Our Mission at Maker Faire

As you know from yesterday’s post, six of the members of the MakerSpace at Digilent went to Maker Faire to represent our MakerSpace and show off some of the projects that we have been doing.

Some of the members of the Digilent MakerSpace standing in front of the bread board wall.
Some of the members of the MakerSpace standing in front of the breadboard wall. From the left: Marshall, Sam, James, Kaitlyn, and Tommy.

As you can almost see from the poster behind us, here at the MakerSpace at Digilent, we believe that making is doing. But what does that mean?

 

We believe that the best way to learn to use Digilent products is by making things with them, not just by learning about them. The more you make, the more you learn. This is why all of the projects made in the MakerSpace at Digilent are open source at http://digilentinc.com/makerspace. Along with the projects that come out of our MakerSpace, we also occasionally teach classes and host a variety of equipment. We went to Maker Faire to share this message with the maker community and spread awareness about our MakerSpace and the open source projects.

 

One of of the values that is very important to us is that all of our projects are open source. This means you can take what we did, copy it, modify it and share it. This promotes maximum learning as people can take existing projects and build on each other’s work. It creates a huge welcoming community of people making and sharing projects. Much like the community at Maker Faire.

 

To help us, we brought several demos and activities along to help us. We put together a wall of projects. We picked a few projects to highlight and provided pictures and descriptions.

The project wall highlighting the Human Jukebox, LED graduation hat, ZYBOt, LED cube, chipKIT alarm clock, Battbot, labVIEW Accelerometer, 3D-Printed Microcontroller Dice.
The project wall highlighting the human jukebox, LED graduation hat, ZYBOt, LED cube, chipKIT alarm clock, Battbot, LabVIEW accelerometer, and 3D-printed microcontroller dice.

We brought along the wearable interactive projects, the human jukebox, and the LED graduation hat, which you will hear about in different posts.

 

One of the bigger demos that we brought was the 900 LED snake game. It uses WS2812 LED strips and the Uno32 to create a giant, and very bright snake game. This was a very popular part of our booth. We had a few parents that wanted to go home and build one for their kids bedrooms.

Our booth with the LED snake game on the right hand side.
Our booth with the LED snake game on the right.

The main attraction of our booth was the breadboard wall. The breadboard wall was made up of 360 regular-sized breadboards. We had packets that contained the components and circuit diagrams for a NOT gate, a 555 oscillator, and a basic LED button circuit. That way we could teach people about circuits through making.

The breadboard wall after all the circuits had been mad
The breadboard wall after all the circuits had been made.

Based on the amount of circuits on the breadboard wall, I would say we were successful in our spreading the word about our MakerSpace. We even received a best in class ribbon for our booth.

 

If you saw us at Maker Faire but didn’t write down the location of our many open source projects, go to http://digilentinc.com/makerspace and start making. We look forward to coming back to Maker Faire next year with an even bigger breadboard wall!

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