Call-to-Makers Deadline Approaching

Lifesize Mousterap at Maker Faire Detroit 2012

Makers! Don’t forget to get those applications submitted for the 2014 Maker Faire Detroit! The deadline to apply has been extended to June 20, 2014. Register here.

Tinker, Hack, and Invent with… 501st Great Lakes Garrison

4. R2 under const.

For our final Tinker, Hack, Invent Saturday of 2013 (can you believe it?!) our friends from the 501st Great Lakes Garrison will be patrolling Henry Ford Museum. But don’t worry! The good guys from the Rebel Legion will be there, too! Learn more about the group and what they’ll be bringing to the museum.


What will you be doing during this week’s Tinker, Hack, Invent, Saturday?
We’ll be displaying the Droids, costumes and props that we’ve made. We’ll have costumers walking around the museum throughout the day. You can expect to see Darth Vader, Stormtroopers, Jedi knights, R2-D2, Tusken Raiders, Jawa’s and a Droid Factory full of droid parts similiar to what you might find in a Sandcrawler. Also blasters, Light Sabers and much much more. All built by hand by members of the 501st Legion, Rebel legion and R2 Builders club.


What are some of the favorite DIY activities among your fellow Star Wars enthusiasts?
We meet periodically as a group and have “Armor Parties”. An Armor party is just a bunch of us getting together and putting our resources together to build a costume or prop. We have members with various backgrounds. Some are good at vacuum forming, sculpting, making resin parts etc. while others are good at electronics, and machining. Some of us are just good at assembly and ideas.

3. R2 under const.

What other projects are you working on these days?
There’s always something in the works. We currently don’t have protocol droid (C3PO) in the area, so I’ve started on this. It’s an expensive project if done right so it will be a while before he’s completed. You might see some of his parts lying around in the Jawa junk yard this year. And there’s always a secret project or two in the works :)

What’s one making tool you can’t live without?
Dremel tool. I’ve used it on every costume and droid that I’ve built.

What did you enjoy most about Maker Faire Detroit this year?
The guests. We spend most of the day answering questions and taking photos. There’s something about the attendees of Maker Faire that isn’t like any other event we do. Maker Faire attendees are really interested how things are put together, how we did it, and this is our chance to pull R2’s dome off and show them what’s inside.

Tinker, Hack and Invent with Ben’s Encore

Ben's Encore

This weekend we’re pleased to present an action-packed Tinker, Hack, Invent Saturday in Henry Ford Museum with familiar Maker Faire Detroit faces HYPE, Kettering University and Ben’s Encore. Get to know a little more about Ben’s Encore and the project they’ll be making.

Ben's EncoreWhat will you be doing during this week’s Tinker, Hack, Invent, Saturday?
We will be making bottle cap sleigh bells, shown above, with the guests of Henry Ford Museum this weekend. We like to use recycled materials to make instruments that are fun, cheap, and easy. These sleigh bells will be perfect for the upcoming holiday season. For instructions on how to make these sleigh bells and other ideas, download our free instrument building guide.

Ben's Encore

What are some of the favorite hands-on activities at Ben’s Encore?
The hands-on activity of ours that people like the most is our giant percussion wall. We created it for Maker Faire Detroit this year. We basically took some wood and a bunch of recycled materials that make cool noises and built a giant wall for people to bang on. Unfortunately, it is extremely loud so it won’t be traveling with us to Henry Ford Museum this weekend.

What other projects is the group working on these days?
We are currently building partnerships with music organizations in the metro Detroit area to roll out our 2014 series of grants supporting musicians and music education. In support of these grants, we are having a chili cook-off fundraiser on Dece. 15 at Dragonmead Microbrewery in Warren. More info can be found here.

Sheet Metal Punch

What’s one tool you can’t live without?
We are all feeling quite a bit of love for our sheet metal punches right now. These punches allowed us to pre-punch holes in roughly 10,000 bottle caps in preparation for this month’s Tinker Hack Invent Saturday. We used to use a hammer and a nail to punch a hole in the each bottle cap, so these punches have saved us quite a bit of time. That method worked fine enough when we were hosting smaller workshops, but imagine trying to use a hammer and nail to punch a hole in 10,000 bottle caps!

What was your favorite part about Maker Faire Detroit 2013?
Our favorite part of Maker Faire Detroit 2013 was easily all of the amazing people in attendance. When you run a small non-profit organization, the power of your work lies in the people that support it. We were energized by all of the people at Maker Faire Detroit that expressed interest in our cause and our work. That is one of the most wonderful things about Maker Faire Detroit: it provides an opportunity for the creative minds in the area to display their ideas and their work, and gives a chance for the community to experience these ideas and interact with them.

Tinker, hack and invent with Arts & Scraps

Arts & Scraps

If you’ve been to Maker Faire Detroit, you’ve probably seen Arts & Scraps. Having a lot of crafty fun with their Scrapmobile, the team at Arts & Scraps always bring imaginative projects for crafters of all ages to enjoy. This weekend they’ll be our featured makers at Tinker, Hack, Invent Saturday in Henry Ford Museum. Get to know a little bit more about this organization.

