Call for Makers Open Through Monday

We’re such softies, and you’re such procrastinators that we’re keeping our Call for Makers open through the weekend, and even one day beyond.

But, Monday, September 15 is it.  Really.  The deadline. Complete the Call for Makers application by then. Please.


Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto


Revere Robotics Ready to Roll at the Akron Mini Maker Faire

With all due respect to songwriter Dennis DeYoung and his band Styx, we would like to thank all the Mr. Roboto’s who will be at the Akron Mini Maker Faire. So far, we have two Makers that will show off their science and engineering skills in producing first rate robots.

The Lake Center Christian School Thunderbots, winners of the 2013-2014 first place FLL Ohio State Championship Robot Performance Award, will be on hand to demonstrate their autonomous robot that will perform missions on a 4 x 8 mat obstacles. Built from Lego’s and NXT Mindstorm parts, visitors can create simple custom programs that will maneuver the robot.

Another team, Revere Robotics, has contributed over 1,000 hours of hard work to create a competition-caliber robot. Having competed at the Buckeye Regional in Cleveland and winning the Rookie Inspiration Award, they advanced to the Ohio State Championship held in Dayton, Ohio. What you will see is more than just a cool robot, it will reflect hours of leadership, group work and problem solving skills.

Are there any more robot enthusiasts that would like to strut their robotic stuff and become a Maker?

Maker Update – Piece Maker Technologies

Arden Rosenblatt PieceMaker TechnologiesFolks who attend last year’s Akron Mini Maker Faire remember the 3D Printer Farm – the collection of 3D printers arrayed along the Main Street windows on the 1st floor of Main Library.

One of these Makers, PieceMaker Technologies of Pittsburgh, has been in the news recently for their innovative applications of the 3D technology.  TCT, the magazine covering the additive manufacturing industry, recently printed this article detailing the in-store kiosks PieceMaker Technologies has begun to install in toy and gift stores.  Consumers can create customized items, and watch them being made.

Piece Maker Technologies founder and CEO Arden Rosenblatt says, “… everyone enjoys having their own little mark on the world and for consumers the big attraction is that this is a way to change objects and not just pick something off a shelf but design something that’s exactly what they want.”

Make on!

Call for Makers – One Week Left

Not to panic you or anything, but the Call for Makers for the Akron Mini Maker Faire closes in one week.  That’s just seven days away.

Don’t miss the fun on October 18. Click the Makers Apply Here button on the right and get your application in today.

Introducing … the Acme Fresh Market Egg Drop

One of the most popular Maker exhibits at last year’s Akron Mini Maker Faire, The SciTech Egg Drop, has a sponsor, and a whole new name, thanks to the generous folks at Acme Fresh Market. With the sponsorship of Acme Fresh Market, lots more excited Makers-in-the-Making will be able to craft a padded cradle which will protect an egg as it falls over 30 feet from the Main Library’s Atrium level all the way down into the Science & Technology Division. Thank you, Acme, for supporting Maker culture in the greater Akron area. Acme Fresh Market Logo Transparent Master ( 1-9-13)

Preserving Our Family Treasures – Special Collections Division at Akron Mini Maker Faire

MarriageCertificate-smAll of us have family treasures, those photographs, letters and other documents that tell the stories of our families.  Preserving these materials is our job!

Improper storage can cause irreparable damage.  Heat, humidity, and light are the worst enemies of anything on paper, but other culprits might be such things as the use of inexpensive photo albums like the “magnetic” self-adhesive albums that so many of us used in the last 20-30 years.

How many of us have boxes of unidentified photographs – old photos of folks who look like our family, but nothing is written on the back to tell us for certain who they are? Don’t pass your photographs on to the next generation without identifying  those folks !

diaryPreserving, identifying, and storing these materials does not have to be expensive or time-consuming.  There are many simple steps everyone can take to ensure the survival of these items for future generations.  Join the Special Collections Division of the Akron-Summit County Public Library as we demonstrate examples of deterioration caused by improperly stored materials, and share simple ways to preserve your important family photographs and documents.

FerdGuinter018We’ll be at the Akron Mini Maker Faire Saturday, October 18 from 11 am to 4 pm to show how you can preserve your family treasures for future generations. Be sure to visit us on the third floor of Main Library.

In the meantime, check out these sites for lots of great information about preserving your family treasures:

Library of Congress:

National Archives:

Images provided by the Special Collections Division of the Akron-Summit County Public Library.

What can I do with a 3D printer?

View of the 3d Printer Farm

View of 3d Printer Farm at 2013 Akron Mini Maker Faire

If you spend any time browsing tech sites such as TechCrunch or Engadget, or even spend any time on Facebook, you have probably seen articles about 3D printing and wonder what you could do with a 3D printer.  Perhaps you even considered becoming a maker of 3D objects at our Mini Maker Faire.  Well, wonder no more; let your imagination run wild.

The Library’s Science & Technology blog blogged before about innovations made possible with a 3D printer in  “3D-printed skull has been successfully implanted,”   3D printing with stem cells could lead to printable organs, and Printing in the Third Dimension.  Now we would like to highlight three new concepts in the world of 3D printing: “Artist 3D-Prints City-Shaped Shells For Hermit Crabs.”  Although we aren’t sure a plastic shell would be healthy for the hermit crab, the shells created by Aki Inomata are simply gorgeous, and the hermit crabs were eager to adopt them as their new homes.   Then there is “Disney Conquers Physics, Uses 3D Printing to Create Impossible Spinning Tops.”  This research project combines 3D printing with physics and made just about any shape they tried spin, and spin well.  The pdf of the Disney project can be found here.  Finally, a team of researchers at Harvard have designed a crawling robot that assembles itself that could be created by a 3D printer.  This article can be found in the August 8, 2014 issue of the journal Science, page 623 “Folding Structures out of Flat Materials,” by Z. You.  Check out the video on  Science Shot.

