PDX Mini Maker Faire This Weekend

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Portland Maker Faire
My kids made superhero masks with the Alter Egos Society. Photo: Jonathan H. Liu

It’s time for the second Portland Mini Maker Faire! Hosted by the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI), the Maker Faire will take place this weekend (September 14 and 15) in OMSI’s north parking lot. Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for kids, and it’s a blast. I attended last year, and although it’s significantly smaller than the Bay Area Maker Faire, there’s plenty to see and do and I ended up going both days just so I could try to see everything.

The full list of makers is available here, and there will be plenty of hands-on activities for kids and adults. I don’t know if the 22-foot-tall trebuchet will make a reappearance this year (I hope so!) but here’s a small selection of other demonstrations that you’ll see:

Waste Management invites attendees to bring their “junk plastics” to be turned into crude oil. They ask for hard-to-recycle plastics – not what you can recycle in your curbside cart.

The Yarn Car is a 1967 Imperial Crown luxury car covered with more than four miles of soft acrylic yarn and 2,000 black river rocks. The Yarn Car appeared at Austin Mini Maker Faire.

Jacob Deatherage will turn people’s hardback books into journals in front of them for a small fee. His company, Ex Libris Anonymous, manufactures journals using recycled hardcover books as a way to distribute the art and design of hardcover books.

Loki, an advanced autonomous, humanoid robot that responds to voice commands and conversations, is able to identify objects and retrieve them from the floor.  Loki’s Maker, Dave Shinsel, an engineering manager at Intel, was featured at the Maker Faire in San Mateo.

The Fused Filament Fiddle, or F-F-Fiddle, is a 3D-printed electric violin and bow that can be made by anyone with a 3D printer. At the booth, presenters will display the design process—from the mass-manufactured violin that started the whole thing, through the CAD model, the printing process, assembly and tuning. The violin will be available to play, and visitors will have the chance to win a customized CAD violin.

Light up and Paint at the Intel Start Making! booth will show attendees how to paint with light in any darkened space as they build their own simple circuit with a light emitting diode (LED), a battery, and some (optional) crafty embellishments.

A Tesla Coil producing one million-volt, blue corona and arc discharges spanning five to six feet.

The R2D2 Builders Club provides realistic replicas of astromech droids from the Star Wars films that are often used by Lucasfilms for official events, movie premieres, commercials and red carpet appearances.

Maple XO makes jewelry and accessories from recycled skateboards and will have scraps available for visitors to make key chains and magnets.

Oregon Rocketry will sell rocket building kits and teach kids how to build them. The following weekend, there is a scheduled launch event where kids can try them out.

Trackers Earth will provide four different activity centers where participants can help build the frame and learn knot tying for one of their skin-on-frame boats; and also participate in foam archery and fire-by-friction demonstrations; fiber arts; and theatrical make-up application demonstrations.

An Insider look at OMSI’s exhibit workshop, where OMSI researches, designs and produces exhibits that travel the world, which will be open to the public for self-guided tours during the Faire. Few people realize that OMSI has the largest museum-based, traveling science exhibits program in North America.

See you there!

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