Crate stacking is a game. The objective is to stack as many upside-down plastic milk crates as possible and stand on the top. Stackers rest their feet in the handle holes of the milk crates, and the challenge is to place the next crate and transfer footings without losing balance and blowing the stack.
The set up is like indoor rock climbing or top rope climbing in that players are in a harness and are belayed for safety. Crates are tossed to the stacker when the stack is low, and then ferried by a rope on a pulley when the stack is high. When the stack inevitably blows, the stacker is held aloft as the milk crates scatter asunder. It’s fun. Really fun.
Want to try it? Crate Stacking will be going down on the front lawn of Studio One all day at East Bay Mini Maker Faire. Under 18 will need parents present to try. The highest stackers will be invited to a stack-off at 4 PM.
Here’s Crate Stacking game maker Liam McNamara, landing a record 26 stack:
What would a Maker Faire be without robots?! Well, we have a variety of robots and robotics exhibits and talks (see below). But the larger robots that attendees are going to get to drive (and that will be located in Robot Grotto off the Studio One Building), are at the fair in large part due to the Bay Area student robotics club community.
First, there’s three FIRST Robotics teams. One is the Scotbots from Piedmont High School. Two are Terra Nova Robotics from Terra Nova High School in Pacifica.
FIRST is a worldwide robotics competition program. There are 350,000+ FIRST teams around the world, and over 100 in the Bay Area. It is very organized, with five different levels:
All the Scotbots and Terra Nova teams are FTC or FIRST Tech Challenge robots. The organizing principle for the FIRST competitions is that every year the FIRST parent entity announces that year’s design challenge. One year it might be about a robot climbing a structure and flinging frisbees through certain size slots. Another might be shooting baskets with basketballs. From the FIRST website:
Teams of up to 10 students are responsible for designing, building, and programming their robots to compete on a 12 X 12’ field in an Alliance format against other teams. Robots are built using a TETRIX® platform that is reusable from year-to-year using a variety of languages. Teams, including Coaches, Mentors, and Volunteers, are required to develop strategy and build robots based on sound engineering principles. Awards are given for the competition as well as community outreach, design, and other real-world accomplishments.
FIRST was founded in 1989 by Dean Kamen, an inventor and entrepeneur who designed and built the Segway, those self-balancing two-wheeled people mover machines.
These teams travel globally to compete. The Terra Nova team is bringing a state champion robot! And attendees of all ages will be allowed to drive some of these competition bots!
The other cool student-oriented robot group coming to the fair is UC Berkeley’s PIE (Pioneers in Engineering). PIE is a UCB student club that provides a quality STEM learning experience for students in underserved Bay Area high schools. They offer a year-long mentorship program called Prep and an annual 8-week robotics competition. For just $100 per team, they provide a robotics kit that’s fully designed and developed in-house, as well as trained college student mentors for each team. Super awesome program! (And speaking of UC Berkeley, thanks to them and their School of Engineering for coming in as lead sponsors of the 2013 East Bay Mini Maker Faire!)
Here’s a video of the Oakland Tech High School winning moment at the 2013 PiE final:
There will be a whole lot of other robotics oriented makers and presentations at the fair, including:
Some artists really don’t want you to think about process. They want to design an experience or impression, and they want you to not think about it—just feel it. Or admire it.
But the truth is, there’s a whole lot of making in most any art project. Take seaGrass, Mauricio Bustos’ pretty elaborate Burning Man installation for this year. It’s a grid of 30 – 30 foot towers that glow, bend and animate. “Imagine wandering around the desert at Burning Man late at night and coming upon a field of huge, gently swaying, beautifully lit blades of grass.”
Not just large in scale, the project required a fair bit of tech. Each tower is fitted with 50 full color LEDs using a Teensy 3.0 board and XBee radio to allow a user to remotely coordinate patterns across the full field of grass blades. A microphone and accelerometer are also connected to each tower to help capture sound and motion as other ways to make the sculpture interactive.
I loved clicking through the seaGrass Facebook picture set, because there is so much process shown there. From renderings to prototypes of the electronics to band saws, you can see what it took to get to the bliss. And do check out the bliss:
Mauricio was trained as mechanical engineer, but these days he’s doing financial modeling for a financial services company. There’s a little bit of overlap, but it’s a bit far from the world of 3D making and materials.
