New York World Maker Faire Recap! by Jason Wu

Posted on October 3, 2017

Last month, we presented Polyfuge as a part of Make Health at New York World Maker Faire, one of two flagship Maker Faires. Throughout the event, we taught people about the applications of centrifugation using our casein precipitation protocol.

This was my first Maker Faire EVER.

Despite living in New Jersey my entire life, I was never aware of the immense gathering of hackers, artists, and engineers that took place annually just 70 miles from my house.

It wasn't until I accidentally stumbled upon a video by Make titled "Maker Faire Tokyo 2014 in 14 Minutes" during one of my YouTube marathons, that I discovered the wonders of Maker Faires. Interested in exoskeletons? Robot-sumo? Automatic drink shaking machines? Maker Faire Tokyo had it all.

What I found most intriguing however, was how perfectly Maker Faires combined science and technology with just having fun. Are fluorescent socks considered revolutionary technology? Probably not. Are 3D-printed rubber band guns going to influence the world in any significant way? Nope. Will laser-cut cat silhouettes with LED-lit eyes change the world? No (though I am sure some of my cat-loving friends would gladly argue with me on this one).

While these creations may not drastically change the way we view the world, they're important in that they show how things can be made solely for pleasure. Projects don't always have to be super influential; sometimes we build just for the sake of building things!

As I entered New York World Maker Faire I was immediately met with the same aura of "making for fun" that I observed online.

Walking to the DoubleGene booth, I saw a steel dragon larger than a bus, 3D-printers of all shapes and sizes, and a person playing saxophone with flames literally bursting from the instrument. Needless to say, they weren't kidding about the exhibits being "unique".

While I would have loved to explore the exhibits in more detail, I was more preoccupied with running the DoubleGene booth as a part of Make Health. It was an awesome experience running our exhibit alongside other health-focused makers like MIT Little Devices, UTMB MakerHealth, MakerNurse, and Open Style Lab, with the same goal of democratizing scientific instruments. Our Polyfuge demo was a huge success, and was recognized by the World Maker Faire staff with two awards: Editor's Choice and Best in Class.

It was great meeting all of our supporters and informing more hackers and makers about our goal. We definitely plan to return next year!

- Jason Wu