Makers Central 2023
Earlier in the month, I had the opportunity to visit MakersCentral at the Birmingham NEC. Having last visited 5 years ago, I thought it was worth a revisit and I was not disappointed.
The trip was suggested by Element14 who kindly organised the tickets so I’d arranged to meet some of the other presenters (Video Content Producers) whilst I was there as we normally only meet online.
Katie Dumont (hifromkatie) has built a great range of projects for Element14 Presents since being one of the winners of the #badass Women Makers and Engineers Contest. She’s just been working on a Digital Cuckoo Clock. She was at the show with her family but made time to say hello.
Mat Zolnierczyk (Notenoughtech) is one of the newer VCPs and has done projects such as “using dead batteries to test dead batteries”. Matt had dressed as a mad scientist complete with steampunk googles and lab coat. He’d set himself the challenge of making a video of the show so spent two days behind the camera and interviewing people. We had a chat when he first arrived and I saw him all over the show.
I also got to meet Phil from the E14 Community Team who was at the show with a friend. Phil kindly donated one of the new Arduino Giga Wifi boards, which will likely appear in one of the upcoming E14 projects.
Over by the Kids Invent Stuff stand I found Dominic Morrow from Smoke and Mirrors. He’s currently working with LightBurn as a consultant. He was accompanied by the talented Laura Mathews who was demonstrating a raptor marionette.
All the cool kids were hanging out by Kids Invent Stuff and whilst I was there I also bumped into Allie Katz from KatzCreates who had just been gifted a “thingymbob” with rainbow LEDs and runic styling. It needed power and USB-C cable so a couple of makers helped them out.
I also got to meet and chat with the very talented Ryan Howard who’s built both a small and full-sized Johnny 5 Replica
Podpadstudios who had displayed a Batmobile on my last visit this time had a “domestic robot” with tracks, laser range finder and 2 very large and noisy machine guns. Less well armed robots included the range of droids from UK Droid Builders such as a classic R2D2 and a range of other R2 units as well as U9-C4 and K2-SO droids. You could see and hear these driving around the venue all weekend as well as seeing some of the clever internal mechanics at the droid builders stand.
The Crafty Robot have been busy since I last met them and made the Stainless Steel Unicorn. They’ve upgrade their app and expanded their kits so you can make jousting knights, telepresence and a robot with a flipper. I got to spend some time jousting and quickly learnt the best tactics. I’ve got one of their kits so expect a review of that soon.
There’s loads more to share about the show so visit part 2 to see Crazy Inventions, CNC and Woodworking.