Maker Faire Detroit is ingenuity unbridled

The Detroit News

The Henry Ford pays homage to founder (and tinkerer) Henry Ford and some of his ingenius heroes (think Thomas Edison) this weekend with the annual Maker Faire Detroit.

The event, held inside and outside the Henry Ford Museum and now in its seventh year, draws hundreds of makers from all over the country who come to share their wares, ideas, inventions and solutions. About 25,000 people attended last year’s event and more than 100,000 have visited the Maker Faire since the inaugural one in 2010.

It’s sort of an unconventional science fair set against the backdrop of Ford’s historic complex, which pays tribute to creators like Edison who changed the way Americans and the world live. Organizers said it’s the largest two-day festival in the Midwest dedicated to “unconventional ingenuity, unbridled creativity and forward thinking.”

“Maker Faire is all about ordinary individuals, rolling up their sleeves, creating things and inventing solutions. It’s about everyday people being resourceful and innovative and thinking out of the box,” said Melissa Foster, media and film relations manager at The Henry Ford. “The makers of today are no different than the innovators of our past, like Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and the Wright Brothers — the people we celebrate every day at The Henry Ford. And of course there is no better place to foster this creativity than Detroit.”

Visitors this year will see robots, rockets, circuit bent creations, virtual reality, 3D printing, handmade crafts, life-size sculptures, and can participate in hands-on activities and see demonstrations. Returning projects include the three-story Hot Wheels ramp created by local engineer Matt West and his son, Blade. It’s vying for the world record for the largest Hot Wheels ramp.

At the outdoor midway, outside Lovett Hall, a giant, 15-foot-tall fighting robot Megabot will fire paintballs at speeds of more than 120 mph at a car during demonstrations. Musician and composer Dorit Chrysler will host Theremin workshops (for all ages) that explore the fundamentals of playing the first electronic instrument that generates sound without being touched.

Note: A shuttle service sponsored by the University of Michigan-Dearborn will be available at its Fairlane campus, 1900 Hubbard Drive in Dearborn. To improve your experience at Maker Faire Detroit, download a free Maker Faire Detroit app via Apple App or Google Play stores. The app includes a schedule, a map, maker descriptions, general Faire info and newsfeed with updates from The Henry Ford.

Maker Faire Detroit

9:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Sat.-Sun.

The Henry Ford

20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn

Tickets: $28, adults; $19, children (3-12); $26, seniors

(313) 982-6001