This year, I took a vacation with one of my daughters at the NY Maker Faire. For geeks like us, Maker Faire is heaven – you can see tomorrow’s products as projects today. Touch, experiment, and try new technologies, new manufacturing methods, and even new concepts. Most of the projects and products will need to go through serious redesign before they become mainstream products and in some cases, they will inspire others’ products and designs rather than evolve themselves. Maybe some of them will inspire your future designs.
Aside from Maker Faire veterans like bhold, newcomers Simplus Design showed off Supermod, their 3D printed modular wall system that includes versatile storage (see above and below). Simplus also offered smaller 3D printed products for sale.
Several 3D printed fashion statements were made. Hats by Heidi Lee are 3D printed and then crystals are added. Heidi claims Anne Hathaway and other Hollywood personas favor her 3D printed hats.
A few Makers displayed 3D printed jewelry. Todd Blatt is a Maker Faire veteran. This year he was joined by Fire and Bone who scan animal skulls, reduce their scale, and 3D print them. They use this 3D print as a base for their mold with which they to cast metal pendents, some with moving jaws. All the process steps are seen in the picture below.
There were several traditional toys that were 3D printed like a fully functioning dump truck and back hoe. However, several makers showed original concepts in their toys. First and foremost among them is Maker Girl who upcycles Barbie-style dolls. She gives the dolls 3D printed heads and custom clothes to create specialized dolls both general and specific to female super heroes – Female CEOs like Marissa Meyers, Indra Nooyi, and Ursula Burns. Those are superheroes I want my daughters looking up to.
There were so many robots on display but I have to highlight my daughter’s #1 choice: Dexter by Haddington Dynamics, a versatile self learning robotic arm. Different arm fixtures turn it into a 3D printer, a pick and placer, and many other uses. Several arms can work on the same item without clashing thanks to the vision and sensing technology on board the arm. The arm itself is entirely 3D printed.
If the Maker Faire hits your neighborhood, and especially if it is a large Maker Faire (like NY or SF), I highly recommend going to see what innovations are out there and be inspired to use, incorporate, and improve them. Have you seen new technology that inspired you? Let us know in the comment section.