Maker Faire Orlando outgrows its mini stage to great results

Creative minds convene at third and biggest iteration of the fest

Maker Faire Orlando outgrows its mini stage to great results


10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 13-14 | Orlando Science Center, 777 E. Princeton St. | 407-514-2000 | | $13-$29

Most people feel extraordinary pressure in life to make something of themselves. Maybe just for this weekend, we can all relax those expectations and embrace the ethos of Maker Faire Orlando, seeking instead to make something for ourselves, an equally noble endeavor.

This year, the compulsive tinkerers and curious inquisitors who attend the third iteration of this massive event where creative minds convene to demonstrate their innovations – from interactive time traveling to soldering robots to arm knitting – will find more than 200 exhibitors over two days at Orlando Science Center. Previous events were known locally as Mini Maker Faires, but now, that inaccurate label is cast off (there has never been anything small-minded about this assembly of big thinkers) to make 2014 the year of Orlando’s first official Maker Faire, supported and promoted at the national level by Make magazine.

“The quality of the event is one of the reasons why we were invited to become a featured Maker Faire,” says event producer Jessica King. “We’re going to continue with the same quality of curating that we’ve had in the past two years. We’ve just doubled the number of people that we’ve found that are that awesome.”

That includes the return of the human-powered sno-cone machine, plus free screen-printing on shirts and bags you bring ($5 shirt available to purchase on-site), a 3-D photo booth, the Nerdy Derby, a Player 1 Retro Arcade, the largest working K’Nex roller coaster model in the state, chocolate-making demos and tons more. There’s even an exhibit you can visit just to take stuff apart. With so much to see, the makers created an Orlando Maker Faire app for both Android and iOS to help attendees keep up with the jam-packed schedule.

While Maker Faire draws upon an increasingly tight-knit community of human spark plugs, it’s the open invitation to all those in the city who dare to ask why that makes it (predictably) break the mold of typical science or artisan fairs.

“I see the world a little bit differently than I think most of the makers do,” King says. “I’m definitely not an engineer, and I’m definitely not an artist, but I have this urge to know how things work. … I come from a family of makers; I think we all do. … Maker Faire gives me a chance to revisit that part of my life.”


25 amazing exhibitors to catch at Orlando Mini Maker Faire 2013



Central Florida Rocketry
Local hobbyists propel this exciting exhibit that will launch a variety of rockets capable of soaring a few feet to miles in the air, plus they demo how their motors work and answer all your questions to fuel greater interest in the craft.

NASA Kennedy Space Center Swamp Works
It may blow your mind that Kennedy Space Center has labs dedicated to the motto “fail fast forward,” but the rapid prototyping accelerates development on intriguing experiments known as Swamp Works, prototypes of which will be on display at Maker Faire.

Concrete Carving, Woodworking and Telephony with Art & History Museums – Maitland
Maitland Art Center founder J. André Smith created a concrete sculpture table and a concrete mix in 1930, and the museum has
re-created it for the first time since just for Maker Faire. Try your hand at concrete carving, examine antique telephones and see demos of carpentry techniques utilized in 1882 to learn from a long history of traditional craftsmanship.

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Radio
Controlled Aircraft
Examine an extensive collection ranging from radio-controlled planes with wingspans eight and a half feet wide to teensy helicopters that fit in the palm of your hand, then ask everything you ever wanted to know to pursue the hobby yourself, from cost breakdowns to advanced mechanics.

Nepchune’s Noise Circus
With a focus on music that makes itself, sound manipulator Chuck Stephens recycles and repurposes electronic components to a different tune than most inventors at Maker Faire. Check out his impressive sound machine and explore new sonic plains.

Rebecca Rose Sculpturings
An artist inspired by traditional foundry metal-casting techniques, Rebecca Rose’s pieces double as jewelry and sculpture, with each piece molded, cast in silver or bronze and polished by hand. Watch and learn as she creates tiny molten masterpieces.


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Ashley Belanger

Associate editor, music nerd, NBA junkie, Florida explorer and obsessive pet owner.
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