aNewDomain.net — Much has been made of the decline in manufacturing in the United States during its continual transformation from a manufacturing economy into a service and information economy. So it’s ironic that Silicon Valley in April 2006 developed its homage to people who make things — that’s the Maker Faire.
I covered it for you this weekend on our pages here at aNewDomain.net. Check out the bulk of my photo tour in this piece. Yes, I know other Maker events occur in such metro areas as Austin, Detroit and New York. But the one in the San Francisco Bay Area — the one I’m attending here and now at the San Mateo Event Center the weekend — was the first. In many ways, it’s the main event of them all.
The Faire celebrates makers of all ages, emerging as it did from the Make Magazine brand. Check out some photos I took, below.
This year saw an explosion of companies showing off various 3D printers and CNC Machines. Only at a Maker Faire would you learn something obscure and important having to do with the difference between 3D printers and computer numerical control (CNC) machines.
Turns out 3D printers make items in an additive fashion. They start with nothing but raw material to build the end-result item. Conversely, CNC machines use subtractive techniques. That is, to execute the final product they start with a raw block of material and remove material until they get it. Like sculpting.
Check out some 3D printers I snapped, below.
And here’s a CNC machine I found at the Maker Faire 2013 in San Mateo:
The clear device highlighted at this year’s Maker Faire? It’s the Makerbot Replicator Two.
This one happened to be engaged in making an Ouya keyboard for the DIY Android based game system.
Recently there was a dust up about the development of schematics to print a working plastic gun with just the firing pin as the only metal part — and the bullet, too. No one talked about that at the Maker Faire I’m attending this weekend, but 3D printing and its products were ubiquitous.
And now I leave you with 3D printed chess pieces. Awesome. Your move.
Based in Silicon Valley, Richard Hay is senior science editor at aNewDomain.net and happens to serve Google as a staff engineer in network testing, too. He’s probably making something now. Email him at Richard@aNewDomain.net.