Hey WR, the very excellent Toronto Maker Festival is coming this weekend to the other end of the Waterloo Region/Toronto *maker* corridor. You should go. 9-5Sat/10-5Sun, free-no-pay, tons of hands-on making at the fantabulous Toronto Reference Library on Yonge north of Bloor. makerfestival.ca
Here are an unreasonable number of photos from last year’s event to give you a flavour of what you’ll experience and encourage you to leave your sofa and go east this weekend. A leaping high five and thank you to my meta-making pals Jen, Ceda, Eric and their crew who organize the Festival.
Above, one of my fave installations was this bike-powered pottery wheel. Many clay pots made and many muscles toned.
Click through for more…
Hey Dave White, my very own Brohemus. He’s working a shutdown in Kentucky, so perhaps the only thing you won’t see this weekend is Dave.
“Shut down all the garbage mashers on the detention level!”
Derek Quenville has some awesome 3D printing rigs…
matched with equally awesome and giant 3D scanners.
This fellow was encouraging everyone to build their own backyard forge.
Seemed achievable. His rig amounted to a heavy steel bucket of coal and a tiny 12V squirrel cage fan. He was heating railroad spikes red hot and pounding them on an anvil to make various tools. Loved the enthusiasm.
This maker was building some kick-ass furniture out of wood reclaimed from shipping palettes. He wisely…
made this cool cooperative marble game for visitors to play.
NewMakeIt makerspace from (of course) New Market joined a whack of other makerspaces old and new. So great to see new spaces sprouting up. I gather this structure was made on a CNC router mill and slot-fit together.
Admin note: while the event is free, it’s a good idea to register for Maker Festival so you can stay in the loop on all the goings-on. If you want to participate in hands-on making, you will most definitely need to sign a waiver to get a wristband because… lawyers+insurance companies.
The Reference Library is spectacular and huge.
Shout to the crew who hung these decorations.
Another fave was this sculpture by Tick Tock Tom from Ottawa. Seeing this work is half the reason I’m learning different welding techniques.
Tom also did this piece called “Bleeding Heart” which I can only assume is hemorrhaging transmission fluid.
Hey, WR makers in the house. Andy, Rachel and the gang from Scienci had their low-cost CNC mill…
on site cutting out…
all sorts of things.
I understand they’ll be back at the Festival this year.
DIY lite brite. This one used coloured acrylic rod segments for pegs and had a robust metal screen.
The effect of this piece from Creative Technologists of Toronto was terrific. Doesn’t really come through in the pics. Each “building” had a microcontroller and LED which alternately lit and went dark.
I may be totally mis-remembering, but I think this was to be ceiling mounted. I love simple elements that create a larger effect in concert.
If you though pedaling for pottery was hard…
you have to admit that the potter on the wheel had the tougher job, making many *many* tiny pots.
I must have spent an hour watching this vertical cardboard cutter working. Think of it like a Silhouette on steroids. The blue rollers pull the cardboard back and forth while a rotating knife traverses the vertical gantry. You just had to see it.
CNC BoxMaker came all the way from the Detroit area (Livonia?) with this friendly fellow who served as the Toronto connection, here chatting with our Agnes.
BoxMaker output + some cardboard making of a different provenance.
The ROM sponsored/fielded this giant, puppeteered triceratops. Big hit.
Even dinosaurs need to rest.
I was particularly interested in…
Great use of PVC pipe to keep it lightweight.
Another fave project. This one by maker Ted Kinsman (right), all the way from the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York state. This rig drags paper under a gantry fitted with…
an electrically-controlled nozzle that dispenses various amounts of coffee…
to form dots…
that make a larger image.
It was so interested to talk with Ted about all the problems they had solved in the development of the rig.
The surface tension of the coffee formed the drops into little gems that perched on the paper until they dried.
Hey, this project is wired just like most of mine: free-style!
Marc was helping visitors try on some armour he had created.
There was a gigantic 4800 LED display, pulling 1200W of power…
run by this software and hardware and…
made by Alex.
I believe Alex also made this flip-dot game board that had endless streams of visitors playing Tetris and Snake. This makes me miss Active Surplus (now closed).
Had a great chat with Alex, who like most makers was happy to talk at length about his project. In fact, I think this conversation got me using NodeMCU modules like this one.
hacklab.to are a great bunch of makers on Queen West.
That green glow of space invaders from an old school computer club really tweaked my crocodile brain. The PET computer came out in 1977, triggering an endless stream of requests from me to my Dad to buy a computer.
Now imagine it’s Saturday and you and your crew are in the midst of this sort of makerly goodness. Deets here: makerfestival.ca
Leave your sofa, find the makers.