Invent, Build, Repair, Learn, Play: Kickstarter Creators at the 2017 World Maker Faire

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The World Maker Faire takes over the New York Hall of Science in Queens this weekend. Occupying the grounds of the 1939 and 1964 World’s Fairs, it channels the optimism of those historic events — the belief that bringing people from all over the world together to share ideas can help shape a better future.

Here at Kickstarter, we feel a special kinship with the folks behind Maker Faire because they share our own expansive definition of creativity. At the fair you’ll find roboticists, artists, crafters, chefs, electrical engineers, amateur inventors, game designers, musicians, and many others enthusiastically sharing their creations with the curious crowd.

Here’s a sampling of the dozens of Kickstarter creators who will be displaying their projects at the 2017 World Maker Faire on September 23 and 24.


Looking Glass Factory: L3D Cube
Looking Glass Factory adds a new dimension to pixel art and digital animation with their volumetric LED cube, which allows artists and programmers to sculpt with light and create interactive visualizations of sound and music. Because it’s built on the open-source Arduino platform, folks with a knack for hacking can customize the display and integrate it into larger projects.


The Fixers' Collective
 “If it is broke, fix it!” The rallying cry of the Brooklyn-based Fixers Collective may seem obvious, but as more and more products are designed to be disposable, this common-sense sentiment feels downright radical. The group hosts regular meetups to repair, rebuild, and repurpose items that would otherwise be headed to the landfill. Swing by their booth to learn more about repairing your phone, mending clothes, and other ways to turn waste into something beautiful.

Awkward Engineer Creations: Analog Voltmeter Clock
Self-described “awkward engineer” Sam Feller devised a creative new way to measure time. Inspired by the stripped-down aesthetic of vintage industrial equipment, his clock uses the indicator needles of analog voltmeters to display hours and minutes. Feller’s affection for the less-than-perfect performance of these pre-digital machines shines through in details like the “twitchy needle" mode, which mimics the look of a noisy electrical signal and reminds us that a little flexibility in our experience of time is a feature, not a bug.

Maker Faire is a great place to check out the latest digital fabrication tools — devices that turn digital designs into physical objects. This machine works like other extrusion-based 3D printers, except it uses clay instead of plastic, allowing you to create intricate ceramic vessels and sculptures. Aside from opening up new ways to create with this ancient material, there are environmental benefits to printing with clay. Unlike plastic, it can be easily reused — so if you aren’t happy with a print, you can simply dissolve it in water and load it back into the machine.

Jonathan Bobrow: Troxes
Jonathan Bobrow designed these interlocking triangular building blocks while working with the MIT Media Lab’s Playful Systems group. The origami-inspired blocks start as flat pieces of die-cut cardboard, which can be folded into 3D volumes and combined to create complex structures. Bring your kids by Bobrow’s booth to help them deepen their spatial thinking — and fort-building — skills.

Honk! Festival
As in years past, Honk, a festival showcasing activist street bands, will be curating the World Maker Faire’s musical program. A steady stream of gloriously loud ensembles — many sporting DIY instruments — will be marching around the fairgrounds.

Futureworks, an incubator for New York City-based hardware startups, will be featuring more than twenty projects at their booth, including quite a few that came to life on Kickstarter. These include Ravi Varma’s portable Mesa Light, Voltaic Systems’ solar backpacks, Thimble’s electronics project subscription kit (shown above), and RaceYa’s STEM-oriented toy car.

Inspired to make something yourself? Start a project of your own, or explore live Design and Technology projects on Kickstarter.