Derby Mini Maker Faire

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee at the beginning of June also happened to be my birthday, a great excuse to go visit family for the extended weekend. Even better, the Derby Mini Maker Faire was occurring just down the road!

The Faire was held on Sunday 3rd June at the Derby Silk Mill, apparently the world’s first factory. We dragged some fairly hungover family members along in what was thoroughly miserable weather, and even they, being of the non-geek variety, enjoyed themselves.

There was a wide variety of different exhibits and lots of hands on activities: I played pong with a bicycle and narrowly beat my cousin, controlled some underwater ROV’s, learnt about generating static electricity from water, played life-sized operation and lots more!

Playing a Life-sized version of the Operation game

We met Martin Raynsford, who bought himself a laser cutter and set the challenge of creating 365 laser cut designs in 365 days and sharing all the files. He’s got some absolutely beautiful work, like his Game Of Thrones themed plaque and Winged Heart. The mathematically inspired work is beautifully intricate, and the recycled fork candelabra is ingenious upcycling! Martin happens to have the exact same laser cutter as the Reading Hackspace, so after chatting a bit about his experiences with using it I have plenty of advice and inspiration now.

Game of Thrones and Winged Heart Laser Cut art by mraynsford
Assorted Laser Cut Art by mraynsford
Recycled Fork and Laser Cut Candelabra by mraynsford

I took videos of some of my favourite exhibits:

Arduino-powered self-balancing robot

Knocking clock – knock on the clock and have the time in hours and tens of minutes knocked back to you! Simple but elegant.

Autonomous xylophone – lots of solenoids attached to beaters are each responsible for one note, arranged for aesthetics as opposed to the traditional pitch order.

And here’s a great video summary of the day from Faruq Fayaz

I was also glad to see plenty of hackspaces in attendance with a variety of RepRaps and other 3D printers. All in all, a grand day out.

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