31 August 2015
Eindhoven Mini Maker Faire 2015
29-30 August, Eindhoven turned into a showcase for makers coming from all over the country with the motto “Experience, Discover, Make.”
Eindhoven Mini Maker Faire took place last weekend in the Van der Meulen-Ansems (VDMA) complex, which for the first time opened its doors to the public. In the heart of the city center, also this 2nd edition was an initiative of MAD emergent art center.
During the preparations, project leader René Paré explained that he counted to double last year 1,500 visitors, and that long term aim is to overcome the 10,000 visitors limit, figure that defines the status of “Mini” Maker Faire.
Exhibitors at the fair were much varied and went from pure makers, through digital fabrication manufacturers, to local traditional and digital craftsmen.
At the entrance, people were welcomed by music band TeamDARE playing classical rock pieces or, at least, that was what we also expected hearing live-music. Then, visitors realized that there was no band, but only robotized instruments playing nice music.
Repair Café was one of the first stands near the garage entrance. With the motto “Toss it? No Way!”, Repair Café originated in Amsterdam, and it’s a chain of places where people meet each other to repair things together, instead of throwing them away. Nowadays, it counts about 750 café all around the world where volunteers give broken stuff a second life while offering people an instructive, interesting, and eco-friendly experience.
Interactivity was the leitmotif of the fair, which attracted children and families to experience installations such as the Makey Makey’s banana piano, the welding station where to create objects from recycled materials, and the 3D pen desks where children got to familiarize with 3D printing and its opportunities.
Graphic designer Stef Verbrek from School of Fine Art and Design St.Joost presented Knikker (Coding), his project to make coding easy and accessible to anybody, children included, by playing with marbles.
He has realized a magnetic board where children can attach engraved wood blocks in order to form a path for marbles. The sequence of the blocks corresponds to a certain code and thus children easily relate the code to the actions of the marbles along the path.
Something that every mother would love to have in her child’s room is certainly the ProBotiX’s “ball boy” robot. ProBotiX is a team of young guys from Pius X College, whose project won this year First Tech Challenge Netherlands, the robotics competition held in Eindhoven.
Special guest of Eindhoven Mini Maker Faire was French artist Gael Langevin with his project InMoov, which has kept on attracting and intriguing people since its launch in 2012.
It’s the first open source life-sized 3D printed robot, designed to be reproduced by using any home 3D printers with a 12x12x12 cm building plate and controlled through two Arduino boards.
InMoov robot shook hands and grabbed objects for the whole day, and both children and adults were amazed by the opportunity to physically interact with it.
Local arts and knowledge
Mini Maker Fairs are unique events because they represent local realities with their heritage and culture. Eindhoven Mini Maker Faire became also a meeting point of tradition and innovation, crafts and technology.
Artist Lennie van Vugt showed her art pieces while welding metal to create a new work. Indeed metal is her favorite material because of the intense work it requires with fire in order to be fused and modeled.
At the opposite corner, student Samantha van Garderen presented her design furniture and accessories line obtained thanks to the usage of CNC machines such as laser cutters and a milling machines.
Among projects and local artists, also FabLab013 Tilburg and MakersBuzz’s bus were at Eindhoven Mini Maker Faire.
FabLab013 is a well-known reality in Tilburg, and it offered people the opportunity to see its self-designed tools at work such as the cube foam cutter and the bottomless CNC, a milling machine conceived to work on large surfaces impossible to put on the work table of a normal milling.
MakersBuzz bus is the region Noord Brabant’s mobile Lab. MakersBuzz was born in 2014 and its scope is to bring digital fabrication to libraries, schools, festivals, and even care homes all around the region.
Mini Maker Faire and the city
After spending about 250,000 Euro for necessary works of renovation and maintenance of Van der Meulen-Ansems, Eindhoven municipality allowed Mini Maker Faire to use spaces of the abandoned complex. Thus, the Faire became an occasion to give back to Eindhoven citizens a lost space right in the city center.
As a gift for the free usage of the building, the façade of the former Ford-garage was decorated with a 280 square meter graffiti. The idea of transforming the garage façade in a creative way arose during a discussion among the municipality, the organization, and Dynamo’s HipHopLab040 and, eventually, graffiti artist Pim Bens worked till Sunday to realize a drawing inspired to the Wright brothers’ first airplane.
Eindhoven lies in the technological heart of the Netherlands, which is also known by the name Brainport. South East Brabant is home to many companies of international stature, such as Philips, DAF Trucks, ASML, and it also hosts University of Technology.
Eindhoven represents definitely a fruitful environment for innovation and the perfect spot for events, like Mini Maker Faire, meant to showcase makers and innovators from all over the country.