Makers Central 2023 Part 2

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. In part 1, I mentioned some of the Makers and Robots I met there.

Crazy Inventions

One of the big features of the show was YouTube Makers and hence there was a large number of crazy inventions there.

Colin Furze had a big stand with a small section of tunnel, the screw tank, jet powered BBQ, magnetic shoes, regular and ball-wheeled drift trike and the hover car from Star Wars. There was also a big queue for the meet and greet sessions where he was signing autographs and a shop selling merch.

Scientist Fran Scott was there promoting her new book, How to Build a Racing Car. She was also demonstrating how to build a Rube Goldberg machine via trial and error. And did a Q&A session with Ruth from Kids Invent Stuff.

Whilst I was there, I met with Ben from MeArm Robotics who’s family provided great encouragement and advice to Fran. And not much later after met Dr Footleg who’d also made this a family trip. Thanks Fran for signing a copy of her book for my daughter.

Matt Denton from Mantis Robots was there showing his full sized 3D printed Electric Lego Go Kart. He also gave a great talk on his career in making special effects for films.

Major Havok also had a GoKart but his was Jet Powered. They explained to me they were going to use it to try and break a land speed record.

Look Mum no Computer didn’t disappoint, he brought in a whole bunch of musical contraptions that were not computers. The tellytuby wave machine used a relay based shift register which had a great clicking noise as it ran. The other devices were analogue synthesiser which worked by combining and modifying different waveforms.

James from X-Robots was also there with the ball wheeled chair car. He also gave a good talk on his making projects and chatted to people on the Vetric stand.

CNC and Woodworking

Vetric were one of the main sponsors of the event and had a big stand with a range of examples that had been machined using their CNC. They sponsored the main stage and also the evening event for VIP Makers.

Carveco were also there and sponsored the second stage. Next to that I spotted an electric power icecream van which seemed a great idea, particularly as it was indoors.

There were many excellent creations on view and there was a “scrap wood” competition of which a few of my favourites are shown below, the each had explanations for where the wood came from. There was a prize winner but I couldn’t stay for that as it was late on the Sunday.

Also made from wood were bikes, boats and guitars, all to a very high level of craftmanship.

That’s not all I saw, in part 3 we look at tools, materials, art and making.

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