OpenBeam visiting Maker Faire NYC

Rachel, my lovely wife-to-be, was invited to be one of her childhood friend's bridesmaid. Unfortunately, the wedding got moved shortly after she signed up for the bridal party to Maker Faire weekend. Without her help a booth at MF:NYC would be impossible. So we compromised: I attended the wedding Saturday night, and early Sunday morning, I hopped onto a 5:30am flight from Bloomington, Illinois to La Guardia Airport in New York, conveniently located minutes away from the New York Hall of Science, where Maker Faire is held.It's funny how intermingled business and private life can become when you are a small business owner. And although a whirlwind 5 hours at Maker Faire doesn't sound like much, it is actually the most number of hours I've ever got to spend walking around and enjoying the event instead of being stuck behind a booth. With five uninterrupted hours, I charged up my camera batteries and loaded up on memory cards, and took pictures of anything remotely interesting. Here are the highlights:

The BioBus project is a converted school bus full of microscopes that does science and educational outreach.

What is really cool though, is that I designed one of the microscopes onboard the bus.  (Disclaimer:  I only design these microscopes.  I don't pick the names...)   I waited in line with everyone else for a bus tour to see my creation in action - it was REALLY well done.

Here's OpenBeam in the MakerShed! We'll need to improve our game on the packaging and packaging design, but this is an AWESOME start! We've been working very hard since the beginning to get into MakerShed and we are really happy that it finally happened. It also put a big smile on my face to think that both my work from my regular day job (FLoid) and my personal side business (OpenBeam) were represented here at Maker Faire.

Here's my friends Faye and Dawn, with BitWise eTextiles. I believe they are launching a kickstarter campaign soon.


Husband and wife team Matt and Michelle Hertel presented a desktop 5 Axis CNC machine, the PocketNC. They are hoping to be selling the machine at around $3k price point.


I came across a mechanical computer component in someone's antique collection.  I was told this was used to compute bomb trajectory in a World War II era bomber.  The gray cylinder is a mathematical formula graphed in 3D and the ball bearing arm reads the "solution" given the input variables.  It is mind boggling to think that free form mathematical shape was created before there were CNC milling machines!

In the 3D printer community, we have our friends at Matter Hackers:

Diego and WhosaWhatsit from DeezMaker, and Roy from Panucatt Devices:

John Oly and Party Daddy from SeeMeCNC:

Josef Prusa:

The Gigabot guys. I don't think I could ever get my wife-to-be's approval on getting a printer this big.

Eugene from Tinkerine Studios in Vancouver, BC:

Michael Joyce and his wife from B9 Creator - the Open Source DLP / Polymer based machine.  We look forward to seeing it go head to head against the Form1 in the upcoming Make 3D Printer special issue.

And finally, a few more delta robots:

Makerbot is on hand to show off their latest digitizer. Looks interesting, but close source vs open source aside I'm not sure if I can justify the price tag. Given the mechanical simplicity of the device, I sure hope it will be more reliable than their printers.

And finally, Roy's got some of his new toys to show off:

The Azteeg X5. This is a 32 bit controller card that runs Smoothieware. It will be a eagerly awaited upgrade, as we currently are maxing out the little Arduino microprocessor.

And a successor to the Viki:

Full set of photos from today's excursion here. Wondering through the museum, I came across a Tesla exhibit, so I snapped a bunch of pictures of that too. All images are licensed under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.