What will Arts & Scraps doing during this week’s Tinker, Hack, Invent Saturday?
Arts & Scraps will provide bulk materials for people of all ages to “create their own invention.” The project involves utilizing creativity, critical thinking, and mechanical engineering to design and build a personalized invention. Using the byproducts of industrial manufacturing, individuals will be able to adhere materials of various shapes, sizes, and consistencies together in a way that will allow them to invent a new product to help make their lives easier, by using their imagination.

What are some of the favorite crafting activities at Arts & Scraps?
Arts & Scraps provides projects and experiences of many different varieties. Projects include holiday-themed crafts, supplemental education kits, interactive learning opportunities at Scrap Junction and with our Scrapmobile.

What other projects is the team working on these days?
Arts & Scraps is heavily involved in the community on an ongoing basis. Working with our corporate partners and with the help of thousands of dedicated volunteers throughout the year, Arts & Scraps provides memorable learning experiences to over 275,000 local area children each year, and recycles between 26 and 28 metric tons of material. Arts & Scraps can be seen in the community at local events, in schools all over metro Detroit and beyond, as well as in local churches and municipalities. For more details on where you can find Arts & Scraps near you, feel free to check out our monthly calendar.

What’s one tool you can’t live without?
Our volunteers. No question about it.

What was your favorite part about Maker Faire Detroit this past year?
The energy. Meeting with all the inspiring makers, gleaning new and refreshing ideas from strangers, enjoying the attractions at The Henry Ford, and having the opportunity to be part of a truly unique and engaging experience has been a very special opportunity for Arts & Scraps that is most certainly greatly appreciated!

Tinker, hack, and invent with W.E.C. Institute


Joining us this Saturday during our Tinker, Hack, Invent day in Henry Ford Museum is the W.E.C. Institute. You might remember them from past Maker Faire Detroit events! Their mission is to “pioneer the science that advances our lives. To inspire youth to follow in our foot steps, stand on our shoulders, and reach beyond our grasp.” Learn a bit more about the group from director Andre Lee Renier.

What will WEC doing during this week’s Tinker, Hack, Invent, Saturday?
We will be showcasing the process we utilize while inventing, fabricating, and recreating the exploding armor. We want to highlight the process of inventing including making mistakes and recreating components. Continue reading

Looking Back: Maker Faire Detroit 2013

Hacking The Henry Ford

Maker Faire 2013

When I first heard this a few months back, my jaw dropped. Hack the museum?! What?! Are you serious? What museum would even think of doing such a thing? Well, The Henry Ford would. We were indeed opening ourselves up to hacking, but not like you would first think.

Read more over on The Henry Ford blog.

What does Maker Faire mean to you?


As an employee at The Henry Ford, I have seen Maker Faire Detroit from two perspectives: one as an interested spectator, and the other as an attentive employee. However, I have always wondered what Maker Faire Detroit means to those who attend as actual makers. This year, I had the pleasure of discussing with a couple of makers the point of view they have while displaying their projects and products to the metro Detroit public. Continue reading

Download the 2013 Maker Faire Detroit App

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Stay up to date with everything going on at Maker Faire Detroit this weekend! This year’s app, brought to you by Compuware, allows you to search for makers by category or by name, look at each day’s schedule, and even create a personalized scheduled with your favorite Maker Faire Detroit events.

Download the app here.

Meet the Maker: NSF International

IMG_0986Tell us a little bit about NSF International and your on-site activation at Maker Faire Detroit this year.
NSF International has been testing and certifying products for safety, health and the environment for nearly 70 years. As an independent, public health and safety organization, NSF is committed to protecting and improving human health on a global scale. NSF International protects families by testing and certifying thousands of consumer goods each year, including kitchen products and appliances, personal care products, dietary and sport supplements, bottled water, pool and spa equipment, water treatment systems, plumbing fixtures and many other products used in homes every day. Look for the NSF mark on products you purchase.

NSF International microbiologists, chemists, toxicologists and engineers will lead hands-on laboratory experiments with the goal to get kids interested in science as well as emphasize the importance of protecting public health and the environment. NSF demonstrations will explore polymers, an important building block used by chemists. Kids will be able to help make nylon string, see and then touch polymer foam and elephant toothpaste being made using dish soap, yeast and hydrogen peroxide. Other experiments will focus on sustainable and compostable products.

What was the inspiration for your activation?
We plan to demonstrate how science can be fun with summer science experiments and highlight how NSF International helps protect public health and the environment!

How do you think NSF International embodies the making spirit?
NSF International’s Ann Arbor headquarters houses unique and innovative custom labs, including the largest drinking water treatment lab in the world, and NSF’s Applied Research Center, which performs original scientific research and contract testing for universities, government and the private sector geared towards protecting public health.

What are you most looking forward to at Maker Faire Detroit this year?
At NSF International, we work in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) every day and we are very excited to share our passion for the sciences and public health. We are looking forward to conducting science experiments with kids, and to encourage them to be more involved in STEM.