Burningman has been an outlet for Mauricio’s maker self. 2013, the year of seaGrass, was his 13th year going out and making things for the playa. He also teaches an afterschool maker class at his kids’ school where he introduces kids to graphics and processing and servos and motors—all in an effort to take the mystery out of software and hardware.
What’s nice is that Mauricio is bringing seaGrass to East Bay Mini Maker Faire in this same spirit. Given that the fair is in the day, seaGrass isn’t going to really be in its full glory. But Mauricio is hauling five or six of these 30′ tall reeds and is installing them on the front plaza of Studio One. He’ll be there, as an artist and as a maker, to show the back end, to share the process, and what he learned getting to showtime.
Thanks to Lily Lew for the guest post!
Ever wanted to go on a treasure hunt? Well now you can! There are over one million containers called “geocaches” hidden all over the world. That means the chances are really good that one is close to you right now. All you need are the coordinates and some hints at www.geocaching.com and a GPS device to get to the coordinates (usually a smart phone).
We’re very happy to share a new resource at the East Bay Mini Maker Faire site… A new RESOURCES page. To start the page off, we’re sharing an East Bay Makerspace directory that one of the East Bay Mini Maker Faire team members, Sagit Betser, pulled together.
Many of these makerspaces will be in residence on Sunday, October 20th at the fair. Ace Monster Toys, Hacker Scouts, NIMBY, Rock Paper Scissors, American Steel, The Crucible, Counterculture Labs, and Mothership HackerMoms will all be at tables or doing demos throughout the fair. But if you miss them, you can return to this list and find out when the next open house or workshop is—or to find others that for one reason or the other won’t have a booth.
The East Bay has a wealth of these spaces offering workshop space, shared sets of tools, and ongoing opportunities for making. But it took Sagit’s research on the Maker Movement to get a page to finally manifest.
When Sagit Betser moved from Israel to the United States five years ago, it didn’t take her long to discover the Maker community. And feel awed. A chemist and mechanical engineer — as well as the mother of a 10-year-old son and six-year-old daughter — Sagit became a science teacher at a private school in New Jersey, as well as its Director of Design and Innovation. This is what led her to attend the Maker Faire New York.
One year ago, Sagit and her family moved to the East Bay. “I went to the East Bay Mini Maker Faire and loved it,” she says. “Even more than the big New York one. It has more community feeling and artistic expression.”
Today, Sagit is working on her PhD at UC Davis in education, and one of her main interests is the Maker movement. She has taken both of her kids to Oakland’s Sudo Room. She also loved attending the Mothership HackerMoms‘ Open House in Berkeley.
If you have more information to add to the page—or her research!—find Sagit next Sunday at the Riveropolis installation (in the Magnolia Circle). What other resources should be listed? Leave comments on the page, or tell Sagit directly at the fair!
On October 20th attendees at the East Bay Mini Maker Faire will get the chance to be metalsmiths for a day! Watch master metalsmiths Dan Romo and Hopi Breton (and her Diablo Valley College students) pour a bronze cast, then make your own work of art to take home.
Maker Faire attendees will be able to mold their own sand form, with numbers, letters, and other objects provided by Romo and Breton, or create your own. Guidance and assistance with making the sand forms will be provided by Breton’s students from DVC. Attendees will then watch as their ideas become their own original bronze sculpture!
If you want to learn about this amazing art form, the first demonstration will start at around 11:00. Create a sand form while you learn the process of turning molten metal into art. Then, at noon, your sand form will be used as a mold for your very own bronze art piece you can take home. The cost to create your own bronze sculpture will be about $45 (enough to cover materials), but the experience will be one you will never forget!
The demonstration will repeat at 1:00, with another chance to make your own piece at 2:00.
Dan and Hopi think they will be able to pour about 20 pieces total for faire attendees, so register now and purchase in advance to reserve your materials and pour: http://ebmakerfaire2013.eventbrite.com
If you love this, you won’t want to miss Breton’s upcoming Iron Pour at DVC on November 7th (make your mold) and 9th (pour)! Details can be found here: http://dvcart.blogspot.com/2013/09/iron-pour-coming-soon.html
Ed note: This story is a re-post from Makezine.com, MAKE magazine’s blog.
