5 Things I’m Looking Forward to Seeing at Troy Mini Maker Faire

Steampunk fashion

My first Maker Faire was in 2010, the very first Faire ever held in New York. I loved it so much that the next time I went, in 2012, I ran a booth that was packed from opening to close with people interested trying out DIY projects from my low-tech robotics books for kids. Since then, I’ve been part of Maker Faires in the Bay Area, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

This year, I helped organize the Troy Mini Maker Faire, happening along with The Enchanted City steampunk festival this Saturday, August 27, from 11 am to 6 pm. We’re going to have dozens and dozens of amazing exhibitors, but there are a few I’m especially excited to see:

1. Did you know that Maker Faire includes fashion? On Saturday, keep a look out for Andrea Habura‘s steampunk-era sewing machines. If future-facing fashion sounds intriguing, you’ll also want to check out Friday night’s “Of Then and Beyond” runway show, followed by an adult-only reception in the “Garment District” at the Tech Valley Center of Gravity.

2. What is Power Tool Drag Racing, you say? Exactly what you think — electric devices, most designed for ripping things apart, tearing down a wooden track trailing their power cords behind them. It’s fast, funny, and sure to be a blast — come watch and take part!

3. This year’s Chamberlain Inventors’ Challenge is shaping up to rival last year’s event, when a giant steampunk hamster wheel was selected to transport The Enchanted City’s Queen Mab to her throne. Come see what crazy conveyances contestants have dreamt up this year!

4. Ecovative is a local company that produces mushroom-based packing products that are 100% biodegradeable. I missed making a GIY (Grow It Yourself) mushroom version of the Maker Faire mascot at World Maker Faire New York in 2016, so I’m glad I get another chance closer to home!

5. I still remember the astounding Toothpick World display at World Maker Faire New York a few years ago. It was even featured in the New York Times! The Syracuse-based Maker Stan Munro will be showing us how it’s done on Saturday.

Of course, I’m also looking forward to seeing all the Makers who will be taking part, from robot builders to high-tech scientists and lots, lots more. I’ll be giving a talk at noon showing parents, kids, and educators how to “break into making” the easy way. You can see the whole schedule here — come check it out!

Attend the Troy Mini Maker Faire this Saturday, August 27, from 11 am to 6 pm. Get your free tickets  now (or just come by) and meet all our Makers. We’ll see you there!


GLOBALFOUNDRIES — the world-wide semiconductor manufacturer that makes computer chips for Samsung and other electronics companies — will be sending a team of volunteers from their plant in Malta, NY to the Troy Mini Maker Faire on Saturday August 27 from 2 to 5 pm.

They’ll be giving attendees an opportunity to learn about GLOBALFOUNDRIES and get a live demonstration of a “bunny suit” — the full-body work suit workers wear to keep the manufacturing area contaminant-free.

Come experience what it’s like to work in the cleanroom as a semiconductor engineer and take a picture of yourself wearing a bunny suit!

Attend the Troy Mini Maker Faire this Saturday, August 27, from 11 am to 6 pm. Get your free tickets  now (or just come by) and meet all our Makers. We’ll see you there!

Meet the Makers: 3D Scanning and Sculpting by Mick Cipollo

Maker Mick Cipollo creates innovative 3D technology art with the fusion of digital scanning, digital design and sculpting.

Come talk with an artist and engineer about the processes for producing art with 3D printers and other software used to integrate form and function.

The Troy Mini Maker Faire is this Saturday, August 27, from 11 am to 6 pm. Get your free tickets  now (or just come by) and join us on to meet all our Makers. We look forward to seeing you!

Meet the Makers: Steve Nordhauser

Welcome to the first of our series introducing you to the Makers who will be presenting their projects at the Troy Mini Maker Faire on August 27!

Steve Nordhauser is a longtime member of the Tech Valley Center of Gravity makerspace. Last year his glass engraving set-up was a hit at the TVCOG booth at World Maker Faire New York.

At the Troy Mini Maker Faire, Steve will be demonstrating the techniques for chemical etching and power engraving. Chemical etching uses a mask to protect areas that you don’t want etched by a commercial etching paste. Power engraving involves a rotary diamond burr in a motorized tool for grinding the surface of the glass. You can get a preview by checking out his Instructables page.

Here’s what Steve has to say about the Maker Faire experience:

Steve Nordhauser

What do you like about exhibiting at Maker Faire?

Making things is fun.  I enjoy building, creating, and working with tools.  I want to share that fun with others.  In the middle of all the mayhem of the World Maker Faire New York in 2015, nothing was more exhilarating than teaching people to engrave glass in the TVCOG booth.  They were excited about learning a new skill and walked away with a sense of accomplishment (and a piece of art they created).  I suspect it was a lot like teaching school where every student was excited about learning.

What’s your favorite thing about visiting Maker Faire?

Maker Faires are a great place to learn.  I read, watch YouTube videos, and take on-line classes, but Maker Faires will expose you to new ideas and the people who are passionate about those ideas faster than any other way.

How do you see Maker Faires contributing to their communities?

One of the great things about Maker Faires is the number of families that attend.  It is very typical to see entire families sharing the experience and discussing what they see.  Imagine 90,000 people, many of them from 8-18 years old, and the only use they have for cell phones is to take photos and videos.  No one ignoring their surroundings, engrossed in some on-line experience.  It really happens.  I leave a Maker Faire feeling optimistic about future generations.  Families involved with each other, kids excited about creating, people sharing.  It is all there — everything I think we need to have a great future.

So, yes, I am excited about being a maker.  That is why I am a member at COG.  We are a group of like-minded people.  It doesn’t matter if your interest is in textiles, welding, electronics, 3D printing or something a bit esoteric, our common thread is that we all like to create and enjoy sharing that excitement with others.  It is as close to a daily Maker Faire as you can get.

If you would like to have your own Maker exhibit at this year’s Troy Mini Maker Faire, the Call for Makers is open until August 1. Just fill out the online application form and let us know what you’re like to do. It’s free!