MAKERCON DAY 1 COVERAGE
By Mitchel Dumlao
The 1st Day of MakerCon was filled with a lot excitement and energy as professionals, makers, and entrepreneurs walked around the floor to take in the array of inventions and panels inside the beautifully designed Palace of Fine Arts. The morning started with a warm welcome speech by Maker Media founder, Dale Dougherty, as he introduced the crowd to MakerCon. It was soon followed by an inspiring speech by Alice Brooks of Roominate, who showed footage of her time on Shark Tank and shared the success of her business due to MakerFaire and her drive to promote female entrepreneurship.
As Alice left the stage, the Launchpad StartUp competition commenced and contestants graced the stage with their PowerPoint presentations and elevator pitches, hoping to win the approval from the judges. After their pitches, there was a short break and I decided to walk the floor. This is where I saw some very neat inventions and innovative products. I stopped by the Gigabot booth which created a huge 3D Printer that used 3mm PLA filament and had a 2ft x 2ft x 2ft build volume.
I was delighted to see our friends and partners, IdeaPrinter, at their booth with their 3D Printers working away on various parts. Next to them was MadeSolid, a filament and resin manufacturer that focuses on materials outside of ABS and PLA. Their friendly team explained their product line and their investment casting resin, CASTSOLID. Behind them was another interesting machine called the Orbit1, which was a tabletop metallization machine that could cast most materials in metal.
I also tried a 3D Printing Pen called the Polyes Q1, which used resin cured by blue light rather than filament. The little kid in me loved playing with Robodub's RC robots that played laser tag with each other. When I thought playtime was over, HP's Sprout all-in-one computer allowed me utilize 2 touch screens, a projector, a 3D scanner, and multiple apps to take my creativity to the next level, without having to switch machines or leave my workstation. I was happy to see so much creativity on the floor with a sense of community that allowed organic conversations to flow about the future of the world economy, education, and the rise of the Maker Movement.
The guest speakers for Day 1 were also inspiring. Chris Anderson spoke about the rise of 3D Robotics and how this is the golden age of hardware, where big companies are fighting to compete to create the best products, which in turn provides us with cheap hardware and software that wasn't as accessible before. Yobie Benjamin had a fun speech about the struggles of taking an idea into manufacturing and then to market, and how even though there are trials and tribulations (like copyright infringements, outsourcing problems, etc.), it's still worth the hustle. Then Adam Anagnost from Autodesk talked about how we all live in a unique time in history where companies and individuals are opening their patents and intellectual property to the public to allow for innovation, collaboration, and creation. Technology is getting cheaper, companies are open to working with customers, people are teaching each other, and cloud computing is putting the power of a super computer behind it all.
The day ended with a reception and mixer, that took people outside of their booths and professional bubbles into a more open atmosphere where everyone excitingly talked about their projects, what they learned that day, how they could help each other succeed, and just enjoy the company of other creative and intelligent people who are eager to make cool things and change the world in the process.
Here are more pictures of MakerCon Day 1