Go Make Something!: A Look at 2017 Bay Area Maker Faire

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By: Loud Josh

If you make it, they will come.

This past weekend, Nerd HQ had the opportunity to send one of their own (yours truly) to the 2017 Bay Area Maker Faire, held at the San Mateo Convention Center in San Mateo, CA. This was my first ever Maker Faire and I have to say, I was blown away by it all. If you’ve never been to a Maker Faire before, its equal parts Comic Con, science fair, and craft fair. The idea here is to celebrate and honor “Makers” – the creators of this world, those who have an idea and don’t let their ideas sit idle but work to make them become a reality. While many of the Makers have an emphasis on utilizing new science and technology to bring about their creations, this isn’t necessarily a prerequisite. Many of my favorite exhibitions focused on old technology (hand built ham radios!), or no technology at all (there was massive section solely dedicated to Lego creations!)


I had the opportunity to spend the majority of the weekend working with the wonderful people over at MatterHackers. These folks are 3D printing experts and it’s no wonder they have quickly risen to become one of the world’s largest distributors of 3D printers and 3D printer filament. More important than their expertise, however, is how important the 3D printing community is to them. Do they want you to buy their products? Yes. But more importantly, they want to inspire young minds to go out and create, and to usher in a new generation of Henry Fords, Patricia Billings, and Elon Musks. (To be fair, this can be said of many of the companies at Maker Faire, but I didn’t get to work with them first hand.)


The best thing about Maker Faire is how well it epitomizes what Nerd HQ means. Here you have entire communities that are incredibly passionate about the things they have made. On the outside, 3D printed tennis shoes, plywood robot suits, and Steampunk automobiles have little in common. Yet, brought together in a place like Maker Faire, everyone can celebrate each other’s accomplishments, each other’s passions. In other words, we can all celebrate being Nerds. After all, that’s what Nerd HQ is all about and that’s why I found the Bay Area Maker Faire so incredibly enjoyable. Just a bunch of Nerds making a bunch of nerdy things.

I have it on good authority that these custom 3D printed shoes are quite comfortable.


Meet PLY-O-BOT, the suit made entirely of plywood.


Steampunk X-34 Landspeeder (from Star Wars: A New Hope)


Couldn’t make it out for this year’s Bay Area Maker Faire? No worries! Maker Faire has several upcoming Faires, including their flagship faire in New York from September 22-24. A full list of upcoming events can be found here. And even if you can’t get out to one of the Maker Faires near you, go out there and follow the advice of everyone’s favorite TV star, Johnny Karate: Make Something!


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