Last year the mini Maker Faire in Trondheim, Norway’s third largest city, was part of the Pstereo festival—a two-day music festival held annually in the city—and with more then 5,000 people visiting the festival, and many of them visiting the maker faire it was a great success.
The Pstereo mini Maker Faire in 2013
So this coming weekend the city is hosting a full blown Maker Faire. Alf-Egil Bogen—one of the original inventors of the AVR microprocessor and one of the organisers of the Trondheim faire—had this to say,
We have a huge momentum around this in Trondheim. The challenge is that it is very new, and it takes time to spread the world to the audience we want to come. With good weather I hope we will draw a lot of people…
Highlights of the upcoming faire include the Carbon Club hand built by Olav Bergersen in his garage over the last year, who said that he’d been working hard my entire life, and would like to use this year to build his own plane.
Other makers include Hans Jørgen Grimstad—a member of Hackheim one of the hacker communities in Trondheim—who will be bringing along a washing machine sized FDM 3D printer called “the Götterdämmerung.”
Like Olav’s Carbon Club, Hans Jørgen hand-built the printer from scratch, and with a build-volume of well over a cubic foot, that’s a big printer.
Bendik Sægrov will be bringing his Arduino-powered wedding cake stand. Built from various bits of left-over scientific equipment, the stand has 40 air solenoid valves from an old mineral sorting machine driving the whistles, and some old fog horns giving it a fanfare. The stand uses an Arduino Mega is used for sequence programming, solenoid, actuator, and stepper motor control.
With these and over 75 other makers in attendance, this year’s faire will be a far larger affair than last year’s mini Maker Faire.
Ahead of the faire this weekend I talked to Frode Halvorsen, one of the organisers of the Trondheim faire, about his background and the maker community in Norway,
Tell me about your background, have you always been a maker?
I think I always have been some kind of maker even if the maker term is new here in Norway. I did spent a lot of time with my father and grandfather in their garages and workshops as a kid. My grandfather worked with construction machines, and a lot of the time far away from people. So he always told me; If something get broken, we can’t just run to the shop an buy a new part, you have to understand how it works and how you could fix it by yourself.
I have basic electronic and programming skills, but I’m not the best with Arduino and Raspberry Pi. I can make some basic robots and things that blink and move around. But my maker skills are more of the heavier kind, I have been building some boats from scratch, woodworking and some metal work.
Tell me about the maker community there and in Norway?
I think there is a great number of makers here in Norway, but they don’t know it yet. The main reason for that is that the term “maker” is new and not common here. I also think that the community is a bit fragmented, there are a lot of small communities and they could interact more with each other. That is one of our goals; connect and make meeting places for these communities.
We got both a strong tech and cultural/creative community here in Trondheim, but so far there hasn’t been much interaction between these communities. I think that the really exciting things happen when these to meet, and I hope that we could make the tech heads and the artists meet at Maker Faire.
The Trondheim Maker Faire will be held in the in the Trondheim town square this weekend—the 29th and 30th of August—between 10am and 4pm and will be free to attend. There will also be seminars, lectures, and other smaller events at other locations throughout the city.
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