Maker Faire Philadelphia 2024

On April 21 I got to exhibit some of my Lego creations at Maker Faire Philadelphia as part of a Lego fan display. It was at the Cherry Street Pier, which I hadn’t been to before.

I displayed a few of my newer buildings and my model of the Route 15 Girard Ave PCC trolley. I was joined by Dan from SnailLUG and Ben from BioniLUG. (LUG = Lego User Group)

Besides static creations, we also had a mini Great Ball Contraption (GBC) loop using several popular modules.

The GBC is always a big hit, but it can be a pain in the ass to run. We quickly discovered that the 9V Lego power supply we were using wasn’t strong enough to power everything. We switched over some modules to using battery-powered Powered-Up motors, but they’re not great for continuously running displays. They require either running the Powered Up phone app in the foreground or holding down a button on the remote. Plus, you need to keep a supply of fresh batteries on hand.

Several modules also kept jamming. Over the course of the day, the loop got smaller as we removed problematic modules.

Next time I’ll have to investigate alternative power supplies (even if they’re non-Lego). It would also be nice to have some other motorized/robotic Lego creations.

Other booths at the Maker Faire included several maker spaces, 3D printing, robots, beekeepers, model rockets, arts and crafts, lock picking and gaming startups.

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