Saturday, February 2, 2013

Las Vegas Maker Faire 2013

I've been prototyping all week, and revealing the RUM-V system.  Saturday, it was time to take a break, and have a Vegas Day.

Make Magazine is a neat new take on the DIY genre pioneered by Popular Science and Popular Mechanics.  They concentrate on 3D printing, cnc routers, and other things you can do at home, with an unapologetic geeky fervor.  My kind of folks.

They also sponsor regional Maker Faires, local gatherings, kind of like comic or gaming conventions, where folks show off their projects or sell their goods.  Here's Las Vegas' local faire's FB page.

So, the Boy and I went to the first inaugural Las Vegas Maker Faire.  We loved it.

A sculpture made out of gallon milk jugs.

  This booth made custom pinatas.

 A structure made out of two-by-fours and plastic.

  An extruder-style 3D printer at work.  The printout wasn't uber-great quality, but it's nice to see the democratization of this technology.

There was a local computer museum with various models of yore on display.  Being born in 1975, I was intimately familiar with most of them.
An Amiga.  I wanted one so bad when I was a kid.  It was THE premiere graphics platform of its day (at least in my head).

Another Amiga, and a 5 1/2 inch floppy drive.  Kids, go ask your grandparents what a 5 1/2 inch floppy is.

 An Apple II E.  I remember when the Apple II C was one of the first portable computers (the size of a suitcase, with handle built in).  Our first Mac was an SE 20.  As in, 20 Megabyte hard drive.  Yes, I'm old.  Get off my lawn.

 A Commodore 64.  I learned Basic in 7th grade on this things predecessor, the Commodore PET (I think it was a Model 4032, but it's been a while since 1987).  Did I mention I'm old? ;)

 A Sega Dreamcast.  I never saw one in person.  A neat concept that was before its time.

 This was an electric vehicle conversion of a Delorean.

 Sadly, no hoverboard inside.

 A locally produced laser engraver.  Ah, the smell of burning wood...

A laser-cut dice tower, and a box that would poke a small probe out to turn itself off when you flicked the switch on.  Endless hours of entertainment. 

 My son building a lego tower as high as he could in a minute.

 Looking up at the Las Vegas Justice Center, a very impressive court building that went millions over budget a few years ago.

 A local artist who made 8-bit artwork in plastic beads that she then melted together.  Here, she's making a TARDIS keychain.

 My boy with a home-built underwater ROV submarine.  It's made of PVC pipe.  Very cool.

 My son's favorite exhibit.  A local groups of R2D2 makers.  These things are powered and under remote control.  The head spins, and it chirps just like R2 from the movies.

I asked a gentlemen at the booth if they have gang fights with home Dalek makers.  He laughed.

 My boy, holding an 8-bit Luigi character from the TARDIS artist.  He's looking at a quad-rotor drone built by UNLV students.

 This sculpture is a stack of snowflakes, which if you look close enough, are actually rattlesnakes.  Very neat.

 The boy, playing with remote control robots.  The bottom robot pic is a maze-following bot that figures out how to navigate the "maze" of electrical tape, using an IR sensor.


 These guys run a DJ academy out of Los Angeles.  They also spin paint onto old records as art.

So, that was our day in Vegas.  Find your own local Maker Faire by clicking here.  They're neat meet-ups of tech-minded folks.  Finally, a place we can feel at home.  ;)

John Bear Ross

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