Popular Mechanics did a “Top 10 Coolest DIY Projects” at the Faire and they chose Maker Shed as one of the coolest things. Sweet!

Imagine a vast, tech-loving hardware store packed full of robots, gadgets, software, musical instruments and more. Take everything apart, write up some assembly instruction, and box it all back up. Now you’ve got something like Maker SHED.

Serving as a sort of gift shop for the Faire, Maker Shed is part hardware depot, part physical gateway into the DIY world. There are shelves of parts, and guides for amateur robot builders; a table of build-it-yourself guitars; and kits for creating your own 3D printer from scratch. If you’re a veteran maker, it’s a showroom for the latest DIY tech, like Internet-connected Arduino hardware. If you’re looking to get started, the entry barriers are as low as you need them to be. North Carolina’s Harris Educational, for example, demonstrated beginner-oriented kits for building vacuum-sealed incandescent bulbs from scratch.

As someone who’s witnessed the entire process of setting up, staffing, and breaking down the Sheds at most of our Faires, I can attest to the fact that it’s an absolutely staggering amount of effort — endless grunt work, logistics, stocking and merchandising, shipping and receiving, point of sales, product demoing, and on and on and on. And the fact that it’s all done by a relatively small number of staff people (and a platoon of precious volunteers) is equally impressive. Then there’s the content of the Shed itself. If there’s a Geek Heaven, its storehouses overflow with this very same merch.

Congrats to everyone on the Shed team for another command performance. We don’t call you the Shedi for nothing!

10 Coolest DIY Projects From Maker Faire 2011