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Maker Faire North Carolina 2014

By: Chip Bobbert II

I spent a few hours at the NC Maker Faire this past Saturday.  My goal was to pick up on new things and popular trends in the maker field.  What surprised me was how simple and popular home manufacturing has become.  I saw 12 year olds building robots, home made 3D printers, robot hockey, homemade drones, and many other once complicated things reserved for engineers being built by every day people.

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For me personally, ShopBot stole the show.  For non-makers, ShopBot produces a series of CNC routers that can cut a variety of materials.  The concept is a close cousin to the laser cuter but offering some advantages and disadvantages.  This one here is milling a piece of wood but was used to create the guitar below.  It is the desktop version but ShopBot produces models up to 30 feet long!  As a home machinist myself, owner of an X3 CNC converted mill and halfway through a Shapeoko build, this particular technology appealed most to me for inclusion in a Duke MakerSpace project.

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