Maker Faire Orlando is a community-organized, family-friendly celebration featuring local do-it-yourself science, art, rockets, robots, crafts, technology, music, hands-on-activities, and more. It’s an event where people show what they are making and share what they are learning.

The individuals behind these exhibits are known as “Makers” and they range from tech-enthusiasts to crafters to homesteaders to scientists to garage tinkerers. Makers are of all ages and come from many backgrounds. They all share a love for innovation and creativity, as well as an educational spirit to inspire and encourage new Makers. The even-larger, 2-day, 2014 Maker Faire Orlando at the Orlando Science Center and surrounding area will feature exhibits and experimentation across the spectrum of science, engineering, art, performance and craft.


Meet the Maker: RunPee App, Dan Florio

runpeeNo need to think twice about buying a large soda before the movie starts anymore – the RunPee app has you covered!

The RunPee app provides you with carefully selected Peetimes for a movie. The Peetimes are made up of 3-5 minutes of the best time to take a bathroom break without missing any major scenes. The app will also fill you in on what you missed while you were gone. The best part is that you don’t have to keep checking your phone to see when the next Peetime is. All you have to do is set a timer when the movie begins and it’ll vibrate before each time it’s safe to make a run for it.

The creator behind the app is Dan Florio. Dan got the idea after sitting through an awfully long three hour movie with his wife. After playing around with the idea for a few hours, he developed the app, and overtime it became a huge hit. Through the hard work of the RunPee team of six, the app has received an enormous amount of media coverage and celebrity recognition including praise from Hugh Jackman.

Don’t miss out on meeting the Maker behind this clever app at Maker Faire Orlando Sept. 13 and Sept. 14!

Meet the Maker: E-Nable

Photo courtesy of www.enablingthefuture.org

Photo courtesy of www.enablingthefuture.org

Ever heard of prosthetics that can be printed from the comfort of your own home?

E-Nable brings us just that. With a team of more than 800 volunteers, E-Nable gives people in need another chance at life with an affordable prosthetic hand that can be 3D printed. For less than $50, anyone from anywhere can create and download a device.

From engineers to tinkerers to occupational therapists and more, E-Nable uses an array of expertise to “lend a hand” to the community. Their current designs have been approved by the FDA for testing through Creighton University, as they work to create and improve affordable custom prosthetics. The E-Nable team does anything from building a complete hand, to helping people print parts of the hand or just simply guiding them through the process of building it themselves.

Meet members of the E-Nable team and see their 3D printed prosthetics in action at Maker Faire Orlando on Sept. 13 and Sept. 14!

Meet the Maker: TROBO, Jeremy Scheinberg & Chris Harden

Photo credit: www.herecomestrobo.com

Photo credit: www.herecomestrobo.com

A smart, cuddly robot that talks? I don’t think it gets better than this.

Meet TROBO. TROBO is a plush companion that takes kids on learning adventures and gets them excited about Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). With an interactive storytelling app, TROBO reads out loud and engages with children ages 2-7 through an iPad or Android tablet. By using the child’s name and picture, the app and robot personalize the story for the child, making them feel like they’re really part of the learning magic.

The Maker’s behind this product are Jeremy Scheinberg and Chris Harden. Too many encounters with too many useless toys led these professionals to develop a brainy companion for children. Last November, TROBO took home the silver in the Orlando Startup Weekend competition.

Come check out TROBO in action and meet the Makers at Maker Faire Orlando Sept. 13 and Sept. 14!

Meet the Maker: Two Glassy Broads

Is your glass half empty or half full? Well, for these gals, it’s neither – it’s shattered!

Two Glassy Broads is a team of three women who create one-of-a-kind glass items that are fun and functional. Some of their original designs include wind chimes, Christmas ornaments, small plates and decorations. Most of their creations are made from recycled glass, but they also use fusing glass.

In 2008, this Central-Florida based shop formed to create vibrant art to brighten people’s homes. Through hand cutting, painting and heating, these pieces are created with precision and delicacy.

Come see how Two Glassy Broads have turned shattered glass into art at Maker Faire Orlando on September 13 & 14 at Orlando Science Center!

