What is Maker Faire Orlando?

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.

What is a Maker?

We are parents, students, scientists, and garage tinkerers. We are young and old and we all share a love for innovation, creativity and inspiring others to make something—anything—as long as it makes people happy.

What’s new?

The 2014 Maker Faire Orlando at the Orlando Science Center and surrounding area is bigger then ever before. More exhibits, more crazy creations, and more Makers! You’ll enjoy 2-days packed with exhibits and experimentation across the spectrum of science, engineering, art, performance and craft.

Meet the Maker: The Wedding Dress of the Future

“Here comes the bride. All dressed in — LIGHTS?!”

That’s right! This wedding dress, you could say, is from the future. That’s what it’s called anyway.

The Wedding Dress of the Future is as beautiful as it is bright, which utilizes a Lilypad Arduino SimpleSnap controller and protoboard (a small sewable computer) to control the fiber-optic flower centers. The flowers are lit by Neopixels, a product by Adafruit, which are LED lights that come in sewable form.

The dress itself is illuminated by one watt LEDs with a heatsink that helps distribute the heat generated. They’re powered by a LED driver circuit and a 24-volt power supply. The bodice of the dress — that is, the part above the waist excluding the sleeves — is covered with fiber optic fabric produced by SensingTex of Spain and imported/distributed by Gadgetcat, a local company.

The one-watt LED can illuminate the fabric so well that it can be seen in daylight. The center flower located on the bodice is controlled by an Adafruit Gemma, another wearable and sewable microcontroller.

And it wouldn’t be a wedding dress without some bling! Fiber optic strands are glued into Swarovski crystals and onto Lilypad LED micros. The dress is powered by a lithium polymer battery.

See it yourself at Maker Faire Orlando on Sept. 13 and 14 at Orlando Science Center!


New Poster Design!

Check out our amazing new poster designed by Michael Ingrassia of Maker Faire Orlando sponsor SteamLabs!


This poster is downloadable in PDF format – please print some and put them near the creative people in your world!

If you have access to a large format printer and want the fullsize art, email us at info@makerfaireorlando.com for a dropbox link.

If you’d like other Maker Faire Orlando promotional items – check out our Promote page for logos, postcards & more!

Make sure you stop by the SteamLabs exhibit at Maker Faire Orlando to chat with Michael, and see a 3D printed version of the robot on the poster!

Reserve your Maker Faire Orlando T-Shirt

Maker Faire Orlando t-shirts featuring our new logo will be available at the Orlando Science Center store for $15 (with 15% off for Orlando Science Center members!). Sizes and quantities are limited, so we’ve created a way to guarantee that we will have a t-shirt for you. Reserve your sizes using this reservation form.

MFO2014_T-shirtIf you have any questions about Maker Faire Orlando 2014 t-shirts, please email us at tshirts@makerfaireorlando.com

Meet the Maker: Artist Justin Peterson


Justin Peterson is the artist and writer behind the graphic novel series Very Near Mint, a muralist for Tijuana Flats, an illustrator for Mad magazine, and the designer of Maker Faire Orlando’s badges and t-shirts featuring the Orlando Science Center T-Rex, Stan, since last year. He keeps busy, but he found time to give us some insight into his artistic process and what inspires him to create!

What first got you interested in being an artist? Who or what are your influences?

Honestly, I don’t know what made me become an artist! It’s all I’ve ever really been good at. I found out early that drawing was in my blood. Maybe three, four years old, I started drawing all the time. Early influences would have been cartoons, like every kid!

I was really into Peanuts by Charles Schulz, who’s still one of my biggest influences, and other comic strips like Calvin and Hobbes. I started reading comic books in middle school, and fell in love with artists like Chris Bachalo and Joe Madureira, who both drew X-Men comics.

stan_transparent_240x314How would you describe your style?

“Angular” was always a word my teachers would use. I think it’s loosened up over the years, though. One thing lots of folks say when they look at my work these days is “it’s really funny!” I try to bring some fun and some energy to my drawings. I went to college for animation, and while it’s easy to bring life to moving characters on a screen, it’s much harder to convey that with static, still images. ENERGETIC! ANGULAR! CARTOONY! FUN!

Tell us about your graphic novel series, Very Near Mint. What’s it about and what’s the creative process like?

Very Near Mint is the story of two guys, Colin and Sam, who own a comic book shop. One day, a new, rival comic shop opens up across the street, and this new shop is out for revenge! Over the course of the books, you find out just why this rival comic shop wants to destroy Colin and Sam’s shop. It’s really a love letter to comic books and to comic book shops.

Continue reading

Meet the Maker: Orange County Library System

A community staple, the Orange County Library System was established in 1923 and since then has grown to offer more than books. In fact, today it provides technology services such as podcasts, downloadable audio books, virtual computer classes and more!

What else, you ask? Find out at Maker Faire Orlando when OCLS showcases their Arduino, Snap Circuits and K’nex. They will also demo a MakerBot Replicator 2 3D Printer and let you go hands-on with all their technology.

Learn more about the Orange County Library System and services they offer like those at the Orlando Public Library’s Melrose Center which offers access to an audio, video and photo studio; fablab; simulation lab; and much more.

Meet the Maker: Jeff Sonsken of Paint the Trail

Ever find yourself bored while running? Tired of what you see when out on the bike? Then take your trek over to Paint the Trail, located right on the Wekiva Trail in Seminole County!


Photo courtesy of paintthetrail.wordpress.com

Paint the Trail is a public art installation that recycles castaway materials, such as paint and wood, to create hand-painted panels that are mounted alongside the Wekiva Trail. This unexpected source of art has become an eye catching addition for travelers on the trail since 2011. Different pieces of the mural feature notable cultural icons, act as public tributes, and show support for causes and the community.

Creator Jeff Sonsken started the mural by hanging a couple of his paintings up on the fence behind his parents’ house. With the paintings facing the Wekiva Trail, Sonsken expected to be told to take them down. What this Maker did not expect was a genuine positive response from those passing by. The response to these original paintings later fueled the creation of Paint the Trail, and dozens more paintings over the next few years. While many of the panels are original creations by Sonksen, members of the community have also started to contribute to the effort. In May 2014, a GoFundMe was started to fund Paint The Trail as a future non-profit organization, with the plan to take the artistic endeavor beyond Seminole County. Another goal? Creating the world’s longest mural- only 4 ½ miles to go.

Remember to check out these fence masterpieces and meet Maker Jeff Sonsken on Sept. 13 and Sept. 14 at Maker Faire Orlando!

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!


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