MakerBot has a retail store in Manhattan. And UPS is testing in-store 3DPrinting services in five locations. But how many neighborhoods or Main Streets have a small-biz, 3D printing/digital fabrication retail store? One that not only prints but teaches classes and sells printers?
The answer is… not very many. According to MAKE contributing editor, Anna Kaziunas France, there is Deezmaker in Pasadena; The Color Company and iMakr in London; =The 3D Printing Store in Denver; and the GetPrinting3D Retail Store in Evanston. And through this post we found out about iGo3D in Oldenberg, Germany.
As of yesterday, HoneyBee3D in the Montclair district of Oakland, Calif. can be added to this list. Husband and wife team Liza Wallach and Nick Kloski are offering classes, printing, rapid prototyping, and they are a distributor for TypeA Machines.
Liza actually has had this storefront since 2003, running her successful jewelry line and store, LizaSonia Designs, out of the space. Nick is an Engilsh major who rolled into the tech industry during the dot-com boom, doing 15+ years between Sun Microsystems and Oracle.
Knowing their background, It makes sense then that the two of them might have aspirations beyond the “Mayberry” of Oakland. The HoneyBee3D website says that six more retail stores are planned for 2014.
The store is simple, uncluttered, and calm in feel. There are wood desks and a ceiling-mounted computer screen that can be pivoted out the display window, or inside the store for teaching purposes. When I arrived Nick was winding down a good conversation with a dad and two post-game soccer boys, and three TypeA Machines were printing away.
Montclair feels like a 60s throwback main street-as-shopping-village. It’s up in the Oakland hills. It is full of small businesses and is still supporting two or three bookstores. There is frozen yogurt, coffee, dentistry, sporting goods, shoes, kitchen tools, dry cleaning. Lots and lots and lots of families, and a good number of seniors. Not “hip” in the least (the foodies and fixies are <em>not</em> in Montclair). So it’s an interesting and telling choice for a store selling 3D printers.
Welcome HoneyBee3D! We’re very curious to know how it will go; please keep in touch!
This will be year #4 for the East Bay Mini Maker Faire, and for the first time we held a Town Hall to kick off the Call for Makers. Turnout was amazing—over 100 people attended and yes, THE CALL FOR MAKERS IS NOW OPEN. But so much else happened!
Oakland Mayor Jean Quan came by to give us her well-wishes and to announce that the City of Oakland has been chosen to host the 2nd annual Urban Manufacturing Alliance conference. The UMA is a national association working “to grow manufacturing businesses, create living wage jobs and catalyze sustainable localized economies.” Meaning it’s an organization created to promote maker businesses. The conference will be in early October, just before the fair.
2. The Makers mingled.
So many connections made last night! I personally witnessed The Crucible meeting the Lawrence Hall of Science for the first time. WikiSeat met Claremont Middle School. Makers with scrap plywood met makers with a need for scrap plywood. And on and on!
3. Oakland Makers launched.
A stellar lineup of some of Oakland’s most influential makers (Karen Cusolito/American Steel, Hiroko Kurihara/25th Street Collective, Leslie Pritchett/AmSteel&Crucible, Steven Young/The Crucible, Margot Prado/City of Oakland Economic Development Dept., Michael Snook/NIMBY makerspace) introduced Oakland Makers, a new organization meant to better position and articulate the value-add of Makers specializing in the industrial arts, applied technology, artisan production, custom manufacturing and education. The have galvanized as a group to:
• increase the visibility of Oakland’s manufacturing and industrial arts,
• sustain the ability of these sectors to operate and thrive,
• grow Oakland’s diverse creative economy.
Sign up on their mailing list to get involved and learn more.
4. The Makers took the mic.
We also had an opportunity for everyone to come up and introduce themselves. Folks lined up and shared their name, their organization, and what they make. So cool to hear the diversity of the makers in the room, the numbers of new people finding a place interested in participating, and the continuing support and presence of the superstars of the East Bay maker scene.
5. American Steel Studios inspired.
It’s hard to express the scale of both the facility and operation of American Steel Studios. It is SIX ACRES in size, and at least a hundred makers call it their home away from home. Founder Karen Cusolito gave two tours of the facility. If you missed it, check this New York Times article—and watch for a profile piece about to come out in Metropolis magazine.
