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Saturday 26 July 2014

Dublin Maker 2014

The Irish Maker scene is thriving and Dublin Maker 2014 took place today on the Physics lawn in Trinity for a day long get together with a huge array of stands showcasing the diversity of home grown maker talent we have in Ireland. The purpose of the event is to entertain, inform and connect the makers, whatever their chosen medium. It’s a highly “hands on” event too, so you get to poke and play with all of it.

Their web site, , has a ton of information on who they are so rather than me repeating it head over their for a look.

I know quite a few of the folks involved but I only learned yesterday that this year’s event marks their decision to break away from the O’Reilly Media organized “Maker Faire” organisation as they felt that their aims ( in particular keeping the event free ) didn’t align well any more. I have to say that it was a great decision, the organisation was superb, and the result was a first class maker event.


Some photos should give a flavour of what was there.

Think Potato – an urban gardening group who are working to make hundreds of potato varieties available using urban gardening techniques – each of the potato plants in this shot are growing in a pot made from an up-cycled water cooler bottle, designed to limit water evaporation in limited space gardens, say for example an urban roof top garden. They are all different varieties by the way, including a couple of truly bizarre purple fleshed spuds. Totally cool.



Donnacha Cahill – Metal Sculpture.

Love this stuff, I sooo want that rabbit, and Donnacha is amazing to watch.


And also, because FIRE!



Pneumatic Rocketry. Brilliant session where everyone first makes their cardboard rocket and then launches them in a barrage to see who gets furthest. Brilliant.



Open ROV – Oh man I also want to build one of these.



This next little beastie was on the Intel/CTVR stand and is possibly a bit outside the league of the average maker. It might not even be a released product yet, but it’s a 60Mhz-6Ghz board for full Software Defined Radio projects. They had an older version of an open base station mainboard/daughterboard system running that was sniffing out local 4G traffic live on the stand. Really cool to see, and also a great bunch of folks from CTVR who gave me a fantastic intro to what they were doing. Along with plenty of warnings about “you have to bear in mind that broadcasting anywhere outside of 2.4Ghz will probably need a license”. Which is fair enough. But that aside, it’s amazing to think that this gets within spitting distance of X-Band.



This stand was just epic. This is what I want to be able to do when I grow up. I didn’t catch they guy’s name but this is “just” his hobby – a fully articulated 3D printed dragon. This bit is the head and neck. And when I say fully articulated, I mean it. Eyes move, tongue rolls, eyebrows work, jaw works, head twists and turns, neck has vertebrae that work…. And this is the “naked” version, he’s working on the latex skin at the moment. He also had the beginnings of what looks like a version based around the Night Terror from “How to Train Your Dragon” that you can just about see in the background.



Some slightly out of focus video here: . Damn thing moved too fast for autofocus on my iPhone to track it.

This was just a handful, there were dozens of stands there full of friendly, engaged and thoroughly entertaining makers.

And finally The TOG duck was zipping around all over the place, frequently trailing a horde of very excited kids.And adults as you can see.


And some more video to show how fast it was – even on grass.

Brilliant fun. Now all I have to do is sort out my life so I can get a project ready for next years event.

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