Maker Faire Bay Area 2017: Day Three

Major Takeaways
  • Consumer-level fabrication tools have matured to the point where it’s helpful to have guidance in choosing. That says volumes about the scope of this market.
  • AR still looks primitive, but is already hackable by hobbyists. Watch this space over the next 24 months, and invest wisely.
  • IoT again. That the toolchain is maturing is indicated not just by polished products, but by a shift from single-purpose widgets to general-purpose sensors back by sophisticated analytical software. The shift is on from “doing stuff” to “doing stuff on the basis of data-backed intelligence”, even at the lower levels, and from new hardware to how to create actual value from data.
  • “Wearables are dead.” — Zach Supalla
  • IoT devices desperately need robust security (duh).

General Observations

Choosing the Right Tool for Your Digital Fabrication Project

  • Accuracy vs. precision matters…a lot
    • Know which matters more for your project
    • Lasers are accurate and precise
    • Mills are accurate, but precision depends on the tool you’re using, and may require dogbone corners
    • 3D printers are accurate, but not very precise
  • Speed matters
    • Lasers and drag knives are fast
    • CNC mills are sort of fast
    • 3D printers are slow
  • Size matters
    • CNC is easy to go big
    • Lasers can go big…for a price
    • 3D printing does not, for practical purposes, scale
  • Complexity matters
    • 3D printing is the champion for complex objects
    • CNC milling can handle complexity, with rapidly increasing difficulty of design
    • Lasers don’t do complex


Hacking Magic with Augmented Reality

  • Yosun Chang is doing impressive things with mobile devices and photogrammetry
  • Check out Magic Pull Up and FaceShare


The Shifting Landscape of IoT

  • IoT is not Wilson’s $200 internet-connected basketball
  • IoT is Sensors -> Data/Insight -> Actuation
  • Moving away from smart appliances/objects and specialized sensors toward general-purpose sensing and intelligent analysis
  • General-purpose sensing and machine intelligence pair for flexibility 
  • There are six ways to create value with the IoT: Compliance tracking, automated fulfillment, asset tracking, remote diagnostics, consumer upsell, and preventive maintenance
  • IoT devices fall into a matrix: axes are Constrained <-> Powerful, and Consumer <-> Industrial
  • The future of LPWAN is an uncertain fight between Sigfox, LoRA, and cell carriers


IoT Security

  • Encryption! First, last, and always…provides confidentiality, authenticity, and integrity
  • Use microcontrollers before Linux devices like BeagleBone or Pi…cheaper, and no open ports
  • Employ cloud best practices
  • Make sure devs know security, protect against the OWASP Top 10, pay for professional audits and penetration testing
  • Beware social engineering! The most vulnerable part of the system is you!



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Robotics expert Dave Shinsel shows off Loki, based on Intel’s Joule dev kit.

OpenROV’s latest submarine drone, the Trident, is light years beyond their first efforts, which looked more like Cal Poly’s home-brew effort. Trident’s polish and maneuverability are amazing, but based on my one outing with their earlier bot, I wonder if they’ve increased power enough to fight ocean currents.

Did you have a Spirograph as a kid? Did you want a rideable version? If you didn’t then, you will now.

Was there a uniboarding T-Rex bopping to Pump Up the Jam? Yes.

It’s easy to get lost in all the shiny new toys. One remedy to that was a stop by the San Francisco Center for the Book‘s vintage printing display. Print and saddle-stitch your own cahier! The simple mechanical action is oddly comforting.

Macro photography is something I enjoy at a hobby level, but it has a ton of scientific, industrial, and educational uses. GigaMacro‘s rig may be the coolest I’ve seen!

It isn’t Maker Faire without Gerard’s Paella

The Flaming Lotus Girls bring the heart and the heat.

There were Legos. Many, many Legos.

And that’s a wrap. Until NYC this fall!


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