The Ozarks Maker Faire kicked off this morning with a fantastic showing of local makers, artists, and engineers. We were in a new location this year, which was a fantastic choice as the surroundings were so much more pleasant than the previous exhibition hall.

Designed like a massive log cabin, the lighting wasn’t particularly condusive to me getting great pictures, but I managed to get a few regardless.

Russel Gerke is posing here in the “Tornado Puncher“. This is a vehicle specifically designed to drive up to a tornado, lower itself to the ground and drop anchors, then collect data about the storm. They still have some construction left to do, but it is already a formidable looking creation.

Brian and Buzz Zweerink showed me the soccer robots built by the Marshfield Highschool CAD class. These things were zippy and there was some really clever engineering being displayed here.

Cheryl Weston told me a bit about the Kitchen Sink Acting Workshop. Nathan had attended a few times and confirmed it was a lot of fun.

Makers could come to Makenna Cyr and get beautiful Henna done. This example had been on her arm for a few weeks.

Metthew Burnett brought out the whole rig to show people how blacksmiths forge metal into shapes. The examples he showed were quite nice.

Camdenton’s FIRST Robotics team brought some really impressive engineering to the Faire. They also had some fun hands-on activites aside from the big bots.

Cam Eaton’s “Rock Dolly” is an all-in-one unit that allows musicians to plug in and put on a show with a professional sound system. While you can see a single musician using it here, Cam says a whole band can perform out of a single Rock Dolly.

Coming up from Arkansas, the Idea Factory showed off some fun stuff like machine embroidery and 3d printing. They really caught some eyes with the shopping cart that you can sit in and drive!

Makers were able to learn about our local flora and fauna thanks to the Missouri Master Naturalists group. They had examples of all kinds of things you’d find on a trail including actual live snakes!

Queen City Beard and Mustache Federation was a delight as usual. Aside from bringing their glorious beards and mustaches (on the men and women!) they also brought the selfie Makey bot!

Brewer Science is such a fantastic example of how a local company can come up with hands-on activites to relate their craft to the people. They were showing off non-newtonion fluids as well as how they modified a cnc mill for lab use.

WoodenCreationz wowed people with his wood projects. One thing you can’t tell from these pictures is that most of these items were in motion or lighting up!

Bob’s CNC had a steady flow of people signing up for a chance to win the super low cost E3 CNC router kit.

Reach3dPrinters had a pretty cool demo. The same unit was set up to laser, mill, and 3d print. Can’t beat that price either!

Engineerios really took me by surprise. These are Lego minifigs that have been scrubbed clean of any paint. Then, they’re fed into a fancy printer that puts custom designs on them! Look at that little batman, he has an M on his chest for Maker Faire!

Need an entertaining way to display how a power grid works? This Electric Cooperitave used Tolkein’s Middle Earth as a way to show off.

Associated Machinists was here to talk to people about the process of machining. Look at that smile!

Encouraging young people to go into manufacturing the local chapter of SME was here to show off some great educational material.

7 three 8 apparel had some crafty decorations on display for inspiration. People could cut a custom message to place on a window, or paint a message on some aged wood.

Always a favorite of mine, Phillip Cook was showing off his skills in coloring copper simply by hitting it with fire. You can find his work here.

J Christopher Wilson is the author of Wards of Iasos. These cute little crochet characters are the main characters of his book. He was in a costume of one of the main costumes and people were lined up to get him to sign their book.

Eric and Victoria Wells didn’t have a group or website to promote. They were just here to show people some interesting things. They tought people how to make solar filters for cameras as well as how an old tube radio works. This was Eric’s Grandfather’s radio and it still works!

Glendale Highschool Robotics had some cool bots, but their mascott was awesome!

Lydia and Luke Abbott were showing people how to make these gorgeous pieces of art with poured paint. They had some truly beautiful examples of their own as well.

SRC Electrical had all kinds of industrial bits and pieces to show off.

This display really surprised me. Becky McGood from the Sho Me Electrical Cooperative had this fantastically exciting way of teaching about the dangers of high voltage electricity. Instead of simply pulling out a tesla coil or jacob’s ladder like you’d usually see, she had these rigs which would show the easy ways you could be hurt by high voltage. Crowds come in when they hear the arcs, and they learn about safety while they’re there.

Dream IT Make IT is a group that is currently in the planning stages of putting in a makerspace.  Their demonstration this time was building chainmaille.

Tony Sherwood had this fantastic activity that was fun, cool looking, and educational. You can make a “binary bracelet” that spells out a word using beads in a binary pattern.

Larry Askren of Springfield CNC Routing brought a collection of some of his CNC art work. It is crazy to see what kind of detail he can get from just engraving a few lines in a board.

Geodes are pretty cool, but getting to crack open your own geode is awesome! The Ozark Mountain Gem and Mineral Society rocks!

Several local Boy Scout groups gathered and worked together to share what scouting is about. The bridge they built was a hit all day long.

NWA 3D had tables of 3d printers running all day long. Students from Drury University volunteered to help kids design items and print them while they waited.

On the way out, I got a chance to meet up with some local cosplayers. I always enjoy seeing enthusiastic costumed people at Maker Faires and seeing Wonder Woman and Bat Girl was a true treat.