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Maker Faire Detroit Descends on the Henry Ford this Weekend

Photo via <a href="">Maker Faire Detroit</a>
Photo via Maker Faire Detroit

One of Detroit's most necessary new traditions, Maker Faire, takes place this weekend at The Henry Ford. Now in its sixth year, the annual flame-tinged celebration of invention and craft runs July 25-26 and will feature the Detroit debuts of 70 new makers. Part of the local and national trend in "maker spaces"—collectively-run buildings where members can go to work on inventions, art and other large projects involving welding, glaziery and other messy (dangerous) techniques, Maker Faire allows visitors to see new inventions (and to buy stuff and eat things, like any outdoor summer festival). While there are over 300 makes participating in this year's event, you have to wonder if anything can live up to 2014's flaming skeeball display.

Some of the itmes on display at this year's event include a three-story Hot Wheels ramp, the work Henry Ford tech Matt West and his son Blade. The pair made the the track attempting the world record for the largest Hot Wheels ramp and are touring the completed piece. There's Cirque Mechanics, a startup that designs playful, weird items that let you bring the circus into your house (or backyard, or driveway). Curbed's personal favorite invention on display is PancakeBot, inventor Miguel Valenzuela's wildly creative take on 3D printing that allows home cooks to create elaborately shaded pancakes. Their dinosaur and President Obama pancakes were a thing a beauty (and then somebody ate them). The invention is a real success story—while it hasn't been brought to market yet, people love the idea (and its execution) so much that PancakeBot's Kickstarter has raised over $460K.

PancakeBot, featured on The Henry Ford's Innovation Nation, an Emmy-winning show on CBS, joins other inventors made famous by the show including Medical MacGyver and Solar Roadways. Modder Ben Heck will set up shop at Maker Faire as part of taping an episode of The Ben Heck Show, and there will be demonstrations by Great Lakes Beadworkers Guild, among others. Not all makers focus on our delight and entertainment—some bring their creativity and skill to solving humanity's worst problems. Dara Dotz will represent that faction at Maker Faire with a demonstration of work by Field Ready, an organization that helps make needed items in the field to help communities rebuild after natural disasters.

Admission to Maker Faire is pretty steep—$28 for "adults" (people over 13), $26 for seniors children, $19 for kids ages 5-12. But, hey, kids under 4 get in free, and members of The Henry Ford get half off on tickets. Maker Faire is July 25-26 at The Henry Ford. According to Crain's Detroit Business, 300 makers will participate, and event organizers anticipate 22,000 attendees.

·i3 Maker Space [Detroit i3]
·PancakeBot [Kickstarter]
·Maker Faire Detroit [Maker Faire]
·The Ben Heck Show [Element 14]
·Field Ready [Field Ready]
·The Ben Heck Show [Element 14]
·Field Ready [Field Ready]