Maker Faire Rome, the first large-scale Maker Faire in Europe, saw a huge turnout with an amazing array of makers and exhibitors. I was lucky enough to be there.
One of my favorite exhibits was in the Roland area. Two machines worked together to make custom designs on a variety of different objects and materials. The Roland VersaStudio BN-20 is an inkjet printer and cutter for transferring designs onto clothing, labels, etc. The Sublivent Pro A3/A4 is a special oven that sublimates designs onto flat or three dimensional objects.
The machines were used together to make custom iPhone and Galaxy S3 cases. When I was at the booth they asked me if I wanted them to make a custom design for a Galaxy S3 case. So I brought my own design and they showed me how they made the cases.
First they take the image and print it out on gold film using the VersaStudio BN-20. After the machine is done printing they bring the print over to the Sublivent Pro A3/A4. Then they put the Galaxy S3 holder in the former and place the blank cases on the holder. Next they lay the gold film with the picture facing down on the cases. After the film is on and sealed they put it in the Sublivent Pro A3/A4 where they apply a vacuum and heat to the cases and image. After a couple of seconds they take out the cases, remove the film and the image is now on the case.
Another amazing machine was the Roland iModela iM-01, which is a $900 desktop CNC. The CNC was cutting Arduino shield PCBs that would be perfect for prototyping. They were also using the machine to custom cut wax shapes.
Another favorite exhibit of mine was the FilaMaker. The FilaMaker shreds plastic and then heats it up and extrudes new filament. It can use plastic from failed prints, water bottles, plastic cups, and other plastic scraps. In the same room as the FilaMaker was a huge 3D printer that printed with clay. The PowerWASP is named after the potter wasp, which builds nests using layers of clay. There was also a giant Arduino and breadboard that actually worked.
Maker Faire Rome did a great job pulling in makers and the public. They reached maximum capacity on the second day. I think we can expect to see Maker Faire Rome expanding and more Maker Faires starting up in Europe.