6. Tacos and fine beer were had.
Many thanks to the City of Oakland’s Economic and Workforce Development Department for providing delicious sustenance. And to Line 51 brewing company for flowing some delicious beer. Quality, local food and beverages really do make for quality mingling.
THANK YOU EVERYONE FOR COMING OUT! Thanks especially to Karen and American Steel for hosting. Thanks to the strong showing by Park Day School volunteers (Park Day School is the organizing entity behind the volunteer-run East Bay Mini Maker Faire, if you didn’t know). And to our venue partners, the City of Oakland’s Studio One Art Center.
Don’t forget to get your maker, performer and presenter applications in early—and please share the Call with your extended community.
If last night is any indication, year four is going to be fantastic.
One of the stars of the seminal Survival Research Laboratories film “Bitter Message of Hopeless Grief” (1988), Walk and Peck (AKA The Centaur) also had a feature role in the 1985 performance, “Extremely Cruel Practices: Designed to Instruct Those Interested in Policies That Correct or Punish.”
Walk and Peck’s maker, Matt Heckert, will be bringing the old W&P out for a little walkabout at the East Bay Mini Maker Faire this Sunday.
In the world of art+robots, Survival Research Laboratories (SRL) is considered to be the pioneer of the “spectacle” form of underground robotic art.” (Wikipedia). Remote control machines, often the size of small cars, interact with props and each other, producing mayhem, surprise, and destruction.
Heckert came to machines and engineering pretty early. Obsessed with cars and Formula One racing, Heckert got his first car when he was 13 years old. “It was a little Volvo 544 that I was going to make into a racecar. I was done with the lawnmower and the outboard motor; I wanted to have something to work on.”
Matt’s dad had seen this Volvo out in the country for sale, and tracked down the owner. It turned out that this guy, Paul Krot, was a photographer and a professor at the Rhode Island School of Design (as well as founder of Sprint Systems Photography—still in biz), and had in fact raced the Volvo in some Sports Car Club of America runs.
Krot wouldn’t sell the car. Instead he said, “I won’t sell it to you but I’ll give it to you if you will race it.”
Krot proceeded to take 13 year old Heckert to the junkyards to look for just the right motor. “The motor was tired and bell housing was shot. I took my money that I had earned and bought this motor for $220.”
“He showed me how to port the manifold and what cam shaft to get and what grinds to put on the cam shaft.” Heckert was in business. Re-reading the owner’s manual, Heckert would check in with Krot and follow his advice—but continue the work and progress on his own.
The point all of this is that this guy was that this guy dealt with me as if I had a brain, had the ability, and was an adult. He never talked down to me.
I never forgot about Paul and my Volvo but I never really got a perspective on how important it was for me developmentally until I was reminiscing about it recently. That I had taken the initiative to get the car and then met Paul and his attitude was “you can do this,” without faint praise or hand-holding, and then completing gave me a sense of accomplishment that I carrier forward to future projects.
Heckert made his way from there to an award winning art career with exhibitions around the globe. He is currently Chief Engineer for TCHO chocolate in San Francisco, having re-engineered their vintage East German chocolate manufacturing equipment into a full-scale production line on Pier 17.
San Francisco artist Gregory Gavin says that since he was a kid he has “returned to creeks to feed my imagination. Finally it occurred to me . . . it was the creek itself I wanted to return with from the forest.”
In a presentation at San Francisco’s de Young Museum in 2006, Gavin proposed perhaps the world’s first company specializing in the creation of miniature rivers. Since then, he has been creating rivers all over the Bay Area under the name Riveropolis. This Sunday, you’ll have the chance to experience two amazing undertakings:
First, Gavin will set up a kinetic, quiet large and fast moving play river to build and experiment with boats.
Then, inside the geometry of the Park Day gazebo, Gavin will construct an idiosyncratic “archipelago” of floating islands “that I discovered this summer while teaching river camp.
Gregory will also participate on the 12PM “Maker Programs in East Bay Schools” panel presentation/discussion session in the Studio One Theater.
Gavin has been commissioned by National Endowment for the Arts, the de Young Museum, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Seattle Public Art Program, the Potrero Nuevo Fund Prize, and the Bay Area Discovery Museum. He teaches intermittently at the California College of the Arts and is a California Arts Council Fellow. He also teaches summer RIVER CAMP sessions at CAMP 510 at Park Day School, and the San Francisco School. We’re really excited to have him at the Faire!