The inaugural Asheville Mini Maker Faire is coming up fast; it will be held on Saturday April 6th from 1-5 on the UNC Asheville campus. The response from he community has been incredible, and we are expecting to have over 30 exhibitors showing off some amazing projects. I guess that should come as no surprise given Asheville’s reputation as a hub for the arts, creativity, and just a touch of weirdness (okay, maybe more than just a touch).

All of the exhibits should be entertaining, and trying to pick 5 to highlight is a challenging task. Nevertheless, we rose to that challenge and chose 5 ‘must-see’ exhibits from the inaugural Asheville Mini Maker Faire.

 

The ArtCrawler 
The ArtCrawler is a recycled United States military vehicle that serves as a platform for audio-video recording, 3D printing, CNC cutting, and sculpture fabrication and welding, as well as being a mobile power station. Local maker Sean Pace aims to engage students by not only bringing these tools to different communities, but by also providing workshops and classes that show how these tools can be used. His goal is to help produce a world of confident creative people who have learned to harness the power of technology and who understand the tools driven by it. And did we mention that its HUGE!? And that the sides open up like wings!?

Zentar, Predictor of the Future
Zentar is part artwork, part electronic visible man. Filled with lights and vocal predictions, he has different modes including a Fortune Mode, a Magic 8 Ball, and one mode that gives predictions with a decidedly snarky tone. He can even write Haikus! Along with Zentar, artist zen Sutherland will have his Haiku Ray Gun at the Faire.

Bamboo Bicycle Workshop 
Have you ever wanted to build your own custom bicycle frame? Would you like to do it using easily sourced, inexpensive and environmentally friendly materials? Maker Mason Cooley will be showing how he builds bicycle frames from bamboo, and letting you know how you can learn to build one too!

Small Scale Plastic Recycling
Have you heard about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a Texas-sized ‘island’ of trash in the Pacific made up mostly of plastic waste? There are 8 million metric tonnes of trash entering our oceans every year, and yet some items remain depressingly hard to recycle.

Inspired by Dutch maker-pioneers Precious Plastics, the biochar crew at Living Web Farms (LWF) has been developing tools for local, nimble and creative small-scale plastic recycling. They’ll demo their simple injection molding machine, and they will have bags of shredded milk jugs and a few molds so visitors can go through the process of making something of their own. Their plastic shredder will also be on display (but not running due to safety precautions) and various other plastic recycling projects. Info and sign up sheets for WNC repair cafes and LWF workshops will also be available.

Drone Racing
The inaugural Asheville Mini Maker Faire will have drone racing to watch. We can’t have the larger drones out racing around this year for safety reasons, but these small drones are nimble and fun to watch as they zip and dart around various obstacles. There will also be a large screen TV set up so you can see what the action looks likes from the drone’s perspective (as well as the pilot’s perspective, since the the pilot wears goggles that show this same display while flying).

To see all of the other exhibitors scheduled to be at the Asheville Mini Maker Faire, visit our website, and while you’re there, be sure to register for your FREE tickets. You might even win one of six Makey Makeys just for registering early and attending the Faire!