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The World Maker Faire, NYC, 2011, was a great opportunity for us to share what we're doing with people from around the world. But better still, it was a chance for them to share with us. We were able to talk with Makers from around the globe. Some of these people, as is the case with inventors, were very careful to reveal anything about what they actually wanted to do. They would dance around their project concepts while prying as much information and demonstration as they could out of us. It was a great refresher for our knowledge, and the first opportunity I've actually had to demonstrate to myself what I've learned during my time here at PVC Bendit.
Others, however, were much more forthcoming with their ideas, and the ensuing collaborative banter was awesome. One thing I want to put up in big, fat letters is the PVC Bike. Oh, wait, PVC Bike! People have actually been building them for quite some time now, but the ability to add curves takes the PVC Bicycle from a quirky novelty to an infinitely customizable yet super affordable mode of transportation. There were four-wheeled bicycles (er... quadcycles) with seating for up to five, as well as dozens of permutations of the pedaled vehicle. Some of the makers were limited in their ability to build because of the price of metals, and others found their creativity stifled by the straightness of stock building materials.
Another stand-out suggestion and rigorous round of questioning came from the open-source robotics community, especially the Arduino people. Pre-fabricated robot chassis are available, but they are both expensive and extremely limited in what you can actually do with them. By using PVC Bendit, open-source robotics developers are able to fabricate their own custom chassis and apendages easily and affordably. This should allow for greater innovation and creativity in the prototyping process without so many materials holds and budget constraints. We'll see where this all goes as time unfolds.
There were hundreds of suggestions, but I think you get the idea. Funny that no one mentioned electrical conduit offsets. They were more likely to mention movie sets. Oh, well.
We actually ran out of PVC at the show. We did so many bends for so many people that the PVC stack just couldn't hold up. Thankfully, the marshmallow gun people were hip to what we were doing, and they were interested in bent parts for their guns. They kept bringing us PVC, and we kept bending it.
Ah, yes, a weekend in Queens with armed children at every corner. See YOU at the next Maker Faire!