Singapore Mini Maker Faire has entered into the 3rd year. Being at the right time (long weekend) and right location (community club), the turn out is overwhelming. Same overwhelming is the wide range of exhibits, which are far beyond what I can put into words.
Giant cardboard structures have become the signature for almost all Singapore maker events. This time we are welcomed by a friendly LED T-Rex. Interested to see the making of it? Do watch the time lapse video by it’s creator Bartholomew Ting.
The presence of Sustainable Living Lab in the Maker faire had been growing each year. I give my personal “best project” award to the Mech Pong by David Teo and team. Watch the video to see how well it is constructed.
For the first time Colin of the Destruction Squad put up a non-stopping live tear down show. Kids love it. Remember I first took grandpa’s drawer locker apart, and trying to put back… What a mind-opening exploration… (~~ don’t turn it on, take it apart ~~)
Maker Leon Lim a.k.a circuit board man brought us a Christmas bag with bling bling electronics. Check the “double layer” construction.
Of course circuit board man always comes with circuit boards. He is also doing live demonstration of PCB etching using household products. And he just wrote a very nice guide!
Another project which has particular interest to me is the “Synesthete’s Music Machine” by Benjamin Low and team. The machine captures images and synthesis sound based on the colour. Listening it for a while and gradually you can imaging the colour just from the sound. Sorry it may sound dull from engineer’s description. “Art Makes Us” is Ben’s slogan, and yes designing such a project is art, and implementation is just minor engineering efforts.
I like two types of projects, that are particularly complex, or that are particularly clever. The Homopolar Motor is the later. Originally invented by Michael Faraday almost 200 years ago, it still amazes me.
More amazing founding is from the Centre for Quantum Technologies of NUS. Mr Nick Lewty shows us Magnetic levitation of superconductor.
Just like previous two years, 3D printer takes a huge stage of the exhibits. While I’m a bit tired of the stereotyped RepRap derivatives, this year we have a locally designed 3D printer AMaker3D. This is a totally production level printer with well designed enclosure, nice touch interface and superb output quality (0.2mm resolution). Both mechanics and electronics are redesigned. And most impressively all the work are done by two lady engineers Shu Fen and Siew Hong within one year’s time! Please check their website and their successful KickStarter campaign. Support the local initiatives.
And let me have the shameless self-promoting in the end. This year I finally participated Maker Faire as a Maker. Together with Ridwan, Astrid and See Tho, we put up a project named B.en.G - Bicycle Energy Generator. We use a traditional bicycle dynamo and transform the output into a handphone charger. We also collect statistics data such as power generated, rider’s speed and total travelling distance. After two days of exhibition our bicycle has travelled more than 300km, and generated about 10wh of energy for charging. Although the amount of power is barely enough to charge 2 handphones, we wanted to deliver the message that energy is precious resource, and harvesting energy from routine activities is both necessary and convenient.
I don’t know how you feel, but I feel Maker Faire is like a new year’s day to me. This is the time when I look into the past and check what I’ve achieved. I would say the best thing I did last year was to step out of my room and participate in many community events, also made a lot of friends. For the blog site I wrote 6 new articles, of which some are quoted directly or indirectly by Hackaday, Dangerous Prototypes, freetronics, or other sources. My site has accumulated 36,942 visits, averaging 105 visits/day as of 2014, increased from 55 visits/day of 2013. This year is of tremendous fun.