Tuesday, 28 April 2015

UK Maker Faire 2015


The weekend happened and so did my first Maker Faire of the year. The UK Maker Faire 2015, held at the Newcastle Centre for Life. With nearly 120 makers it's one of the biggest of the year but it somehow felt smaller than last years. The busy/quiet waves we experienced in the back room allowed us to have decent chats with public and other makers and there are a few new collaborations in the pipeline.

So it looks like I didn't take a decent photo of the Ping Pong Ball cannon, but I do have one of the test videos. It was a very simple design, a large air extractor was used to blow balls up the barrel, venturi effect ensured that balls were sucked in at the bottom of the barrel. The hopper was just a long line of balls ensuring that the cannon was fed quickly and efficiently.


We did a quick test on Friday, letting off 65 balls in 10 seconds and racking up a high score. The other entrant managed to get off 3 balls in the 30 second time period and scored nearly as highly as we did. After further enquiry it turns out the targets had variable scores between 1 and 10,000 (someone needs to learn about game balancing). For our second attempt on Sunday morning we let off 200 shots at a 6000 point target, we obliterated the target but only 4 registered and we were beaten later that day by a man wielding a nerf gun. (ie nothing laser cut). It's fairly disappointing to spend time and effort on something else's thing that flops so significantly, if I had known it would have been a random number generator game I would have spent my time on better things.