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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Maker Faire 2015 -- And why you should go!!!

I was introduced to Make: about 8 years ago from a former boss (Chad Maughan).  From that point on I was hooked!  There was finally a bunch of people and a magazine to go along with my thoughts and passions to not only find out how things work, but how to build and make anything.  I started my subscription to the magazine.

My co-worker was able to attend the annual Maker Faire in San Mateo, CA. and when he would come back he would always tell me how awesome it was.  I would sit in awe and be jealous as he would talk about it and show me pictures.

It was through Make: that I first learned about a Kickstarter campaign started by Edward Ford for his ShapeOko CNC.  We had just had our 2nd child and figured there would be no way to contribute to his campaign.  Later that year after Inventables was fulfilling the orders I had asked my parents to take the money they would use on my birthday and Christmas presents and help put it towards a ShapeOko CNC. 

Fast forward a few years and Salt Lake City would have a Mini Maker Faire.  I told my wife that we were going as a family no mater what!  We attended and it was pretty cool!  I knew that it was nothing in comparison to the main Maker Faire.

I still hadn't been able to attend the main Maker Faire due to having new born kids and work. The next time that Salt Lake had their 2nd Mini Maker Faire, I decided that I wanted to present my ShapeOko CNC.  I had been researching to find something that was fun to help interact with the kids at the faire. While I was trying to come up with an idea, Bob Clagett with I Like To Make Stuff posted a blog post on his site of a recap that he did for his booth at the Atlanta Maker Faire.

I had to contact him and ask him about his experience about presenting at the faire.  He gave me a great idea to cut small pieces of wood (4"x4") coasters and then engrave on them.  I used some melamine and a v-bit and it was awesome!  I couldn't thank Bob enough.

Fast forward a few months, Bob Clagett had befriended David Picciuto and Jimmy DiResta and they started a podcast called MakingItPodcast.  I had been watching all of their videos for a long time.
They mentioned that they were going to be going to the Maker Faire 2015.  A week before the Faire Steve Ramsey said he was going to be going to the faire as well.

I just kept thinking about how awesome it would be to go this year!  I had mentioned to my wife Brittney that I would love to go.  Her being the EXTREMELY supportive wife that she is, said, "Just go then!"  So, the Friday before Maker Faire another co-worker of mine Tim Jacobsen and I booked our flights and a hotel.  We would fly out Saturday morning, attend the faire straight from the airport, spend the night, go to the faire again on Sunday then fly back home Sunday night.

Because of owning a ShapeOko from Inventables and other purchases Inventables had sent out a VIP event for an after the Faire party.  As soon as we had booked our flights I RSVP'd for the dinner party.

As we fly out and get there, it was incredible the number of people in attendance.  We entered the faire and we were able to get through the gates about 20 minutes before anybody else was allowed to get in!  We walked around the faire looking at the booths and checking out some really interesting things.  As we then started walking around we ran into Jimmy DiResta just standing there with his Aluminum Axe!

Jimmy DiResta (with Aluminum Axe)

Me, Jimmy DiResta and The Aluminum Axe 

We sat and chatted with him for a few minutes.  It was such an amazing experience to meet such an inspirational MAKER!  (If you haven't seen his videos please check them out... and subscribe to his channel!) While sitting there talking to him, it was personally incredible to see how down to earth he is!

He told us that Bob and David were both there as well.  He said that the three of them were doing a talk together and we should come see them.  We ensured him that we would be there!

We left there completely shocked at how cool Jimmy is!  We proceeded to wander through the faire and came across another great Maker Matt Richardson that has some really cool projects/books and great at being influential to many people.

Matt Richardson and I

As we kept walking around looking at all of the other crazy cool projects, we were walking through the crowd and Tim was walking in front of me and as I looked around I saw David Picciuto walk right past us.  It was a good thing that David's wife Kelly saw the expression on my face as I was trying to process the fact that I recognized David walking past.  She stopped him and I yelled at Tim to get him to turn around.  I made sure that Kelly was in the picture with us!  They were so cool!

