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If you live in the Bay Area and didn’t visit the Maker Faire this weekend, you missed out. If you don’t live in the Bay Area (or you do and are visiting anywhere ever), check out this list of other Maker Faires around the nation and the world, and visit the one nearest you.
Before we get into this year’s Faire, a bit of Maker Faire history. The very first Maker Faire was hosted by Make Magazine here in San Mateo in 2006. 20,000 people went, even though it was a complete unknown. There are currently Faires in New York, Houston, and Detroit, as well as international Faires in England, China, South Africa, and elsewhere. Last year’s Faire has 110,000 visitors, and this year’s Faire definitely had more than that. Way more visitors in two days than the county fair has in two weeks. More people than the whole city of San Mateo, in fact.
The Faire is full of crazy cool stuff. I remember that the coolest thing a few years ago was the 3D printer, the printer that melts plastic and prints it layer by layer into three-dimensional hollow figures of any shape and size. They were just for show, although you could bring home a brightly colored robot for free. This year, a smaller version of the printer was on sale for $299, and sold out by the end of the first day.
The life-sized (giant, actually) mouse trap game still works, and Adam Savage still comes and speaks. The giant bubbles from last year were still flying, though the laser-beam harp was new this year.
As Robby said, only at the Makers Faire do you see a robot wandering through the parking lot and merely say, “hey look – another robot.”