The Mile High City Celebrates Inclusivity by Welcoming Makers of All Stripes

Maker News
The Mile High City Celebrates Inclusivity by Welcoming Makers of All Stripes

Last year, the Mile High City hosted the first large-scale Maker Faire Denver, and the community came out in droves to show their support. Not surprising, considering the impressive number of makerspaces and other creative outlets in Colorado. This year’s gathering, taking place October 13+14 at the National Western Complex, is shaping up to raise the bar. There will be an Inventor’s Showcase, Gearhead Garage (learn to work on a motorcycle or take apart a car!), Cardboard Challenge, Hebocon, Mission to Nocterra, an entire area dedicated to makerspaces, and lots more. The theme this year is inclusivity, and the organizing team at Making Progress Colorado has made an effort to extend the invitation to participate across diverse circles.

Event director Dan Griner shares, “We are honored to be able to provide a platform for the community members that make Colorado such a vibrant place to show and share their diverse set of skills, talents, traits, and expertise. The creative force in this city is unsurpassed, and my mission is to make sure that is a well-known fact and continues to be a huge part of our identity.”

Hundreds of maker exhibits await you, along with talks, demos, and workshops. Check the schedule and peruse the full list of makers for details. Below are select highlights to whet your appetite.


Colorado Inventor’s Showcase

What better way to showcase innovation than to create a dedicated showcase for inventors with tiered levels across professional, collegiate, and school-level competitions. The event, taking place at Maker Faire Denver, will bring in local manufacturers, engineers, designers, capital investment firms, and industry professionals to judge a “Shark Tank-like” competition. The showcase aims to seed projects and promotion of existing programs such as CU Denver Inworks and area youth innovation programs. This showcase will be presided over by local industry professionals and members of the business community, and sponsors will provide the winners in-kind and monetary contributions as well as local contacts to develop their ideas further. Winners announced Sunday!



Originating in 2014 in Japan, Hebocon is the world famous “robot contest for the technically ungifted.” People of all ages and skill levels are invited to either bring the crappy robots that they made or make one on the spot to compete. Per the poster above, donated parts have been collected. The event will also provide motors, batteries, holders, and switches. Bring your own imagination and enthusiasm.


Mission to Nocterra

Immerse yourself in a world of total darkness as you attempt to find your way through the interactive installation known as Mission to Nocterra. Created by Tact-Ed, (with the help of designers Dan Griner, Jenny Filipetti, Alexi High, Mara Maxwell, Brice Sullivan, and Bailey Van Etten) in partnership with the Colorado Center for the Blind, the attraction is sponsored with funds from Meow Wolf. After its initial debut at Maker Faire Denver, Mission to Nocterra will tour the country. Be sure to sign up for a spot as only five people can go in to the installation at a time (10 minutes per team).


Leo’s Giant Electric Cupcake

There’s nothing intrepid maker Paul Norton enjoys more than making whacky, unique contraptions—like the Giant Electric Cupcake or the Zander Lander 3-person spinning umbrella tricycle—with his son Leo Zander Lew Norton. Look out for their 4-foot diameter chocolate cupcake with blueberry frosting and glowing sprinkles floating, spinning, and weaving through the Faire!

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Paper Fashion

The One Club for Creativity Denver—a multi-disciplinary, non-profit organization promoting collaborative creative culture—is proud to present its first Paper Fashion Show-themed exhibit at Maker Faire Denver. Check out their amazing creations in person and enter their raffle to win tickets to Paper Fashion Show 2019, an annual haute couture event featuring fashions entirely made from paper!


World’s First Continuous High-Beta Fusion Research Device + New Fusion Machine

Come and learn about nuclear fusion technology for alternative energy production! Tanner Horne of Horne Technologies works on advanced technologies for alternative energy research, novel superconductor applications, and fusion plasma physics, driven by the quest to help create an unlimited and safe energy source for use on Earth and in space. Horne Technologies will be showcasing not only the world’s first superconducting high-beta style fusion research device, but also the new large fusion machine.

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BeeWise 4-H IoT Maker Program

The BeeWise program is an innovative 21st-century beekeeping program that integrates and immerses youth in STEM, maker, and citizen science activities to engage them in project-based learning about honey bees.

Melvin the Sad...(ish) Robot

Bay Area artist Joshua Margolis wrote, sculpted, and then photographed a sweet story about a sad robot looking for love and happiness. Meet the artist and his creations live at this year’s Maker Faire! Margolis is currently hard at work on the sequel, “Melvin the Lost Robot.” Check out his creative process as seen in this awesome video from his de Young Museum Artist in Residency.

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FarmBox Foods has designed and fabricated a grow tube for hydroponics and a self-contained shipping container farm. Their design makes it possible to grow vegetables using 98% less water than traditional farming methods, 365 days a year, regardless of the weather.

For all the information you need to attend, head to the Maker Faire Denver website!

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I'm a word nerd who loves to geek out on how emerging technology affects the lexicon. I was an editor on the first 40 volumes of MAKE, and I love shining light on the incredible makers in our community. In particular, covering art is my passion — after all, art is the first thing most of us ever made. When not fawning over perfect word choices, I can be found on the nearest mountain, looking for untouched powder fields and ideal alpine lakes.

Contact me at or via @snowgoli.

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