Portland Mini Makerfaire

This past weekend I managed to make it to my first ever Makerfaire, or really any sort of maker or DIY event. Even though it was a “mini” one (I have no idea what that actually means), it was still awesome to attend. Going into it, I didn’t really have an idea of what to expect. Maybe something like a trade show with a stage to do some presentations. What it ended up being was much more faire. There were tons of different booths and exhibitors at OSMI, some of which selling things, others promoting their various organizations, but most were just sharing what they do in the maker sphere of things. There was 3D printing, forging, crafts, cooking, astronomy, and even a working Tesla coil.

While the entire event was great, there were a couple key items that stood out in my mind that definitely made it worth the price of admission. First, I found a local shop that can only be described as a junk shop, and the best kind of junk shop. They had a little more store setup, and pictures of the main retail store that was racks and bins of just any and every electronics components and hardware. I’m sure I’ll waste some money there coming up. Another good thing was just the ability to see how I fit into the crowd as a whole. There was a good amount of 3d printing, but even with some nicer printers I can’t say that people were getting any better quality out of their prints than I was. Most of the stuff I saw was also unfinished (I’ll try to have a post here soon about some finishing techniques) and people printing models found off of Thingiverse. I didn’t see much in the way of 3d models that people designed themselves. Finally, I got to talk to the folks at Proto-Pasta about their high end PLA filaments. The quality looked great there and I liked the idea of getting a stronger PLA to work with, so I picked up a small roll to play around with. I’ll try to post some examples when I get around to it.

All in all, the maker faire was well worth the price of admission and something I’ll be doing again next year!