Live Updates: Maker Faire Detroit 2017

Maker News
Live Updates: Maker Faire Detroit 2017

This is a live blog. That means I’ll be publishing updates and pictures all weekend. I’ll place the newest ones at the top, so refresh often and scroll down to see the things you may have missed!

for my final moments at the Detroit Maker Faire, I got to have a lot of fun. We connected to Tim Deagan, author of Make: Fire for a skype interview. He was projected on a massive screen. Tim was easily 30-40 feet tall in this picture. If you look down in the left corner, you can see a man with a red t-shirt standing at the podium, this should give you a sense of the scale!

Poor Man Props is a club that designs simple halloween animatronics. These mainly consisted of PVC and a simple DC motor. The ideas were really clever! The cool part is, they publish all the plans for free on the internet.

As people peddled these metal beasts around, their legs, heads, and tails would move around with surprisingly life-like motion!

I absolutely love to see people getting messy and learning a new skill. Here, PEWABIC is s teaching people how to make pottery using a wheel. It is much harder than it looks, but so very rewarding.


Hidden away in a fairly unassuming geodesic dome in the i3Detroit tent was this fun display of lights. Inspired by the aurora borealis, this fiber optic display offers a chance to sit and relax, staring up into the beautiful colors.


This giant fidget spinner was actually spinning like a merry-go-round! Another in the absolutely packed i3Detroit tent.

located inside the i3Detroit (a local makerspace) tent, I found The Costume Kid. He makes all of his props out of what materials he has on hand, usually variations of duct tape and cardboard.



These unique, fierce, whimsical, and sometimes impractical bikes are from the Detroit Freakbike Collective. Each one is a work of art in some way.

Day two above this point

I just finished listening to the Tesla Coil Quartet. Pretty fun show! They do 5 shows a day and no 2 shows are the same. These coils may not be giant, but they’re loud!

The Power Racing Series draws a massive crowd in Detroit. These electric cars are home built and have to cost less than $500. You don’t necessarily have to be the fastest, there are points for style.

Alien Fruit… that’s all I know. This is a big inflatable piece that kids keep running into. Its pretty neat. I’ll have to find a link and add it later.

This dragon, the creation of the FIRST Robotics team “The Ratpack” was trundling around, much to the delight of everyone in the building. It had wings that flapped, a jaw that opened and all kinds of other little things that I though might do stuff.

Lorella Bradfield makes art by using crayons and a bit of creative hot air. I found her this morning, showing a crowd how she does her art, with this picture only just begun. Now it is finished and other participants are making their own in her booth!

You would not believe hot hot it gets standing near the Heavy Meta dragon car. That woman up top, controlling the bursts, will surely cook if she doesn’t space them out a fair bit!

These little wooden truck kits were delightful! They are all laser cut and seem to be fairly easy to assemble, but the final result is also sturdy and, in my opinion, quite nice looking. Jim, above, is posing with one that was his own creation. The only way to enter this vehicle, named “nimble” is to lift the windshield!

This clamoring contraption was zooming through crowds, blasting music from various speakers and robotic appendages. There are drums, what appears to be a gutted boom box, and of course a human singer. They call this the oxymoronitron.  This is only one concoction from the group, you can actually see that it looks like a few mobile pieces strapped together, which I think makes it even more amusing.

One of my favorites every time I see it, the Needle Arts Zone was packed. In this area, people can learn how to knit, sew, crochet, weave, and even spin their own yarn!

Last year, Bose had these cool speaker kits called Bosebuild, but they were all just simple blocks. This year they’re showing off all kinds of fun 3d printed designs. The kit itself is the lighted cube. You assemble your own speaker and learn about how speakers work and what makes a good one in the process.

Michael waas showing off these test boards for learning arduino and raspberry pi. They’re a small board that has a a bunch of common learning circuits built in. You plug it into your arduino or raspberry pi and cut out all the breadboarding mess from the learning process.

One of my favorites from a few faires is here! This is Technochic, who makes these papercraft circuits. They had people assembling LED flowers and bowties.

I know this picture is blurry, but just look at the expression on this young woman’s face as she walks up to a table covered in light sabers. These kits and custom props are from Terra Prime Light Armory.

R2D2 droids seem to be all over the place at this Maker Faire! My favorite has to be this retro styled one above. The R2D2 builders club has a strong presence here for sure.

Denise and Melissa are here representing the White Lake Township Library. They had a bunch of pictures from a repair meetup they held. “The first in Michigan!”. They said it was a big hit, they had skilled workers helping people learn to repair items, which is awesome, but the community involvement and mingling might have been just as wonderful.



The Jackson Makerspace caught my eye with this lathe that people were learning to use. They were cutting brass with the help of an experienced operator. I loved that beginners were getting to shape brass live at the maker faire!

This remote controlled tilt maze was pretty impressive. It was brought here from the Electrical and Engineering department at Oakland University.

Within seconds of the gates opening, there was a crowd formed around the See Me CNC booth. They were showing of “part daddy”, the 17 foot tall delta printer. This time around they also had some great prints of musical instruments like a violin and a guitar.


Maker Faire Detroit just opened the gates to the public a few minutes ago. As the crowd was streaming in, I was rushing to a quiet spot to get this started, so you people who couldn’t make it to the Faire could enjoy the show!

This is going to be a very exciting Maker Faire, just as it always is. The location is the Henry Ford museum. You might expect that to simply be full of Ford automobiles but this is a temple to innovation and design. There are displays here of everything from farm machinery to fine furniture, bizaare housing from the mind of Buckminster Fuller, to finely crafted wood stoves. I could spend a weekend just pouring over the museum itself, let alone the incredible displays from the makers!

Here’s a small gallery of images from the setup, a teaser for what is to come. Stay tuned and refresh often!

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I get ridiculously excited seeing people make things. I just want to revel in the creativity I see in makers. My favorite thing in the world is sharing a maker's story. find me at

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