The Greatest Show (and tell) on Earth in the Heart of the Magic City.
Maker Faire Miami was back for it’s fourth year, but with its first ever Featured Faire status! We organized our second annual Miami Maker’s showcase, highlighting the incredible creativity and talent of our community of designers, artists, engineers, entrepreneurs, students, and young makers!
Before the Maker Faire, we enjoyed the company of Aruba’s first Maker Space, Brenchie’s Lab! They signed up for a membership at Moonlighter to continue building their hacked 3D printer turned Draw-bot to showcase at Maker Faire. It was awesome to collaborate with another Fablab for a couple of days.
We’re excited about their Plastic Beach Party initiative where they recycle plastic bottles that end up on Aruba’s shores, process them, melt them down, and turn them into awesome new designs! Cool people making cool things that make a difference — Check out their web site for more info!
RetroPie Arcade by Mario the Maker
By far one of the most popular spots to go was the Raspberry Pi powered retro arcade by MarioTheMaker. The pop-up lounge was made up of pallet furniture surrounding a central hub, covered in spray painted game art by Drip Drop, which carried all the video game consoles for people to play with.
On display were some of Mario’s prized collectibles: A vintage Mac computer, a custom made Jacob’s Ladder, Vintage Atari game consoles in their original packaging, and some laser cut Star Wars Tie Fighters and Millenium Falcon!
In the Star Wars theme, Mario also had a vacuum formed life-sized replica of a Stormtrooper suit. People got to try on the helmet and take Star Wars selfies!
To help them do that, he had an auto-tweeting photo booth built with a raspberry pi and a computer monitor. Push the big red arcade button, take four pics, and see your selfies on Twitter in seconds! If you’re interested in learning how to build one of those yourself — Check out Mario’s Github!
But the biggest hit of all was the larger than life BMO statue that you can actually play games on! Turn it on and BMO appears on the screen with a grin and says, “Who wants to play VIDEO GAAAAAMES?!” How can anyone say no? Get a glimpse of the making-of on Mario the Maker’s Blog.
Its incredible to see open source electronics and laser/CNC designs merge to create all sorts of fun things that delight all ages! Everyone had a blast playing their favorite childhood arcade games, and the younger kids got to experience the origins of gaming. Only question is — how do we go even bigger next year? Hmmm….
Suncatcher Pavilion by AMLgMATD
We had the pleasure of working with the amazingly creative minds of AMLgMATD. Laz & Natalie are quite the dynamic duo. They’ve created lots of beautiful things, from clocks to furniture, from lighting to art installations — and everything in between! In last year’s Maker Faire, they were one of the participating artists in the PVC Pavilion, creating organic furniture pieces that were made with recycled materials. But this year, they submitted an incredible proposal for the pavilion structure that serves as the central hub of our showcase, and the moment we saw it we knew it had to get built. Inspired by the wildly successful Webster Stools they’ve designed, they took the same materials and design language and scaled up a small piece of furniture into a huge 50' x 20' canopy.
Like a re-imagining of the classic vintage beach chair- broken down into its component parts, and then building something new. It felt very much at home and familiar in Miami, but was elevated into a new work of art. The results were incredible! The multi-colored plastic webbing woven overhead created a kaleidoscope of color illuminated by the sun and simultaneously created a playful pattern of shadows below! The columns that cascaded to the ground were covered in the same colored webbing, making it appear as if the whole structure was being held up by a thin piece of plastic fabric!
Needless to say, it was a showstopper and was a very popular spot to hang out and chat when the Miami sun started beating down onto the faire grounds in the middle of the day. We’re proud to have been able to work with them again this year. To see more of their work, check out their instagram page: @amlgmatd
Hands-On Making with Designed.Engineering
Michael Carey of Designed.Engineering, who operates his practice out of the Moonlighter Co-Making Space, organized a 20' x 20' tent with three awesome hands-on activities to get people making cool things they could take home to remember the Maker Faire by.
