By ShopBot, July 6th, 2015


The weather was hot, and the buzzing of insects was matched by the whirring of machines at this year’s National Maker Faire in DC. Inventors, tinkerers, and innovators from across the nation came to showcase their wares and share their knowledge. ShopBot brought two Handibots and set them to work. While one churned out keychains for the kids, the other was mounted over a Handibot Rotary Axis, cutting out a lightsaber handle. This powerful accessory gives the Handibot a 4th rotary axis, allowing it to cut fully 3–dimensional objects. Shopbot’s Matt Schmitz, Al Nyonteh, and Sallye Coyle answered questions while the tools worked, including detailed technical inquiries such as “What kind of a 3d printer is this?” and “Can I have one?”


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The Faire was set at the University of the District of Columbia in the heart of DC. Among the specialized areas, there was a kids’ section full of DIY toys and science demos. The rest of the Faire was a playground for adults and kids alike with demos and products of all kinds. Two Georgetown students demonstrated a novel way to put out fire: Using a modified subwoofer outputting a set frequency, they repeatedly lit and extinguished an oil fire in an iron skillet. The representatives from the self-declared “Cardboard Teck Instantute” showcased their modifiable pinball machines, made entirely of cardboard except for the rubber bands used to power the flipper bats and ball launch. A hacker showed off his Lego Rubik’s Cube machine. Oculus Rift showed off their latest iteration of VR goggles (spoiler: I wasn’t impressed). Various booths showcased unique applications they had developed for digital fabrication tools: laser etching family photos, pillows sewn with your dog’s portrait, 3d printed jewelry, and crowd-sourced sculptures.


The extraordinary Bill Young and the team at Shelter 2.0 had two of their latest ShopBot-cut quick-to-assemble shelters providing shade for weary Faire-goers. These spacious buildings make use of CNC enabled joinery and are sturdy enough to withstand heavy storms, yet they can be collapsed and reassembled in less than an hour. All the parts fit easily in the back of a pick-up. Learn more about these structures: Shelter 2.o.

See you there next year!

— As reported by ShopBot’s Matt Schmitz

July 6th, 2015 | Tags: , | Category: Digital Fabrication, Events, Handibot Smart Power Tool, ShopBot

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