Tag Archives: makerfaire

Looking forward to Maker Faire

This coming weekend, May 18-19, I’ll be joining a bunch of LEGO enthusiasts from BayLUG (Bay Area LEGO Users’ Group) at Maker Faire yet again. This annual event has been going on every year at the San Mateo Event Center (aka Fairgrounds) since 2006 and BayLUG has been a part every year. This year we have a 40′ by 40′ space which will feature robotics demonstrations, a kids’ play area, a working train layout by BayLTC (Bay Area LEGO Train Club), and lots of LEGO models on display. I hope you can come and see the show, and stop by to say hi.

Besides our LEGO exhibit, there are hundreds of amazing exhibitors and vendors offering everything from knitting to welding, from woodworking to electronics. It’s a celebration of all kinds of do-it-yourself hobbies and homebrew activities, and always lots of fun. Many of the art exhibits that you would otherwise have to go to Burning Man to see are there, and there are lots of great hands-on activiites for kids of all ages.

In the meantime, or if you can’t make it, take a look at my photos from previous years’ Maker Faires.

Maker Faire 2011

My local LEGO club, the Bay Area LEGO Users’ Group, has been displaying at Maker Faire every year since it started in 2005. Maker Faire is an amazing event, full of all kinds of creativity, from knitting to robots to welding to music. A lot of the art cars and artistic displays that Burning Man is famous for can be seen at Maker Faire in a much more pleasant climate. Regardless of your hobby, it’s a hobbyist’s paradise. And if you’re ever looking for a new hobby, it’s the perfect place to find one.

We had just over 20 club members participating to some degree, at various points during the setup and event. We set up the tables and displays Friday afternoon and Saturday morning, and opened to the public at 10am Saturday. I have no idea how many thousands of people came through, but the crowds were nonstop all weekend. The show wrapped up at 6pm last night and we quickly tore down and packed up the display.

We had a 40′ by 50′ space set aside for our club to use, and we divided that up into four distinct areas.

In one corner we had a train/town layout, which is where I spent most of my time. We had a downtown area with buildings, cars, trucks, etc. I had two blocks, one featuring my Blackburn Hotel and other buildings, and the other with my City Park. We also had a suburb full of houses and smaller businesses, and a train yard for storing the trains that weren’t running. Inspired by the Log Cabin set, we had a little campground area featuring two of those cabins and one large one that I made out of three of that set. I also parked my RVs in that area, and we had a lake with an island full of bison/buffalo in the middle for reasons I don’t really understand, but they were cool buffalo. I called them the water buffalo. There was a large open space on the layout which we filled with creations built by kids in our MOC building area (see below).

Besides the town/train layout, we had a row of tables along one side with all sorts of other creations by our club members, including some of my sculpture pieces, Marcello’s Japanese Navy WWII ships, Charles’s spaceships, some Technic creations by Jeremy, and some of my assorted models including the big yacht and some of my 7-wide cars.

The other two corners of our space were devoted to a MOC building area and a Mindstorms demo area. In the MOC building area, we had bulk LEGO parts dumped out on the floor and kids of all ages were invited to build whatever they liked out of the parts. We displayed the parts on the train layout so that the kids could contribute to our display. The Mindstorms area featured live demonstrations of robots of various types run by Eva and Steve, who worked tirelessly all weekend showing the robots off to the public and teaching them about LEGO robots.

To see what it all looked like, click the photo below or click here for a slideshow of all the pictures.

Maker Faire 2011

BayLUG at Maker Faire 2010

Here are the pictures from the Bay Area LEGO Users Group & Train Club‘s exhibit at Maker Faire 2010 Bay Area in San Mateo, CA.
BayLUG at Maker Faire 2010
We had a 40′ by 50′ space just like last year, but this time we set aside about half of it as a play area for the little ones. We dumped out loose LEGO parts on the floor (including a DUPLO area for the really little ones) and spread them out on some tables as well, so that fairegoers could build whatever they wanted. We then had some tables set aside to display these MOCs (My Own Creations), and had volunteers who would take pictures of the models and put them up on a computer. I brought my video projector and we had a continuous slideshow running all weekend with pictures of these MOCs.

Besides the play area, we had the usual train layout, and a row of tables for other themes such as space and sculptures.

You can see all my BayLUG pictures from Maker Faire in the BayLUG at Maker Faire 2010 photoset (slideshow), or see Maker Faire 2010 for all my Maker Faire photos, including both LEGO and non-LEGO displays.

Oops, I forgot to blog about Maker Faire

Maker Faire happened on May 30-31, and here it is almost three weeks later and I haven’t posted anything! We (BayLUG) had a 2,000 square foot display featuring a train layout, 8-foot-long battleship, amusement park & goofy train area, giant Technic cranes, robotics demos, and lots of models of all types on display. We even had emiko oye‘s jewelry artwork made out of LEGO, fresh from tours of art museums around the country.

I posted the pictures on Flickr right away after the Faire ended but i never got around to posting anything here about it. Click the photo to view the whole gallery or try the slideshow.

BayLUG at Maker Faire 2009

Special BayLUG meeting for WIRED interview & photo shoot

Yesterday, we had a special meeting of BayLUG members so that a reporter and photographer from WIRED could come and take pictures of some of our models and talk to us. About a half-dozen members showed up at MoAH in Palo Alto and set up an assortment of models that we’re bringing to Maker Faire next weekend.

I forgot my camera, but luckily others didn’t. Mark Warren took a bunch of great pictures and posted them on a Picasa folder. Click the image to see the rest of them:

BayLUG photo op for Wired

This was for the WIRED.com site, not the print magazine. Hopefully the results will be online in a few days, because the point of the exercise was to talk about what will be on display at Maker Faire. I’ll post a blog entry with a link as soon as it becomes available.

BayLUG at Maker Faire 2008, Day 1

For the third year, the Bay Area LEGO Users Group (BayLUG) is taking part in Maker Faire.

Train layout and admirers

We have a 25-foot square train layout and several additional tables, including a large Technic crane and excavator. The show is open until 6pm today (Saturday, May 3) and tomorrow (Sunday, May 4). Hope to see you here!

Click the big picture to go to the set page on Flickr, or you can view a slideshow of the photos.