Four of our members came out to man the booth at the Kingsport Mini Maker Faire. There were some interesting exhibits there, many of which were craft related. There were a couple of upcycling crafters doing some interesting things with carved books. I think my favorite display was the guy who brought the electric cars. He had a Tesla Roadster, which is certainly a nice car. More impressive to me, was the Mazda Miata that had been converted to pure electric. It's amazing how simple the conversion looks. With all the engine and combustion related stuff is out of the way, there was nothing but batteries, an electric motor, and a charge motor controller. For all the chassis electric parts, the original 12V system was left in place, with an automotive battery, and the original alternator run from the motor shaft. It made it look like that would be something possible to do in a couple months of dedicated work, with most of it figuring out where to put the batteries.
Probably the most impressive display was from the Regional Center for Advanced Manufacturing. They brought in a mini shop, with a drill press and various other shop tools and gave people the opportunity to make a small catapult. The trailer that they had all of this stuff loaded up on was pretty impressive. It looks like they do quite a few traveling presentations for schools, so they had their presentation down pat. It's certainly something that can help inspire the next generation of makers.
Speaking of inspiring the next generation of makers, I think our booth was certainly a strong contender for best of show (at least for the kids). The looks on their faces as the vacuum pulled the mask down into the mold were priceless. Wide eyes and open mouths were in no short supply. Our display was so popular, we had to commandeer another table to set up just for decorating masks. We'd have 5 or 6 children all decorating masks at the same time. We saw some really impressively decorated masks. Too late in the day we thought about taking pictures of all the decorated masks. I think the vacuum forming machine has not made its last maker faire, so I'm hoping we'll have another opportunity to get a gallery of decorated masks together. Hopefully we've inspired one or two little ones to become makers one day.