· technology

Seattle Mini Maker Faire

Every once in a while, some government somewhere bombastically declares that they’ll be creating the next Silicon Valley, along with announcing some kind of one-time investment (yeah, it’s going to take more commitment than that).

That’s not how it works. It takes culture, education, talent, and time. You can’t just dump money at a borough in some city somewhere. That’s why Silicon Valley cannot be replicated, at least not that easily.

I bring this up because this thought kept flowing through my head as I walked through the Maker Faire. A lot of the attendees were not middle-aged nerds, they were children and their eyes were full of wonder. These kids are going to grow up surrounded by cool tech, surrounded by opportunities to learn about them, and be awed at the possibilities. They are going to grow up to make some groundbreaking stuff one day.

Really, this is how you make Silicon Valley.

Cutting some copper and making a basic light-up LED.
An education startup doing some marketing.
UW’s commercialization arm, CoMotion, shows off some of its projects.
An elementary student shows up his team’s winning project.
Laser-cut toy assembly kits.
A girl checks out a 3D-printed bust of Abraham Lincoln. This print is special because it uses multiple axes.
Man demonstrates how 3D-printed pinhole cameras works to a kid.
Artefact had an exhibit showing off its Storyboard VR project.
A kid views the photo he drew in VR, ft. UW Design alum Andrea Kang.
The sight of seeing someone try VR for the first time will never get old.
This highschool team had access to a waterjet and CNC mill. That’s insane and I’m glad they got that opportunity. Even at the UW, access to that tools is extremely difficult.
Glowforge, a “3D laser printer/cutter,” had quite a presence and appears to be a darling of the DIY crowd.
Personalized 3D-printed shoes for runners.
The shoe in action, ft. UW Design alum Justin Taylor.
A musician plays a light-up piano.
An attendee decides to join in.
One half of Null and Void, Sophy Wong, gives a lecture on smart clothing.
Null and Void made some cool wearables and things, including a selfie bot.

Photos taken on September 17th, 2017