2glassybroads

Photo credit: www.etsy.com/shop/2GlassyBroads

Meet the Maker: TECreation, MaxAir

MaxAir Fins

Photo credit: www.tecreationdev.com

Deep ocean fanatics and SCUBA divers, rejoice!

Thanks to modern plastics, TECreation has created the flexible, multi-vane MaxAir swim fin. The MaxAir swim fin is proven to be 11 to 17 percent more air efficient than the standard swim fin. With increased air efficiency, swimming becomes easier for SCUBA divers and snorkelers, allowing them to stay underwater longer.

With its radical design, it allows for lift and reduces drag. Swimmers can enjoy smooth kicking with minimal effort with fins that work for you rather than against you. In 2011, MaxAir was awarded the People’s Choice Award at Central Florida Inventors Fair in Orlando, Fla. TECreation continually strives to make it easier for man to coexist with nature, and MaxAir fins definitely fit the bill.

Join us and dive into Maker Faire Orlando Sept. 13 and Sept 14! Meet the makers and learn about the development process for making efficient recreational swim fins.

Meet the Maker: Natalie Leath, Punk Rock White Trash

Zombie crochet dolls? Watch out, they may try to eat you while you sleep.

Natalie Leath is the Maker behind these artistically creepy creations. It all began four years ago when she made a zombie doll for Addy Miller, star of the renowned show “The Walking Dead.”  The response she received was huge, and from then on she has made hundreds of customized, plush hats and dolls.

After teaching herself how to crochet, she spends about 10 hours a day crocheting anything you can think of! A giant Ursela doll? You got it. A zombie hat with a snake coming out of the eye? Done. A My Little Pony inspired doll? Yup! From gruesome to cute and cuddly, Natalie’s handmade creations are perfect gifts for the whole family.

Be sure to stop by and check out Natalie’s new spin on crocheting Saturday, Sept. 13 and Sunday, Sept. 14 at Maker Faire Orlando!

An example of crotchet creations by Natalie Leath

Natalie creates unique crotchet hats and dolls. Photo credit: www.punkrockwhitetrash.com

It’s Official – We are now Maker Faire Orlando!

Orlando_MF-Logo_rectangle

We are now Maker Faire Orlando – one of 12 “Featured” Maker Faire events around the world. For 2014, we’ve not only expanded to two days, we will have over 150 maker exhibits (over 85 have already been approved – see the list), over 12k more square feet within Orlando Science Center, and will be adding outdoor exhibits in  Loch Haven Park. But wait, there’s more! Nerdy Derby, Power Racing, a disassembly & recycling area with Take it Apart, and a program for educators are just a few of the big additions to this year’s event.

If you’ve been to one of our past events, you may be wondering what happened to the “Mini Maker Faire” title – here’s the story…

In 2011, a few friends from FamiLAB ventured out to Maker Faire Bay Area and returned intent on bringing the inspiring spectacle that is Maker Faire to Orlando. We licensed the event, becoming “Orlando Mini Maker Faire” – as the events not produced by the official Maker Faire team are known as “Mini” events.

We didn’t have a clue how to produce a major event – but we had passion, determination, good friends, and a lot of luck. With over 100 Maker exhibits and over 2,500 attendees, Orlando Mini Maker Faire was anything but “mini”. The community support was incredible, and we knew that we’d do it again!

As we pondered how to make the event even better for 2013, we thought back to our visit to World Maker Faire New York, held at the NY Hall of Science, home to the 1964 World’s Fair. We loved the integration of Maker Faire into the existing exhibits – with children and adults moving from hands-on science exhibit to hands-on maker exhibit, and the combination of indoor spaces and outdoor spaces possible with the park next to the NY Hall of Science. We realized that our own Orlando Science Center and Loch Haven Park could make this possible for Orlando – and set out to make it happen.

We partnered with Orlando Science Center for Orlando Mini Maker Faire 2013, and welcomed over 100 maker exhibits and over 3,000 attendees throughout the Orlando Science Center. We had a fantastic time – but quickly realized that one day of Maker Faire wasn’t enough. We’d always planned to grow the event over time, but hadn’t expected the community to respond so quickly. After deliberation with our community partners – we made the decision to go big – and we highly appreciate the support we’ve received from our community partners, makers, volunteers, and sponsors.