In one station, you had Vacuum Forming, where you could melt and form styrene plastic into various pre-designed maker themed shapes. On the other station, you had screen printing, where people got to learn how to make their own “Miami Maker” shirts. And on the last station, you could mold a piece of clay into a custom creation of your own design and cast a plastic keychain!
Not only was it lots of fun but it was also a great learning experience to try common fabrication techniques that help you build lots of different things.
Just months before the Maker Faire, Space10 — IKEA’s creative “skunkworks” design team, had just open-sourced the CAD files for their new urban farming installation. As we come from the world of Architecture, we were immediately drawn to the project and wanted to build one. It was a breeze to cut the pieces on the CNC, but we definitely needed a crew of our members to help assemble and disassemble it. This was the first build, but we look forward to adding lighting and irrigation systems and installing it somewhere for kids to learn about growing nutritious food! If you want to build one yourself read SPACE10’s blog post for step-by-step instructions.
Hands-On Pendulum Art inspired by HOXXOH
We’re big fans of local artist Douglas Hoekzema, AKA HOXXOH. His radial spray painted mandalas brighten the Miami skyline and flourish the streets of Wynwood. These portal like illusions are mesmerizing — but then we saw a video of some of his pendulum art studies and were hooked! We reached out and he was generous enough to swing by and show some kids how to make pendulum art! He shared some tips on materials to use, and paints to try, but at the end everyone was just really excited to swing the bottle and watch the magic unfold. To learn more about his incredible work, check out his website.
A pop-up showcase of our member’s projects, designs, and businesses sprouted up under a large tented area. It was amazing to see the huge range in ages, project type, and scale! From Skateboards to Rockets and everything in between — there was something for everyone!
Eduardo Fernandez, a 10-year old social entrepreneur, was featuring his start-up, Life Clock. Eduardo uses recycled materials, ecopoxy resins, and organic materials to create eco-friendly clocks for your home or office!
While working on various projects in our S.T.E.A.M. Afterschool program, Edu noticed members throwing away bags of scrap pieces of wood, cardboard, and plastic from the CNC and laser cutter. He began to collect these scraps, mix them in ecopoxy resin, and create different clock faces out of them. Each one is unique and makes something beautiful and valuable out of something that would have ended up in a landfill!
Drip Drop Boards
Drip Drop Boards is the brainchild of Daniel Rodriguez. Danny uses exotic hardwoods, CNC’s custom board shapes, laser etches his own illustrations, hand-sands and finishes, and assembles together unique artisanal skateboards. He was featured on MAKE: magazine during their live updates of the faire. If you want to check out all of his designs, visit his web site.
City of Miami
Mike Sarasti, Chief Innovation Officer for the City of Miami was getting feedback on the beta version of the newly redesign city website as well as getting people’s input on what they valued more in a fun activity where they got to decide how the budget gets allocated. It was interesting to see people’s responses and the conversations it started around how to improve our city together. Looking forward to working closer with Mike to put some ideas into action!
Jose was showing off version 1 of his new immersive VR platform and getting feedback from people who tested it. PilotVR was a part of StartUp FIU and began prototyping their 3D printed VR Goggle Designs at Moonlighter. This was an exciting moment where they revealed the work they’ve been doing on both the hardware and the software sides of their project.
Neil is an architect by day and Maker by night. He moonlights at Moonlighter, creating intricate laser cut kits that people can assemble and customize. He has dabbled in CNC, 3D printing, and laser cutting to create his collection of sculptural pieces that reminisce of an industrial past — objects that resemble freight trains and vernacular architecture, but always have an abstracted futuristic twist. These objects of intrigue are on display at Moonlighter and if you’d like to see more check out his instagram feed!
Vicky is a professional illustrator and maker working out of Moonlighter. She is proficient at hand drawing, but now has learned how to vectorize her designs to make all sorts of new products. From custom jewelry, to stationary, to furniture, to fashion — Vicky has applied her beautiful drawings onto many mediums!
Felix went through the Create and Make 1 programs at the Idea Center at Miami Dade College. He refined his business ideas to create affordable, durable longboards for all ages.
