The Create section of SXSW gets more engaging every year, and the Dremel booth was one of the busiest spots inside the tent this year, offering numerous hands-on activities and even bringing a high-caliber builder to help inspire the attendees.

powered by dremelThe Dremel team came out in force, displaying a variety of cutting tools alongside their new Idea Builder 3D printer and an assortment of 3D-printed projects. They highlighted the growth of their multi-material initiative with projects including a fully printed yarn-weaving loom, a snow mold for making tiny snowmen (both designed by students at the Art Institute of Chicago), and an ever-growing miniature cityscape made from plywood and 3D-printed connectors.

The center of attention, however, revolved around the hands-on booth activities.

The busiest area of their section, unsurprisingly, was their derby car-making activity. Crowds of families lined up to happily design their own custom car on small blocks of wood supplied by the Dremel team. The Dremel staff would then carve the profiles into the car shapes using their table-mounted jigsaws, and then the designer could attach 3D-printed wheels, using a very clever wheel jig (again, 3D printed) that placed the wheels and nails in a precise location. After a bit of customizing, the attendees were invited to race the cars down a short track.

Helping at their booth was Jimmy DiResta, master builder and star on both TV and Make:’s own YouTube channel. Normally seen whipping up insanely creative projects using his bandsaw, he took the car-cutting reigns on Saturday, while supplying the crowd with wisdom from his his project-making experiences.

The Rio Board skateboard makers customized their hand-crafted boards at the Dremel booth using the Versatip butane tool.

The Rio Board skateboard guys customized their hand-crafted boards at the Dremel booth using Dremel’s butane tool.

The Dremel party continued into the evenings as well. On Saturday night, the group hosted a fundraiser party at the Drophouse Design Studio, bringing pieces from numerous artists (including Jimmy DiResta’s “Spike’s Cat House”) as auction prizes, with the proceeds going to the Austin Tinkering School. The industrial location provided the perfect backdrop to talk about tools and projects and all things SXSW for the evening.

Overall, a very fun and busy weekend for the team. And from their comments, I’d say they were as pleased as the crowd was.