Making Dreams and Inventions a Reality at Maker Faire Bay Area
Maker Faire features innovation and experimentation across the spectrum of science, engineering, art, performance and craft and the Bay Area event was the first, and continues to be the largest, in the world. This extensive group of “makers” is always looking for new products that can help with the success of their inventions and BWG provided information and hands on demonstrations of numerous linear and rotary motion control items that could be utilized in the easiest to the most demanding of ideas.

As evidence of BWG’s commitment to events that promote such strong STEM values, several company leaders took time from their weekend to participate in the Maker Faire. Their experiences with attendees provided unexpected encouragement, inspiration and an excitement to do even more with this diverse and engaging group.

Brian Burke, BWG senior product manager, said, “I spoke with an aviation enthusiast who suggested he could use some of our products on his realistic flight simulator. I had another interesting conversation with a man who designed and installed equipment on the largest ground based telescopes in the world. He mentioned that our DualVee size 4 wheels are used on a critical part of the telescopes in South America where they must guide an aperture precisely. Our products are critical to the function of the telescope.”

Conversations with families to seasoned engineers kept Scott McClintock, vice president of marketing and technology, busy and constantly intrigued during the event. “I enjoyed hearing a dad explain a linear slide to his kids and the importance it has in making a machine move properly. I talked with multiple seasoned engineers and builders developing CNC mills and 3D printers in their garage and each has a solid vision, desire and skill set to make it happen. The best discussions also included looking at photos from someone’s cell phone so they could show me the cool machine they had in the works.”

Numerous attendees were quite familiar with BWG products as they were already using them in their Maker Faire inventions or they worked at companies utilizing the products in large-scale projects. Justin Schubert, BWG’s northwest territory sales manager, met an attendee looking to develop an automated fish feeding application that would keep fish healthy, while also keeping the tanks and filters clean. While still in the early development phase, it was clear that the Bishop-Wisecarver products could help with the design and it was a detailed, interesting discussion. Justin also talked with an engineer for an electric truck manufacturing plant looking to restart production and discussed what was needed to make that successful. “It was inspiring seeing ordinary people taking ideas, putting them into a production phase and displaying them,” he said.

Burke mentioned, “I was impressed with the massive number off attendees, each with his own ideas and ambitions. Maker Faire provides ideas and tools to accomplish almost anything and I enjoyed seeing some of the incredible creativity. There was a display of a giant squid that would move when hand wheels were turned by the crowd. It was all rusty bare metal, but the joints moved in a very lifelike fashion. The eyeballs were made from vegetable steamer baskets and dilated like real eyeballs!”

From a BWG perspective, McClintock emphasized the company’s commitment to this community of builders and inventors. “At BWG, we have heavily invested our time and resources with the FIRST robotics program and the Maker community is an extension of this amazing program. There is so much overlap that there is even a section of the show dedicated to the local FIRST robotics teams so they can display their robots. Our extensive BWG product line, and commitment to the highest quality, was recognized and noticed by even the toughest of critics in the hobbyist, FIRST robotics and professional business realms.”

“As a first timer at this event, I was blown away by the level of creativity I saw at the Maker Fair and it was inspirational on so many levels,’ said Melsha Winchester, marketing director at BWG. “It reiterated the fact that impossibility is only limited by your imagination. If you can dream it, you can find a way to create it.”

This ability to dream keeps the event growing according to McClintock. “I’ve attended this San Mateo event for the last 10 years and have personally seen it grow from a few thousand hard core geek dads with the kids in tow to the jam packed event it’s become. It is amazing to see how everyone is open to new ideas and they are excited to learn and try new things with no fear of failure. I can’t wait to be here with the BWG booth again next year!”