Drones! Murals! R2-D2! Got your attention? “Part science fair, part county fair and part something entirely new,” according to Elise VanDyne, executive director of Colorado Maker Hub, this year’s Maker Faire is an all-ages gathering of tech enthusiasts, crafters, educators, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, science clubs, authors, artists, students and commercial exhibitors. The event is set to take place at the Denver Mart Oct. 14-15 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For tickets, click here; see featured exhibits here. We recently chatted with VanDyne about the inspiration and exhibitors visitors can expect to find at the fair.
What is Maker Faire and what was the inspiration behind its creation?
All of these “makers” come to Maker Faire to show what they have made and to share what they have learned. Maker Faire is primarily designed to be forward-looking, showcasing makers who are exploring new forms and new technologies. But it’s not just for the novel in technical fields; Maker Faire features innovation and experimentation across the spectrum of science, engineering, art, performance and craft. The inspiration behind Maker Faire is a desire to celebrate these hidden inventors, creators and DIY builders, to break down silos between types of creation, and to inspire the community that they, too, can create the ideas in their heads using the tools and techniques you can see at Maker Faire.
What can visitors expect at this year’s event?
We fill over 160,000 square feet inside and out—that’s the size of three football fields—with hands-on maker experiences of all kinds. Just a few highlights include:
- 2017 SparkFun AVC: automated vehicles racing and the third largest combat robotics competition in the World
- Immersive arts experiences including Meow Wolf, a bronze pour and community mural
- Fashion hacker showcase with wearable technology, maker costuming, steampunk and cosplay
- Laser engraving, electronics and tech tinkering of all kinds
- Chat with R2-D2, get your photo taken on Tatooine with your landspeeder
- Fly a flight simulator in a B-25 bomber front from WWII built by Young Aviators
- Make your own mosaic, metal toolbox, T-shirt, computer
What makes this year’s Maker Faire unique?
This is our first year bringing together the NoCo and Denver Maker communities, plus makers from 23 states and even from London. We’ve moved to the largest location we’ve ever had—and promptly filled it with larger, more immersive maker experiences. We have created collaborations that enable us to host larger, more immersive maker experiences such as the world’s third-largest combat bots competition. You’ll have to see it to believe it!