The fifth annual Calgary Mini Maker Faire took place on the weekend of September 12-13, 2015 at Telus Spark – Calgary’s science centre (see http://www.makerfaireyyc.ca/)
For those unfamiliar with Marker Faires, it is an event created by Make magazine to “celebrate arts, crafts, engineering, science projects and the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) mindset“.
The Makers’ displays and expertise ranged from fashion to robotics & electronics to quad-copters to a bicycle-powered scroll saw to, of course, 3D printing. The Faire also included hands-on activities such as a learn-to-solder project to make a flashing LED jacket robot button to outdoor actions of RC helicopters & quad-copters and geysers of Coca-Cola™ & Mentos® mints.
Javelin was one of the Faire’s sponsors and we had the opportunity to both exhibit to the public and present a pair of workshops on 3D printing in education and industry.
Over the weekend there was a constant stream of attendees of all ages – parents, grandparents and children – stopping by Javelin’s display of 3D printed models. The audience kept Joe Vetere, Javelin’s 3D Printing Business Development Specialist and myself constantly busy explaining the workings of our Stratasys FDM (fused deposition modeling) and PolyJet technologies and their applications in industry, education and medicine.
Though many of the attendees seemed to be familiar with the hobby/consumer 3D printers most had never seem the high quality of models that can be produced from Stratasys’ commercial grade of 3D printers. A common theme of questions and a sense of awe revolved around many people’s disbelief that all of the Javelin models on display were 3D printed on our Stratasys 3D printers. Saturday’s events included an education conference and we had the chance to speak with many teachers from the Calgary Board of Education about 3D printing in their classrooms and about their visions for incorporating it into their curriculum.
Many thanks to Patrick Potter – Javelin’s 3D Printer Account Manager for Western Canada for arranging Javelin’s participation in this year’s Faire. Patrick is himself a very avid quad-copter pilot and has been involved with the past Calgary Mini Maker Faires.