Maker Faire is all about makers getting together to demonstrate their latest projects, share their skills with new makers, and just generally show off. But what about the other 363 days of the year?
I firmly believe that no maker is an island, and that makers make better stuff when we make together. Maker Faire is the celebration of all we’ve accomplished this year, but also the kick-off for the next year of learning and collaboration between makers. Last year, there were many new partnerships that were formed at the Dayton Mini Maker Faire. DE-FI, Through the Ages Fabric and Rave Cravings were all in the Transportation together at the 2017 DMMF and had a lot of conversations throughout those two days. There was talk of DE-FI clothing designers integrating Rave Craving wearable LEDs into their new fashion line. Through the Ages Fabric and DE-FI also discussed possible future collaborations while at Maker Faire.
Tim O’Sullivan, the veteran that 3D printed full-sized, wearable Iron Man and War Machine suits to promote his work developing custom prosthetics for disabled veteran athletes shared the Heritage Center atrium with Gorilla Maker 3D printers in 2017, and as a result Tim regularly talks to Glenn Warner of Gorilla Maker about 3D printing techniques and challenges to improve his charitable work. These are just a few examples I know about, but I know so many more connections were made that I haven’t heard about yet.
So you might be thinking, do you have to wait until Maker Faire in August to connect with other makers in Dayton? No! Fortunately, there are lots of amazing opportunities and communities you can get involved with now. Look to your local library, makerspace or arts center for classes and meetup groups you can join. Girl Develop It Dayton has regular classes and meetups for coders of all skill levels. The AFRL Maker Hub has a Python-specific coding meetup every Friday that is open to the public. Dayton Diode regularly offers classes on glass working and other skills. Local stores like Through the Ages Fabric and Woodcraft offer a full schedule of classes to learn new skills. The Dayton Sewing Collaborative is a great place to meet other sewists and share your new ideas. Spark Place at the Greene County Library is a fantastic makerspace where you can drop in to try a new project and meet other makers. Proto BuildBar is the place to hang out and talk 3D printers. But this isn’t the exhaustive list, and I know it! That’s why we started Make It Dayton, to try to create a hub where the new (or experienced) maker can get plugged into all the resources and happenings throughout Dayton the other 363 days of the year.
We recently re-launched the website, makeitdayton.org, as a networking tool for makers and we need your help to make it a success. If you know about a meetup, class, makerspace, supplier, or event that you think other Dayton makers need to hear about, please submit it to makeitdayton.org and we’ll get it posted. Make It Dayton is a small group of volunteers with zero budget, so we rely on our readers to let us know what to post and share to our community. Help us out, so we can keep the collaborative energy flowing from Maker Faire to Maker Faire.