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Metro Detroiters Prepare Inventions and Art for Maker Faire

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Photos by <a href="http://www.michelleandchrisgerard.com/"> Michelle and Chris Gerard</a><br>
Photos by Michelle and Chris Gerard

Maker Faire hits the Henry Ford this weekend with displays of inventions, arts, crafts and even PancakeBot. While many of the event's 300 entrants will travel from out-of-state, Metro Detroit has a thriving maker community centered on maker spaces—warehouse-like buildings managed cooperatively where members can build inventions or make art and craft projects on a large scale. One such space, Ferndale's i3, is a hub of frenzied activity this week as members work on their Maker Faire projects. In addition to individual entries, group members have collaborated on a battle boats project sure to garner tons of attention.

Nate Bezanson, one of the co-op's founding members, told Curbed that Maker Faire is the biggest event of the year for i3 members.

"It's basically the auto show meets senior prom meets black Friday meets finals," he said. "It's the biggest event of our calendar by far, and in addition to a whole bunch of members having projects at the Faire, we're also hosting the official party in our space Saturday night."

This week, members worked on a diverse collection of projects including an air-vortex (and smoke-rings) shooting gallery, a 3d printer, intricate artwork made with a laser cutter, and even a harmonograph—a machine that draws pictures using the mechanism of a moving pendulum.

i3members come from all over the metroplex. Morningside resident and working Detroit artist Jessica Rowland uses i3's laser cutter to create her artwork, while Troy metal-forming engineer Jamie Burdeski works on stress-polarized plastic and other science demonstration projects. Saturday, i3 hosts the official Maker Faire after party, featuring free eats, craft beers and a DJ after 10 pm. The celebration takes place in the maker space at 1481-A Wordsworth, Ferndale. Admission is free, though donations are much appreciated.

·Maker Faire Detroit Descends on the Henry Ford [Curbed Detroit]
·i3's Official Website [i3]
·How to Make a Three-Pendulum Rotary Harmonograph [Karl Sims]
·Official Maker Faire After Part at i3 [Curbed Detroit]
·Jessica Rowland Etsy Shop [Etsy]
·DBRA Seeks Proposal for Adaptive Reuse of Stone Soap [Detroit Economic Growth Corporation]
·Official Maker Faire Detroit 2015 After-Party [Facebook]