am I a Maker?

There is a Maker movement afoot and a few weeks ago I visited my first Maker Faire, which was in Atlanta.  A few weeks prior I signed up for a MOOC (online course) on 3D printing and I was deciding which 3D printer I should buy – the large one in the photo above costs around $30k, I was thinking of $300.  Makers enjoy tinkering and making things most often using new technologies.  I think this is different from DIY where the focus is on repairing or installing things, which would usually be done by a contractor.

I enjoy understanding how things work – both natural and fabricated.  So therefore my organic growing activities where I interact with a complex changing natural force.  When I was 16, just  for the heck of it, I separated the rear engine of my Mom’s Renault Dauphine car from the rest of the body.  And hastily re-assembled it when confronted by my irate Dad.  During my London years (1978-1986) I did a lot of work on an old, neglected house including installing 17 hot water radiators – see my  write up referenced on “self reliance & projects list.”  So I suppose I have a Maker’s instincts.

The Faire was absorbing – there were a number of 3D printer vendors who were happy to engage in discussion.  I chatted to the folks at Freeside Atlanta who describe themselves as ” a community of makers, tinkerers, engineers, programmers, artists, teachers, and lunatics”.  Lincoln Electric had a welding simulator which charitably graded my wobbly bead at 47%.

arenas for battles between autonomous grappling machines or ball hurlers which gather up a white ball and propel it into the air
there were several arenas for battles between autonomous grappling machines or in this case a ball hurler(1746)  which gathers up a white ball and propels it into the air

Fun was watching the drone racing competition as these screaming fast moving airborne objects chased around the course and then dived through rectangular frames at different heights.

a serious contest of technology and human reflexes
a serious contest of technology and human reflexes

It was fun, I learned some and a week later after more research  I purchased a HICTOP self assembly 3D printer for $316.  I will write separately of the assembly, calibration and first print experience.  If you are curious you can read my review today on Amazon.

And now I have the opportunity to become a Maker.


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