It's all DIY at Maker Faire (photos)

Some of the craftiest do-it-yourselfers come together for the Bay Area's Maker Faire, a marketplace for ideas and innovation.


James Martin

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Electronics kits

At Maker Faire, taking place this weekend at the San Mateo County Events Center in San Mateo, Calif., builders of all sorts can find inspiration and innovation, exploring new ways to build and exchange ideas, creating exciting projects and DIY masterpieces.

From fire to fibers, Maker Faire brings together people who think big and want to see their dreams come to life. It's art and science all in one.

Here, first-timers learn to soldier circuits and build LED-based games that beep and blink.

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R2 builders club

The R2 Builder's Club is a group of Star Wars fans who have designed and published plans for building a DIY droid a la R2-D2. Throughout the weekend, club members are giving workshops on construction techniques and showing off some of their rebel droid designs.
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Giant eye

Out in the metal sculpture garden, the Giant Eye is about to be set on fire early Saturday morning at the Maker Faire in San Mateo.
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Pedal power

A combination of bikes and cars, these huge pedal-powered vehicles paraded through the fairgrounds Saturday.
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Combining two of the high-wheeled bicycles known as penny-farthings, this double-wide bicycle drew attention as one of the coolest pedal-powered vehicles at Maker Faire.
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Eepy Bird

Eepy Bird made a special appearance at Maker Faire this year and put on a show in which they drop Mentos into hundreds of bottles of Coke, producing geysers of soda in a choreographed show that sent soda shooting onto the crowd.
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Atop a small tower at the center of the expo hall, a homemade tilt-shift telescope gave a unique view of the makers below.
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The three-story-tall Raygun Gothic Rocket was the centerpiece of the fairgrounds.
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Step right up

Step right up to the greatest show on Earth at the vaudeville games corner of the fair, where you can play a huge game of labyrinth, tilting the board on two axes and steering the heavy metal ball through the perilous maze.
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Keyboard controlled dragon

This colorful character is part dragon and part musical monster. His maker uses a keyboard to control the movements of the neck and mouth.
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Soma, a fire-spewing sculpture by the Flaming Lotus Girls, is a neuron at 10,000 times scale. Each end is a neuron, with the bridge an axon connecting the two sides. The fire simulates the nerve stimulation taking place inside us.
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Ben Lowe of Scotts Valley peers into the sky with First Light, a homemade Dobsonian truss-tube telescope made by amateur telescope maker Douglas Smith.
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Sonic Nomadic

Interactive noise makers and sound manipulators Sonic Nomadic on stage at their booth at Maker Faire on Saturday where musical instruments and toys are hacked to create new music and circuit-bending sounds.
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Together Windell H Oskay and Lenore M Edman are Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories, and they have created an analog version of the classic video game Pong.
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We all may not be able to fly to space, but with a little propellant and some applied science, we can build rockets that mimic flying to the moon.
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Mark Galt

Mark Galt's Quadrapod kinetic sculpture dances inside the expo center Saturday.
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Three dogs

The Three Dogs watch over the festivities in the parking lot Saturday at Maker Faire.
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Model rockets

Outside, model rockets zip hundreds of feet into into the air, leaving behind a trail of smoke before parachuting back to earth.
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Giant mousetrap

In a series of actions and reactions, a bowling ball follows the maze of metal down ramps, up elevators, through bathtubs and catapults until it sets off the mousetrap.
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Modded bikes

Outside, Taylor chases his brother Andy, who has just hopped on one of the modded bicycles in the parking lot. Bikes have been deconstructed, with their parts reform into abstract pedal powered pieces of art.
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Steve Daniels' colony of 50 bug-like kinetic devices respond to changes in ambient light levels, opening and closing their limbs as shadows pass over their area.
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Walking through interactive sound exhibit SonicSense you can hear the way you move. Three cameras monitor the Mylar-coated corridors, and the visual data is translated into abstract sounds depicting the motion.
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Hannah Ellis

Hannah Ellis poses with her custom hula hoops at Maker Faire on Saturday.
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CMT 380X

A diesel-turbine-electric serial plug-in hybrid sports car, the CMT 380X is a modified Factory Five Racing GTM C5 Corvette chassis with a Capstone Liquid Fuel HEV C30 MicroTurbine Generator, and a 10-gallon fuel tank with an EV range of 40 to 60 miles and a serial hybrid range of more than 460 miles.

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