Atlanta Maker Faire Moving to Downtown Decatur

Decatur Metro | June 4, 2014

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Atlanta: Get ready to invent, create and inspire. Organizers just announced the dates for the 2014 Maker Faire in Atlanta and it’s official. The weekend of October 4 and 5, 2014, will see the largest and grandest Maker Faire Atlanta has ever hosted.

Maker Faire Atlanta will take place over two days this year, up from just one day in years past. Last year’s event saw more than 10,000 people from all over the Southeast come to show, tell, learn and invent. The organizers of this year’s Faire expect at least 15,000 people in attendance. Also new this year, the Faire will be hosted by the City of Decatur and will take place in downtown Decatur on North McDonough Street and in the large parking area surrounding the Callaway Building. This is the first year that Decatur has played host to the Faire.

The enormous growth of the Faire has afforded the event a new title and increased notoriety this year. Attendants of last year’s Faire will remember that it was called Atlanta Mini Maker Faire. Once a Mini Maker Faire reaches 10,000 participant attendance, it has the option to become a “featured faire.” The perks of this upgrade include exclusive coverage by MAKE Magazine, featured placement on the Maker Faire website, and a new moniker: Maker Faire Atlanta. Atlanta has reached this milestone and now joins the ranks of other featured faires in cities like Rome, Paris, Detroit and Kansas City. Unlike these other featured faires, however, Atlanta’s event is completely free to attend, thanks to donations from Atlanta-area companies and organizations. Maker Faire Atlanta will be the only featured faire to offer completely free attendance.

If you weren’t able to attend last year, here’s what you need to know about the Maker Faire. The goal of the event is to bring together creators, innovators, tinkerers, hobbyists and amateur enthusiasts to learn, share, experiment and expand upon a great tradition of making in the South. This free, all-ages weekend highlights “Makers” from Atlanta and all over the U.S. who range from tech enthusiasts and crafters to homesteaders and backyard scientists. The Maker Movement is here and these passionate individuals are responsible for the revolution.

Last year’s Faire hosted more than 125 Makers who shared their inventions, creations and ideas in a hands-on learning environment. The 2013 Atlanta Mini Maker Faire included speakers, workshops and exhibits on topics such as robotics, green tech, electric vehicles, vintage computing, textile arts, robot battles, home fabrication and much more.

Part of the mission of the Maker Faire is to educate the next generation of innovators by giving kids increased access to design tools and resources. With renewed emphasis on STEAM (Science, Technology, Arts, Engineering and Mathematics) learning in schools and after-school programs all over the country, the Maker Movement provides the perfect framework and support system for continued involvement in project-based, experimental learning.

For more information about Maker Faire Atlanta, how to be a featured Maker at the Faire, or how to volunteer, visit the event website http://makerfaireatl.com/ or contact makerfaireatl@gmail.com. Call for entries will open on May 19, 2014.


Soon: On-site 3-D Printing of Emergency Stents
By Anna Patricia Valerio07 April 2014

A 3-D print in progress. Could the success of 3-D printing in experimental health procedures pave the way for it to be used in international development, not just in global health but also in disaster situations?

Born with a defective windpipe, Garrett Peterson has had difficulty breathing since birth — and has never left the hospital as a result. His doctors weren’t sure how long they could keep him alive. Last year, after reading about an experimental procedure that helped Kaiba Gionfriddo — a baby with similar breathing problems — Peterson’s father turned to pediatric ENT specialist Dr. Glenn Green and his colleague, biomedical engineer Scott Hollister, for help.

Green and Hollister worked on Gionfriddo’s experimental procedure. Hollister, who runs the University of Michigan 3-D Lab, had been working on 3-D printing for biomaterials and tissue engineering for nearly two decades. For Peterson’s procedure, Hollister combined his software with Mimics — a medical image processing software from Materialise, a rapid prototyping and CAD software development firm based in Belgium — to create the splints.

Peterson went through the life-saving surgery when he was only 16 months old. Green and pediatric cardiovascular surgeon Dr. Richard Ohye inserted the splints around Peterson’s windpipe to help him breathe better. The splints are designed to support his windpipe as it builds strength, before eventually dissolving in his body.

The success of this second operation, which involved an emergency waiver from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, could pave the way for 3-D printing’s widespread use in international development, not just in global health but also in disaster situations.