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Making it at the Calgary Maker Faire

Calgary makers show off their genius and their handiwork at annual expo

Jeff de Boer made fully functional armour, for mice.

Aaron Chatha / Metro

Jeff de Boer made fully functional armour, for mice.

The annual Maker Faire made it’s way through the Telus Spark on Sunday, giving Calgary’s up-and-coming creators a chance to show off the amazing feats of craftsmanship they accomplished with their hands, dreams and a little bit of gumption.

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Aaron Chatha / Meto

Amplifier

Chris Czech assembled a guitar amplifier throughout the day, using vacuum tubes, as he often does with his company Swamp Donkey Amps.

“When I was a kid, I was taking apart old radios and TV sets and then in high-school they taught me this,” he said. “What really got me into it was diagnosing problems.”

Czech spent 25 years working in a completely different career before returning to his passion.

Aaron Chatha / Metro

Tesla Coils

Ten-year-old Aprid Mayer is really smart. He spent the Faire showing off his Tesla coils.

“A Tesla coil is an air coil resonant transformer that creates a magnetic field from the primary coil to the secondary coil. It also transforms the voltage,” he stated matter-of-fact-like.

Then he made the coils play Beethoven.

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Aaron Chatha / Metro

3D Print Recycling

Colin Pischke, owner of Print Your Mind 3D, was showing off his 3D printed prosthetic hands – and discussing how to make printing a cleaner technology.

“Anybody who owns a 3D printer, they create a lot of waste, but there’s not solution for what to do with that,” he said. He hopes to find ways to reused the material – and to 3D print components to help grow food.

Aaron Chatha / Metro

Tiny Overlord

Wilson Leong used the Faire as a chance to playtest his latest game – Tiny Overlord.

“Essentially, it’s a side-scrolling shooting game,” he explained. “You play as an escaped robot. You’re out of control, destroying cities and taking over the world.”

He said game design has been a growing passion, and was promoting the resources available through the Calgary Game Developers Association.

Aaron Chatha / Metro

Mouse Armour

It’s fully functional armour made for mice.

“You need some magic in the world,” said creator Jeff de Boer. “I think there’s a real metaphor here for a little guy surviving in a hostile world.”

Unfortunately, getting mice in the armour can be a bit difficult.

Which is kind of a shame, considering how many real life dangers, like cats, are out to get them.

Also, de Boer makes cat armour too.

Aaron Chatha / Metro

Thought-controlled dress

Originally created for Make Fashion, Angela Coombes thought-controlled dress changes colour to show how the mind reacts while on music.

“Anything that’s reds and yellows is higher frequency activity and blues and purples are lower frequency, more meditative, relaxed states,” she explained.

Since the dress debuted, it’s been touring at Make Fashion events internationally.

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