Now, he’s CNC milling his molds at Moonlighter for the various longboard designs he’s created. After lots of prototypes, he’s created a range of designs that are simple, sporty, and strong. The composite design is strong enough to resist breaking even after being run over by a car! Check out their website for more info.
Gianfranco and his team have been working out of Moonlighter to create their autonomous delivery robot. Designed to help mail carriers deliver packages, the weight rests on the robot and it follows the carrier from location to location. They also brought an awesome Ruben’s Tube to dazzle the crowds with! Check them out on their website for more info on what they’re up to next!
Ben Searcy has been coming in after school to work on his life sized R2D2 replica. He is part of an online community of mech builders that shares files and best tips on how to build various Star Wars robots. He showcased his shell structure and is now currently working on integrating the electronics to make R2D2 move and beep!
Willie and Nelson are the creative instructors behind the Wynwood Maker Camp. They are harnessing new technologies like VR and open source electronics, as well as coding and minecraft to teach kids how to create in these new digital frontiers. They partner with Moonlighter each summer to give kids access to the Fablab to build their ideas while at camp.
Marco starting working at Moonlighter with an idea for a startup called Digifeet. He wanted to create truly custom orthotics for people with flat feet using 3D scanning and 3D printing technologies. After researching, prototyping, and testing different versions — he felt that he was ready for the next step. He applied for the Miami Herald Business Plan Challenge and won First Place!
He then went on to found the Moonshot Makers club at School for Advanced Studies to help other students use technology to create smart solutions for various community challenges. They meet at Moonlighter each month to work collaboratively on these projects. Marco then won the honor of the Silver Knights Award for business and his community engagement. He will now be studying at UC Davis in California for Engineering and business, but his legacy at SAS lives on through the Moonshot Makers club.
Sebastien and Adrian have been prototyping their rocket designs for years now. After refining their designs at Moonlighter, they created a kit that they can use to help schools and other students to learn how to build their own rockets. They created a plan for expanding this network to schools across the country. They went on to become finalists in the 2017 Miami Herald Business Plan Challenge for their idea!
Miami Mini Makers
These young makers are starting their own companies, making their own designs, and teaching each other to build new things. They work at Learn01 and at Moonlighter and are constantly making all of the adults wonder, “If they’re doing all of this now, what will they create when they grow up?!” If you want your kid to be this awesome, consider signing them up for one of our educational programs or camps!
Oscar and Nelly designed and built our Pavilion structure for last year’s maker faire. This year, they returned with a fun #truth or #dare installation, made out of a vintage candy dispenser, that would have visitors interacting with the faire and each other. When Laz from Amlgmatd bought one, he got a dare and had to hug a tree!
They also just recently found a permanent home for last year’s PVC Pavilion — stay tuned for more info on that!
FIU Honors — Maker Cities Class
Maker Cities, a course for upper division students at FIU’s Honors College designed by Moonlighter’s Founders, is a class where students research various urban challenges, and then design and build a solution to improve it for the future!
Two teams tackled two big problems, Urban Farming and rethinking education for under-privileged youth. The first team partnered with SmartBites to create an aquaponics system to grow nutritious food in Miami. The second team designed a STEAM kit that can be deployed into different schools to teach kids about making, science, and technology.
FabLab Latin America Meets in Miami
We also got a chance to meet our extended community. Although we are a part of the FabLab network, its very difficult to meet other FabLabs in person, but we got to hang out with many latin American FabLabs during the faire. Their FabTextiles programs are amazing, Fab Cities is captivating, and FabKids is fun and hands-on. We’re looking forward to working together more in the future! We thank them for the awesome gifts they made us and for sharing in the Miami Maker Faire experiece with us!
We’re so proud of the whole community for coming together and showing that MIAMI HAS TALENT and is creative, and resourceful, and AWESOME!
HUGE thanks to all the members, volunteers, and creators for their tireless efforts to build and plan and prepare for the faire. Without their help, we wouldn’t have been able to put this all together!
Special Thanks to The Miami Dade College Foundation, The Knight Foundation, and Mano Americas for their support of the Maker Movement and helping to make this Maker Faire happen. Looking forward to what the future holds!