Kelly, David Picciuto and I

Then it was on to more walking around the faire.  We had lunch and then were walking around and we saw Jimmy standing talking to some people, David and Kelly were sitting on the grass and that's when I realized that Bob was sitting there as well.  We stopped by and chatted with them and took a picture!

Bob Clagett and I

While Tim was taking the picture of Bob and I, Jimmy tells Tim to get in the picture and he proceeds to take the picture of us.

Tim Jacobsen, Bob Clagett and I

After talking with Bob for a minute he then turns and introduces us to another amazing woodworking YouTube artist Kyle Toth!  Here is a panoramic picture of them all.
Jimmy DiResta, Kelly, David Picciuto, Kyle Toth, Bob Clagett

You would think that was a good day... but this is only just after noon!

We walked through a lot more of the faire.  There was literally so many things to see!
I told Tim that I would like to go meet Edward Ford, so we checked out the map and found out where Carbide3d booth was located.  We made our way over there and found the booth.  It was packed with people and Edward was really busy.  I just stood there and waited for him. I introduced myself to him and he says, "Ah yeah, your active on Google Plus!"  Why yes... That took me by surprise that he recognized my name.  We sat and chatted about everything and I showed him some pictures of my Original ShapeOko that is still running.  He grabbed some of the new extruded aluminum to show off, and boy is it impressive!
Edward Ford and I

As Edward and I were standing there talking I noticed somebody else that I recognized walking by.  At first I couldn't come up with his first name!  I was like "Ahhhh...Ummm... Brown.... Peter Brown!"  Peter Brown is another YouTube woodworker.  I got his attention and he came over and we started talking!

Peter Brown and I

At this point I was just in shock and awe at how many awesome people I had met in just half a day at Maker Faire!  Let alone all of the crazy cool awesome strange inspiring random things that there are to see at the Maker Faire.

As it got closer to the 4:00 schedule when Jimmy, Bob and David were going to do their presentation on Epic Failures, we made our way to the building/stage so we could get a seat and listen to them.
As we were standing there waiting for the previous presentation to end, Zach Kaplan the CEO of Inventables walks by and I introduce myself to him!  We sat there and talked about the different things that they are working on and I expressed my impressions of them sending out the ShapeOko2 to a bunch of the YouTube woodworkers.  Zach gave us a card and told us about the dinner party and invited us.

Me and Zach Kaplan

We sat and listened to their presentation and it was fabulous. Afterwards was a meeting with them outside where we stayed and chatted with all of them as well as Peter Brown.

Later that night we went over to the VIP Pizza Party and it was awesome to meet some incredible people with some crazy skills at our table

Bob Clagett, David Picciuto, Jimmy DiResta.
(Not pictured Peter Brown)

And that was our Saturday!  One day down and that would have been enough for me!

We head back on Sunday to the faire and it's about twice as packed as Saturday was.
While we walked around we were able to see Sylvia Todd from here SuperAwesomeSylvia Show.  I have watched her grow up over the years of her putting out videos and being featured in Make:.  I have loved her videos because of her way of explaining science and helping come up with ideas!

Me and Sylvia Todd

Right after meeting Sylvia and walking around the steam punk area of the faire we happened to run into Dale Dougherty!  Dale is the reason for this Maker Faire and all that it has become over the last 10+ years!  I thanked him for putting it on and for "Making" this a reality!

Me and Dale Dougherty

Lastly the only person we hadn't seen would be the most recognizable woodworker on YouTube!  We were so tired from walking around the faire for two days that we were actually sitting down talking with Bob, Jimmy and his girlfriend Tylor Forrest.  While we were sitting there talking I noticed Steve Ramsey and his son Wyatt walking behind us over at the Sketchup dome.  We went over and said "Hi".  All of these people that we met were so down to Earth!  They were all so happy and excited to meet and talk to anybody!  It was really quite surreal how humble they all are!

Wyatt, Steve Ramsey and I

Then the Friday after we got home from Maker Faire this happened!  Steve Ramsey released his latest project video with some of the footage we helped out with!  (I call this my first Commercial Appearance)

And this is Maker Faire!  What an incredible experience to enjoy!  And I'm overly grateful for Brittney and all that she helps me do! 
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