Over the past few years, France has become quite the hotbed for maker culture, with six distinct Maker Faires taking place across the country throughout the year: Paris, Grenoble, Lille, Nantes, Strasbourg, and Perpignan, the first four of which are full-scale featured Faires while the latter two are vibrant Minis. The inaugural Maker Faire Lille spanned three days in November 2016, showcased 400 makers, hosted 50 workshops, and drew 9,000 attendees. The second iteration is on track to take place this weekend, February 9, 10, and 11 at Le Tripostal, a 6,000m2 former industrial building and mail-sorting facility that has been converted into a cultural venue.
If the first Maker Faire Lille is any indication, there will be no shortage of smiling faces and inspired minds. This weekend, a broad variety of projects and workshops will be available, everything from welding to electronics, programming, pyrography, coding, DIY kart racing, UAVs, and a repair cafe, to name just a few. The Friday of the Faire is an education day for schools, and while last year they hosted 600 students, this year they’re expecting 2,000. And we all know how word about the joys of Maker Faire travels fast, so the organizers are expecting about 11,000 attendees in total this year.
In the true spirit of the Maker Movement, the Faire is also offering a downright dizzying array of workshops for all three days of the Faire. Check the full program — which includes speakers and presentations — online for details.
Among the 400 makers and 120 booths that will be at Maker Faire Lille this year, there’s something of interest for everyone. Take a look at the full list of makers online for more details. Below is a small sampling.
The organizers shared insight into six general trends among makers in the program:
1. Invent a better world
2. Recycle & upcycle
3. Dream your house
4. Imagine your robot
5. Weave your canvas
6. Create your box
Angel Light Show
With his handmade cosplay costumes, Yannick Rougegrez brings his LED and laser-filled performances to clubs and music venues as the Angel Light Show.
Portrait Painter Robot
The brainchild of Jose Vicente Salatino, the Portrait Painter Robot paints portraits with brush and paint, using a digital image as a source of information. It’s completely autonomous, with an automated color-mixing system, no points, no lines, only real brushstrokes.
Hailing from northern France, Libs Cosplay will be showing off their amazing creations, including the larger-than-life Reinhardt character shown here from the game Overwatch. They will also host a workshop where attendees can make a piece of foam armor.
Kataposte DIY Sound System
Kataposte designs and builds powerful, autonomous, open-source portable audio speakers. The entire inspiration for their design is to fight the planned obsolescence worked into so many mass-produced products today. They use commonly sourced modular components for ease of repair, and their systems are sold either assembled or in kit version.
The creation of 16-year-old maker Clément Delabroye, Pil’O’bot is a robot that sorts batteries that are still usable from ones that should be recycled. The principle is simple: Put the batteries in the tray and the robot comes alive. It fetches the battery, brings it to the test area, and depending on the voltage of the battery, returns it to the user or puts it in the recycling bin. A screen also tells the user how much life the battery has left.
Recycled Filament Extruder
Maker Frederic Stragapede has created this intriguing machine that can take plastic waste and make it into filament that can then be used in the desktop 3D printer of your choice.
Belgian designer Christian Vanopdenbosch has created the sweet Plizoo collection of lamps. The minimalist lines of the different designs are created through precise folding of a single sheet of material, creating a subtle play of shadow and light.
Les Petit Radis Kits
Les Petit Radis (The Little Radishes) have a mission to reconnect children to the land, with the goal to explain the journey of a vegetable from the earth to plate. Their monthly kits, called Kitkipouss, include plants, seeds, knowledge about vegetables, activities around the garden, a recipe, and a surprise.
Weepoo Game Controller
Who hasn’t played video games on their phone while sitting on the toilet? Weepoo is the ultimate gamer experience: a video game controller, directly integrated into the toilet seat. Behold the world’s first Bluetooth-connected toilet!
For all the information you need to join the fun this weekend at Maker Faire Lille, head to the website!