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In recent years we have seen a huge growth of interest in the maker movement – in other words, hobbyist arts, crafts, engineering, and science market.

Thanks to the wealth of information online combined the boom in 3D printing and low-cost single-board computers such as the RPI3, as well as other innovations; it is now easier than ever to experiment and build your own projects at home.

Make is one of the companies leading the way in the maker movement promoting people to take up DIY projects for computers, electronics, robotics, metalworking, woodworking and other disciplines.

Make started out as a magazine back in 2005 and has grown to become one of the core components of the maker movement.  Just a year after their magazine launch, Maker launched an annual public event called the Maker Faire to celebrate all things DIY including arts, crafts, engineering, and science projects.  The original Faire had over 100 exhibiting Makers, hands-on workshops, demonstrations and DIY competitions.

The Maker Movement, as well as the Faire, takes pride in embracing people of all ages and backgrounds. It doesn’t matter if you are a young child fascinated with building robots and space exploration someone hoping to get corporate investment in your prototype. You will always be welcome to come and show your work, learn new things, meet new people with similar interests and share your ideas.

Many makers that stick to their hobby go on to do it as part of their profession and the Maker Faire has been known to help enthusiasts take their hobby to the next level. There is a significant presence of companies and investors scouting out for new talent.

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Maker Faire Rome

If you would like to experience Maker Faire the official European edition is held in Rome on October 12 – October 14 all for a bargain price of 12 Euros for a single day pass, or a weekend ticket is 23-euros at full price with concessions available. You can buy the tickets from the Maker Faire Rome Website here.

Maker Faire Rome is the world’s second largest Maker Faire behind “Bay Area “ in California. The 2017 edition welcomed in Rome over 100,000 visitors and over 500 press & media.

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Getting around and weather

If you are travelling from Termini in the centre of Rome it is just a 1-hour journey via train to the event location at Fiera di Roma. The Italian railway system is much more efficient and also cheaper than the UK, so it is quite an easy journey.

October is one of the best months to visit Rome too, the peak tourist season is over, and the weather is cooling down with a pleasant average mean temperature of 16.4-degrees and average highs of 21.5-degrees.

I visited Rome in 2017, and it is as amazing as everyone says it is, not only is it a beautiful compact city full of friendly people, I found the cost of living quite cheap too. If you don’t eat in the touristy areas and go to the more informal Trattoria style restaurants, or pizzerias the food can be very affordable but still amazing. It is worth going to Rome just for the pizza, but also remember to try suppli which are deep-fried balls of rice with tomato sauce.

What to expect

Maker Faire Rome has a bit of something for everyone even if you are not particularly involved in the maker movement it is worth going just to experience it, and I can guarantee you will find something interesting during your visit.

There is a significant focus on children, with dedicated areas for the very young, children and youths aged from 4 to 15. There are areas to learn about and interact with electronics, robotics as well as programming. The earlier you get them started in these things, the easier it is to carry on learning and enjoy later in life.

There is an entire area dedicated to space and exploration with a large section devoted to spaceflight containing a celebration of the Makers of the Apollo Programme. As part of the Space area of the Faire, there are 2 notable keynote speakers. Don Eyles, software engineer of the Apollo Space Program and David Baker from the British Interplanetary Society

Robotics always has a big representation at the Maker Faire, and this year there is a more substantial presence with display set-ups from all over Europe. With the growing popularity of AI, there is also a keen focus on this sector.

Maker Faire Rome also hosts competitions for people getting their entry in early enough, this year there is one for innovation in the reduction of environmental impact and consumption of raw materials and environmental sustainability within African regions. The second is the creation of innovative solutions useful for meeting the real needs of people affected by any form of disability. Previous winners of the Care award include an optical wheelchair and an EMG driven exoskeleton

Overall, being based in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, with some of the best food you can get this is probably the greatest event on the planet to go to if you have an interest in tech DIY and crafting. This event is a fantastic way to meet new people, learn new things and discover the eclectic range of companies and products on the market.

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