Being a maker means getting creative and thinking outside the box while sharing, collaborating, and having a positive impact. From creating the next renewable energy source to making kites with young people in your community, the range of maker projects shows just how much can be accomplished with a little inspiration.

Exhibiting maker Matthew Oswald, creator of the coffee-making robot Mugsy, shares what being a maker means to him:

“To me, being a maker is a subversive act. Shifting from consumer to producer in any way is its own reward. We can yell out to the world that we’re going to build it ourselves and we’re going to share exactly how we did it with everyone. We’re gonna have more fun too, all without the millions of dollars, outsourced factories, and nonsense patents that are usually attached to the things we use every day.

Last year’s Maker Faire was an awakening for me and my work with Mugsy. What I thought was clever and interesting didn’t really hold up against the level of work my peers were bringing to the table. Learning what is possible shifts the goal post way past where you had initially planned to go. Mugsy didn’t make a single cup of coffee for eight months after the Faire. The only way to improve was to tear it apart and start again. The Faire introduced me to so many incredible people, and it is those very conversations, friendships, and insights that have made me a better maker.”

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