These are the top makers and projects form the first Maker Faire in Paris held on June 21st en 22nd 2014. The ‘Le top 5 Maker Faire Paris’ so to speak, and a Maker Faire Paris review. All IMHO* of course.

1. Motion captures in LEDs;

A motion capture specialist motion captured a horse and a golfer. All motion capture dots had their own path. This path was recreated in metal wire, white LEDs, and a custom build controller. The result are metal wire sculptures with blinking lights. Beautiful to look at, and then you ‘see’ it! The motion of the horse! The golfer taking a swing! And once you’ve seen it, you cannot not see it. The structures have depth, so from other angles it works to. Check out the video to see them in action.

I was especially impressed with the accuracy of the motion and just the overall idea. My number one pick of the Maker Faire Paris are the motion capture sculptures motion captured by Rémi Brun and physically made by Matei Gheorghio.

2. Music by moving; Interactive Music Battle

Move a ball in the air and the connected iPad + speakers respond with beautiful beats. Choose different musical styles and partner up for a two person musical play session. Hard to explain, but so much fun in real life. Have a look at the video to see it in action.

Most sound projects I see and hear at Maker Faires are the computer beep sounds or just plain old annoying sounds. This was so nice, because the actually make rythmic, great sounding music. Currently Phonotonic is doing a Interactive Music Battle Kickstarter campain to make this into a product. I wish them all the best of luck in successfully raising the €70000.

3. ‘3D’ Tattoo printer; 3D Printer X Tattoo Machine

3D tattoo printer
A 3D printer that tattoos on your skin… Sound scary? Sounds amazing! You might have read about this French project before, but getting a chance to talk to the makers was worth it. To tattoo accurately on skin, skin needs to be tight. But when you tattoo on tight skin, then release skin, it’s going to look disformed. So right now they are working on a way to create a measuring tool and algorythem to get this sorted. First mark four dots on thightend skin, then release the skin and use a scanner to determine the difference.

As soon as they figured out the tight vs loose skin accurately, I’m lining up to get a ‘3D printed’ tattoo.

4. HTML5 controlled lights

Connect your smartphone with these lights over wifi, and within your browser you can change the lights. All done with HTML5 or Ruby! See the video on what they do right now.

The possibilities of HTML5 and smart connected devices are huge for us makers. And people are already asking to buy these lights, even tough they are just prototypes in 3D printed housing so far. It just shows the are doing something very right…

5. Weather indicating parasols; Little Umbrella

connected parasolsA cute paper parasol you get in a cocktail on a small pillar with the city name labeled onto it. See where they are going with this? The parasols unfold when it’s sunny at the location 🙂

The sheer cuteness of the project just took me away. Bless Aurélien Fache and Julien Levesque choosing the positive side of things by using parasols instead of umbrellas (although they named the project Little Umbrella, must be a translation thing). And having the awesomely cool domain name

Maker Faire Paris overall review

This is about 1/4 – 1/3 of all of the Maker Faire Paris in view.

Maker vibe; 8/10

A very good maker vibe, due to the location, catering and balance between makers and commercial booths.

Really a Mini Maker Faire 4/10

For an official non-mini Maker Faire the overall attendance and size were disappointing I must admit. The organisation expected many more visitors, just like the restaurateurs, staff and makers on the faire. On Saturday Maker Faire Paris had about 3000 visitors, Sunday a bit more. The Make organisation expects non-mini Maker Faire to have 20000+ visitors and to have more makers. In Paris there were about 100 makers. Looks like it’s been partially set up to be a regular big Maker Faire, but not on all sides (maker acquisition and promotion).

Great location (but small) 7/10

The location was beautiful. With a factory and make feel, it realy suited the event. If Maker Faire Paris would have attracted 15000+ people I’m not sure they would have fitted.

PR & Communication 4/10

Every-single-thing was in French, website to tickets. Signs to flyers. That might be the reason why the Maker Faire Paris didn’t get noticed much beforehand.

Good, real makers 8/10

A big complaint of larger Maker Faires is the commercialisation. Sometimes it’s even hard to find a real maker amongst the vast see of commercial booths. Not so on the Maker Faire Paris. Very good, real makers and some commercial booths in a good balance. To be honest, I do like some commercial things to be on a Maker Faire. Buy some gear, pay for a workshop, support a maker, I’m all for that. But booth after booth with professional companies with way to slick a booth selling stuff, or endless rows of 3D printer (supplies) salesmen… that is not what a Maker Faire should be about IMHO.

Things to make 7/10

Making things at a Maker Faire is something I love. Even, or especially, if it looks like it’s for the kids. The Maker Faire Paris had some things you can make, like painting tiles, metal structures, potato stamping, the obligatory Make robot soldering, laser cut mini chair making and a ligth for a ligth wall.

Overall; great to visit

A good start, not a full Maker Faire. Very enjoyable meeting the French makers.

More of these Maker Faire reviews?

I put quite a bit of effort in this post, hope to do this waaay more. I’d love to blog about every Maker Faire I go to.


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