About 40 percent of the attractions at the San Francisco Bay Area Maker Faire this weekend will be all new, according to show organizers. In addition to returning fire-breathing favorites, new installations worth seeing this year include large projects that blend art, science fair engineering, and often a dose of madness. Here are what we expect to be the top projects of the Maker Faire 2011.

Colossus is a 70-foot maypole with three 10,000-pound rocks suspended from a rotating gyre at the top. Brave Faire attendees can stand under the stones and move them by pulling chains.

Maker Faire organizers say they've reviewed all installations for safety. This project was originally created for the 2005 Burning Man.

Artist: Zachary Coffiin

Photo by: Zachary Coffin via Maker Faire


Aperion is a "14-foot-tall singing Tesla sculpture." It creates electrical arcs about four feet long. The coils can be controlled by theremins played by attendees.

Artist: Charles Gadeken.

Photo by: Charles Gadeken via Maker Faire


This mechanical bird flaps its wings when the operator, sitting in its ribcage, pedals. Attendees may be able to take turns powering the bird.

Artist: Christian Ristow.

Photo by: Christian Ristow via Maker Faire

Fire Jam

Think you have hot Rock Band chops? Fire Jam connects Rock Band controllers to a pyrotechnic display. It was created by sophomores at a San Francisco high school.

Artists: Team Fire Jam.

Photo by: Team Fire Jam via Maker Faire


A tactile lighting fixture, Lightchimes elements illuminate as the user runs his or her hands over the sculpture.

Artists: Jason Chua, Kiran Malladi and Jimmy Chion.

Photo by: Project Oglesby via Maker Faire

Molnari Gyrocycle

The Molinari Gyrocopter is a street-legal motorcycle that converts into a gyrocopter. It's fairly unlikely that attendees will be able to pilot the prototype that will be at the Maker Faire.
Photo by: Molinari

Praxis Zero

The Praxis Zero is an open-source guitar. Designed to be constructed by anyone with access to a computer-controller router (the shop kind, not the network kind), and built out of recycled or reclaimed materials, the source files for the guitar will be released this weekend.
Photo by: Praxis Guitars


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