The Lifesize Mousetrap and the Coke and Mentos shows were immensely popular events. The actual demonstrations were not that long, however the buildup made the shows well worth the wait.
My favorite event of the day was the lockpicking tutorial where all of the attendees learned how to open a locks with a simple pin. Though I definitely do not plan on picking any locks aside from my own, this is definitely a useful skill to have when you leave your keys on your kitchen table.
For me, the highlight of the trip was the learning about the different ways Makers are working at the edge of innovation and having the opportunity to nerd out with techies and geeks.
To learn more about Maker Faire, visit their website.
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