One of my favorite things about attending Maker Faires (large or small) is the moment you witness someone make the connection of how something is made—and then see the leap they make to quickly translating that new information to something they want to make. Maker Faires are ripe with individuals and organizations ready to show and share what they know to empower others to learn, discover, and participate.
The Maker Ed event on Friday, September 30th kicked off the 7th Annual World Maker Faire in NY. The event gathers educators together to grow hands on learning, create makerspaces, collaborate on curriculum, and more. Education spaces, from science centers to libraries, from hospitals to schools, to administrators and educators, are working with students of all ages and abilities to create environments that engage and activate young minds. During Maker Ed, we heard example after example of success stories: kids who were disinterested and checking out of school that undergo a change—they lock in on things like music, electronics, construction—finding their voice, interests, and talents. Events like this are encouraging for the future of education.
ShopBot had two booths this year for the Saturday/Sunday, Oct 1st & 2nd, event and a team of 6 ShopBot staff on hand. One of our booths highlighted the Handibot® Smart Power Tool Adventure Edition and its accessories. Our Smooth Sketch app brought out the artist in kids and adults alike. ShopBot’s Al-Solo Nyonteh and Clarke Barry had visitors draw with a finger on the tablet or phone, press “go,” and the Handibot carved out drawings while they explained what CNC is. It’s a quick way to make the connection between drawing on the computer (CAD) and having the machine cut, carve, mill, or drill your file (CAM).
Brian Owen, our lead engineer on Handibot, demonstrated using a jig that comes with the Handibot, to extend the work area by tiling and showed off the plotter pen attachment – a crowd favorite!
The second ShopBot booth was home to the ShopBot Desktop MAX. You can go from product idea to full production manufacturing with a ShopBot Desktop MAX. Its cutting area of 36”x24” makes it a great fit for everything from guitar making to signs to full size furniture parts. Our very own Bill Young created a couple of jigs to make skateboards, many which were cut throughout the Maker Faire. He showed the whole process from glueing up 1/8” baltic birch, to forming the wavy shapes in custom jigs (created on the ShopBot of course!). Every hour or so, he and Kevin Putvin, our lead engineer who designed the Desktop MAX, cut one of the boards profile on a special jig made to replace the entire table on the MAX. People flocked to see the boards come to life. We had several artists decorate boards before the event that were meant to draw lots of people to our booth—and did!
What an amazing playground for our future leaders, inventors, academics, and creatives. I’m glad ShopBot is a part of this movement and that we can play a role in helping people make their future.
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