Take a look at these books on 3D printing to get more ideas:

Fabricated: The New World of 3D Printing by Hod Lipson and Melba Kurman.



3D Modeling and Printing with Tinkercad: Create and Print Your Own 3D Models by James Floyd Kelly. Yes, we told you about this book before, but you really should take a look at it if 3-d printing is in your future.



Make: 3D Printing.




The Library’s 3d printer in action earlier this year

You can visit the tinkercad website to download the program and experiment with its features.

While you’re at it, you might want to see the display of 3D objects created in our Technology Center on the first floor at Main Library.

New library books for Maker ideas

Still looking for the perfect project to display at the Akron Mini Maker Faire?  Here’s some inspiration, straight from the new book shelf at the Akron-Summit County Public Library.

tinkercad3D Modeling and Printing with Tinkercad - Tinkercad is the near-perfect software solution for getting started with 3-d printing.  It’s relatively easy to use, web-based, and you can use the basic version of free.  That’s a great price!

stitch 'n swapStitch ‘n Swap, by the editors of Generation Q magazine, features 25 handsewing projects to give and receive.  It’s chock full of fun and funky things to make.

bonsaiMaybe you’re a more earthy sort?  The Beginner’s Guide to Bonsai will have you getting you Maker groove on in, well, in a long time, because Bonsai is not an instant Make.  But it is really cool, so check it out. This book will tell you which plants are most suitable for growing and training as a bonsai as well as the tools, pots, and soils to grow you best bonsai.

bug out vehicleAnd, finally, this title has Survivalist Maker written all over it: Build the Perfect Bug Out Vehicle: The Disaster Survival Vehicle Guide. This book shows how to outfit any vehicle, even the family car, with practical and affordable survival equipment. You’ll be ready when you need to bug out.

Check it out, and let us know what you’re going to Make.

I want to be a Maker – FAQs

So, you have a great project you want to share with the Akron community.  But, you have a few questions before you take the leap and complete the Call for Makers application. Read on …

When is the Akron Mini Maker Faire? Saturday, October 18, 11 am-4 pm.

What time do I have to get set up? Set up begins as early as 8 am on Saturday, October 18, and all set up must be complete by 10:30 am.

Hmmm… do I have to stay all 5 hours? Yes, in order for every Faire-goer to see all events, we do require all Makers to commit to staying for the entire Faire. But, we don’t want you to go hungry, so lunch will be provided to all Makers. Bring a friend along to man (or woman) your exhibit while you chow down.

How much space will I be allotted? Will I need to bring my own table and chairs? The “standard set up” is an eight foot table and two chairs, which will be provided by us.  You will be able to request a different set up on the Call for Makers application.

Will I have electricity?  Wifi? If you exhibit requires electricity, be sure to note that on your Call for Makers application. Wi-fi is available in the Library building, but is not reliably available outside.  If your exhibit requires a wi-fi connection, please request an indoor location.

Is this free? If you do not plan to sell any items, your exhibit space is free. Commercial Makers will pay $50 for their exhibit space. If you plan to offer anything for sale, you must apply as a Commercial Maker.

Will there be LOTS of Commercial Makers?   Mini Maker Faires are designed to be non-commercial in nature.  We will limit our Commercial Makers to about 10% of all accepted Makers.

How old does a Maker need to be? There is no age limit to apply.  Any Maker under 18 will need parental or guardian permission. Last year’s Faire had several popular teen (and younger) Makers, including Lauren Egts , Daniel Anand, and Zack Tarle.  Schools and clubs are encouraged to apply as well.

My Making is not high tech.  Can I still be a Maker? Absolutely! Not every Maker exhibit is high tech.  Sure, we have 3d printers, vacuum formers, robots, and micro-controllers. But we also have fiber artists, woodworkers, and seed-savers.  If you have a unique way of creating something, we want YOU for the Akron Mini Maker Faire.

I’m looking for some ideas … Check out our previous blog posts on finding inspiration; visit the Maker Faire website for Editors’ Choice Blue Ribbon projects from other Faires; and check out your Akron-Summit County Public Library’s collection of FREE books/DVDs/magazines to get your creativity flowing.

 You didn’t answer my question ... OK, you can leave us a comment, or you can send us an email at, or you can call the Science & Technology division at the Library at 330-643-9075. We’ll try to find you an answer. Because we’re a library; we Make answers.

Call for Makers opens August 11

Can you feel the excitement?  The Akron Mini Maker Faire Call for Makers opens Monday, August 11. You can fill out the Call for Makers application which will be available right on this page, probably off to the right.  Tell us as much as you can about your project, your hack, your hobby, and why you want to share it with the Akron community. We’ll be reviewing applications and letting all applicants know if they have been selected  by September 20.

Want some ideas from other Mini Maker Faires?  The Dover (New Hampshire) Mini Maker Faire  has posted some of their upcoming Makers on their website.  Check it out — they are going to have a really awesome collection of Makers at their Mini Maker Faire later this month. There’s seedbombing, biomass gasification (not as gross as it sounds), porcelain doll making, robotics, ghostbusters, stiltwalkers, and a 7-year-old launching paper airplanes.  Plus lots more ideas to explore.

And that’s just Dover, New Hampshire.  Akron is waaay cooler than that.  So, Akron, get your Make in gear and get ready to answer the Call for Makers!