Jim and I attended the Detroit Maker Faire at The Henry Ford last weekend. We got off to an early start on a cloudy summer day and headed to Dearborn to check out the displays and talk with lots of people about the cool ideas and projects that they are involved with. I learned some new things, and I was reminded of concepts I’ve encountered at previous Maker Faires and in life in general.
1. The Henry Ford/ Greenfield Village is an American treasure.
I love this place, even though it’s part of the town where I grew up so I could be a little meh about it when I was a kid. The Henry Ford itself is a well-oiled machine that knows how to host a special event as well as run a huge museum.
2. Overcast days are enjoyable.
There’s been a lot of complaints about the weather this year, but I enjoyed walking around the parking lot based displays without the sun overheating us.
3. Mousetrap is still nifty.
The life-sized Mousetrap game took a lot longer to set up than it did to run– just like regular Mousetrap– but the bang of the 2-ton safe landing on the car was still a thrill.
4. Soldering is cool.
Above is the 3rd blinking pin I’ve soldered at Maker settings. Pretty neat!
5. Fire is elegant.
The Flying Elephant mobile made by Thirsty Beach Landscaping was beautiful. Jim and I chatted with one of the creators and marveled at the design. The elephant body is built off a golf cart base and not surprisingly it went to Burning Man. The flying canopy and the flame shooter are both nice touches.
6. Change is hard.
We missed a few booths and groups that we enjoyed in the past, like Theatre Bizarre and the Utilikilt booth and the leather hat people. In fact, there was a distinct lack of steampunk altogether which was something we missed.
7. Sharing is good.
We talked to someone about 1000tools.com. It’s a neat idea for web-based tool sharing community.
8. Hunger is the best pickle. (Ben Franklin)
If you walk by food stands for a couple hours and find yourself very hungry, whatever you order will taste delicious.
9. Friendly people are great.
Talking with people about the projects they’ve created is inspiring. Seeing what others have invented, made or hacked makes you want to go home and do it yourself. It was a great day for learning and relearning from the makers who share their ideas and projects at Maker Faire.