The annual Maker Faire — a moveable feast of arts, crafts, and technology, held worldwide since 2008 — had its first cosplay prop competition in New York City last weekend. The event, held at the New York Hall of Science, was everything you could expect from enthusiastic fans who happen to be detailed makers.
Makers are hard-working DIY-ers who imagine, envision, engineer, and create; their media includes 3D printing, foam sculpting, laser cutting, and of course, duct tape. The dozen contestants who appeared on stage didn’t just build fantastic pieces of work. They solved problems, too:
For example, Joey Lynn Monaco created a raven warrior inspired by Maleficent’s raven from Sleeping Beauty. Her beak was overweighted in front and should have required a chin strap to keep it from tilting forward. Instead, Monaco placed marbles in the back of her headpiece to provide counterbalance.
Plus, more than one contestant created an internal cooling system, to prevent overheating.
The winner of the competition was Dhemerae Ford, for her female Thor headpiece, which took two weeks of 3D printing and a month of finishing. But first she scanned herself with a Structure.io sensor and created a 3D headform of her own head, to make sure it fit perfectly.
The cosplay competition wasn’t the only place to see cosplay hardware. Cosplayers had booths, as well as the rest of the Maker Faire, to show off their creations. When maker Tom Jewell — who won three editor's choice awards for his wearable My Neighbor Totoro costume — wasn’t manning his booth, he was sitting within his motorized Dalek and driving it across the Faire-grounds.
If you’re not sure whether to attend the next Maker Faire (the schedule can be found here), please consider the following sentence: Within the span of a few minutes, three people, independent of each other, told me that they want to upload their consciousness into a robot brain within a robot body.
And that’s why you should go: If you’ve ever wanted a robot body, these attendees are the people who will make it happen.
Here’s a look at some of what we saw at the New York City Maker Faire of 2018.