Maker Faire Orlando remains a non-profit, community-led event, and we need your help to make it happen. If you’d like to be a part of it, as a maker, volunteer, community partner, sponsor, etc – check out the pages of this website, or email us at makers@makerfaireorlando.com

Meet the Maker: First Love Collection

First-Love-Collection-Maker-Faire-Orlando

Mary Pompilus is the maker behind First Love Collection, a shop specializing in all-natural bath and body products. Some of the items you can find in Mary’s online shop include handmade candles, sugar scrub, soap, lip balm, and body butter for men and women. Read our interview with Mary to learn more about her craft and what she will be bringing to Maker Faire Orlando!

1. You served as a contractor for the U.S. Government in Afghanistan and started making homemade products while there. What kinds of things were you making then? Where did you find the ingredients you needed?
While in Afghanistan, the first product I made were whipped body butters (with a lot of trial and error). I researched companies on the internet that had a significant number of positive reviews, shipped internationally and offered organic/kosher products. My staple suppliers are Organic Creations, Mountain Rose Herbs and Bulk Apothecary.

2. All of the products you sell now are natural and organic. Why do you think it’s important to use natural ingredients? What is the benefit?
For starters, you aren’t applying harsh, unknown and hard to pronounce chemicals on your body. Additionally, all but a few of my ingredients are food grade. Therefore, you know your body has a natural ability to absorb the moisturizing qualities and healing properties that each ingredient provides.

3. What are your favorite products to make? Do you have a particular fragrance or ingredient you enjoy using most?
My favorite product to make are the whipped body butter! The final whipped butter is extremely comparable to real whipped cream. I always have to remind myself not to eat it! For the summer I personally will be using my Perfect Peach fragrance. It’s a very fun, crisp, clean peach fragrance.

4. What will you be sharing with Maker Faire Orlando visitors?
The entire product line will be available: whipped body butters, lip balms, candles, hand crafted soap and sugar scrubs. I’ll also have an interactive session for kids to measure, cut, wrap and decorate their own soap. The goal is to engage children on how to accurately measure dimensions and let their creative juices flow in decorating the soap for packaging.

5. Just for fun, what’s your Orlando staple? (Eatery, event, place to visit, etc.)
Cirque du Soleil! I’ve seen La Nouba at Downtown Disney on three separate occasions and another two shows in Las Vegas. Locally, Gallery on the Edge is a great art boutique in College Park with local artist’s work that I like as well.

Come see Mary and the First Love Collection at Maker Faire Orlando on September 13 & 14 at the Orlando Science Center! You can also find First Love Collection on Instagram and Facebook.

Meet the 2014 Makers!

We’ve accepted over 75 maker exhibits for Maker Faire Orlando 2014!

makers_panel

You can see the entire list, or view by category on our Makers page. We are still reviewing maker applications and should have more than 150 maker exhibits for our larger, 2 day event on September 13th & 14th! If you’d like to exhibit, or know someone that should be at the event, check the Makers page for the registration link or email us!

Calling All Makers!!

Call For makers is now OPEN! You can register and apply at www.callformakers.org/orlando2014

Orlando Science Center's Mini Maker Faire, Photo by Roberto Gonzalez

Soon we’ll begin showcasing some of this year’s featured makers!

We love exhibits that are interactive and highlight the process of making things. Here are just a few exhibit ideas we’d love to see at Orlando Mini Maker Faire 2014:

  • Student Projects
  • Robotics
  • Arduino Projects
  • Raspberry Pi Projects
  • Radios, Vintage Computersand Game Systems
  • Inventors
  • Interactive Art Projects
  • Textile Arts and Crafts
  • Fighting Robots (We’ll have an arena again!)
  • Underwater Robots
  • Electronics
  • Nerdy Derby Races
  • Wood Craft Projects
  • Recycled/Upcycled Projects
  • Power Racing Vehicles
  • Much, much more!