World Maker Faire New York 2015

The 6th Annual World Maker Faire at the New York Hall of Science (Queens, NY) just wrapped up. I attended the Saturday festivities and had a lot of fun seeing the many projects, services, and activities that the Faire had in attendance.0926151525

Here is some info on the booths that caught my eye:

Electronics and Hardware:

PJRC had a booth featuring a few of their products, including the Teensy 3.1 board. I had read that Teensy supports USB Midi detection, in which your computer can see the board as a midi controller, not a serial device, which is ideal for my step pedal project I have planned. I asked the rep at the booth if this was true and she didn’t seem to follow what I was saying, but the board was on sale so I picked one up for $15 anyway, just encase. It also seems to process code at a much higher rate than the Arduino they had at the booth (maybe a Micro? I can’t remember now), so maybe if I need something that responds very fast, I can use the Teensy as well.

Foxonix was there promoting their development board built on the Sonix SNC21000 speech microcontroller. It’s a platform that allows you to manipulate your own custom sound content a lot easier than can be done with most development boards. Unfortunately, it does not have a way to detect frequencies, but I may need something like this in the future if a music project requires it.

Dr.Duino sells a kit that a maker can use to debug the software and hardware of a Arduino project. The board fits right onto a standard size Arduino, such as the Uno, and allows the user to check inputs, outputs, and analog inputs. The user may interrupt signals from an attached shield to read signals, or move a jumper so that the signal reaches the shield, helping the user determine if there is a hardware problem or not. I love this functionality, and it would allow me to test a program without having to build test components to check functionality. So of course, I bought one for the Maker Faire promotional price of $30 ($49.50 from their website + $5 standard shipping in the USA). Can’t wait to put it together and give it a run!

I’m not quite ready to make the dive into RaspberryPi development yet, but the RaspberrySTEM team has an impressive starter kit, featuring a mount and case for your Pi and a nice breadboard area on top to keep your projects neat and organized.

AYATOMM – I spoke with Kristof Berg about some of his musical Arduino projects. He had put together some MIDI controllers that used an Arduino Leonardo that output midi through a 5 channel midi output.  He had some rotary encoders that worked like potentiometers but you could spin them forever. I liked the idea, and may use them in the future. I mentioned my idea of building a midi step pedal board for my guitar performances, and we both agreed that the Leonardo had no easy way of sending MIDI to a PC though a midi driver. He mentioned there may be a way to bypass the Leonardo boot loader to fire up the midi driver, but I think I will try using a Teensy 3.1, as it seems to support USB midi with less hassle.


3D Printing and CNC Machines:

SeeMeCNC was displaying some of their delta printers, including a 20 ft behemoth of a printer. I grabbed a card on their Rostock Max v2 Kit, as it had an impressive size for a $1K kit. It’s mod friendly and it’s built and supported in the USA!

Silhouette was showcasing their thin media cutter. It had a small footprint and cut paper, cardstock, a thin foam with ease. Seemed great for cutting out prototype bodies for projects (the rep had built a detailed 4 ft Gundam out of paper cut by the machine).

Structur3D was showing off their Discov3ry Paste Extruder which assists in converting your favorite 3D plastic printer into a printer that can extrude soft materials, such as silicone, frosting, and ceramic. I entered to win one, which would work great for Sarah’s ceramic projects (of course we would need to invest in a printer then!).

Zmorph has an awesome printer that has dozens of different applications, just by changing out the printing head. A CNC mill, laser, plastic/ceramic/chocolate printer, Point plotter, and more, all in one device.


Online Services and Tools:

Octopart is a quick and easy search engine to find electronic components across multiple sellers and compare their prices. I know I will be going there when I have a specific chip or other component I need to get my hands on. is a free service that helps you find “Fabbers” who can bid on your project to have it fabricated, or you can find someone who is looking to get something made but doesn’t have the tools to make it. If you want something created by specialized businesses that guarantee high quality, try MakeTime.

Plethora provides a plugin for SolidWorks that calculates the cost to mill the component out of metal with some restrictions, laid out on their webpage.

Initial State collects the data from your “Internet of Things” devices and displays it in a great looking layout for your viewing and analyzing pleasure.

And some other pictures I took! I didn’t take very many… shame on me.

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2 Responses to “World Maker Faire New York 2015

  • Hey, This is Kristof with Ayatomm. Thank you for chatting with me and thank you for the shout out! I should mention there are ways to get Leonardo into HID MIDI mode.

    Huge shout out to Dean Camera with Four Walled Cubicle of LUFA fame.

    the biggest drawback is going native HID MIDI you wouldn’t have easy bootloader access, the most convenient method would be using a AVR ISP spi header to program your chip, but I think if you got crafty by looking for a button press at startup or something you could bootload to make experimentation more convenient.

    • Hey Kristof, thanks for the links! I’ll have to check these out! Programming a stand alone AVR to work USB MIDI looks promising!

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