HP wows young and old at Corvallis Maker Fair (The CO-2017)
By Warren Volkmann, Editor
Oblivious to the 1-ton 3D Jet Fusion printer that HP volunteers had pushed and sweated into place beside the monitor, Ava’s attention was riveted on the HP video. She bounced as cubes scrolled across the screen. She jumped as they turned bright colors – cyan, magenta, and canary yellow. She clapped as they flexed to show elasticity, then sparked to show electrical conductivity.
Neither Ava nor her patient parents understood that one day Ava’s hair ties, her shoes, and even her polka-dotted outfit could be 3D printed.
When the dancing cubes – which HP calls “voxels” – disappeared, Ava was off. She dashed back and forth in front of the giant Jet Fusion printer, then headed out to the exhibition floor to see what else the Maker Fair had in store.
Fourth Maker Fair
This year’s CO·, held April 14-15, marked the fourth year that Oregon State University has hosted the community-wide Maker Fair. The event is spearheaded by Charles Robinson, who is faculty with the College of Liberal Arts and University Outreach and Engagement.
“As a maker group, our mission is to ensure inclusivity,” Charles said. “We espouse the path of R&D breakthroughs becoming commercial products, but we also like art, origami and non-traditional activities inside and outside STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). It’s great to see all these different groups side-by-side. We are glad to see HP here again. HP and OSU are both anchor institutions in the Corvallis community.”
2017 is the third year that the event has been branded “The CO·” a name taken from the prefix “co-“ which is the start of words like co-create, cooperate, collaborate, and also Corvallis. The CO· started as a 1-day event, but expanded to two days last year.
Second year for HP
This year was HP’s second appearance at the CO·. Tracy Lang and Larry Mull led a team of about a dozen HP volunteers. Larry spent most of Saturday showing children how to turn tongue depressers, duct tape and rubber bands into ping-pong ball catapults. “That was a kick in the pants,” he said.
Larry joined Tracy on stage to raffle off an HP inkjet printer.
HP 3D printing made its first appearance in a big way with the team hauling a 1,800-pound 3D Jet Fusion printer to the event.
HP blue wall
The car race, running on HP’s high-powered Omen gaming station, was a big hit. All afternoon kids stood in line waiting to put on the VR googles and crash their digital Indy car into a virtual wall. Another VR game let kids walk under dinosaurs. (One sister had to hold up her gyrating little brother.) At the trio of HP Sprout computers, kids played on a virtual piano keyboard, pretended to be disk jockeys, and solved “Spruzzles” – Sprout puzzles.
Print on almost anything
Corinne, a software developer on HP’s local Big Data team showed how HP is thinking way outside the box of paper. An upholsterer who frequently can’t get out-of-print fabric patterns was instantly excited by the potential of printing outdated patterns on new upholstery. HP printing makes short runs – or even a single “run of one” print – not only possible, but also much more affordable than in the past.
HP’s Tracy Lang, who is a volunteer member of the CO· leadership team, said “What excites me most about The CO· is how it exposes people to things that they have never have seen before. Some of HP’s products, like the Jet Fusion 3D printers, will change how things are made, bought and sold. That’s happening right here in Corvallis. HP has great people working on amazing new technology right here. Some of these kids may even come to work at HP one day.”
Exhibitors at The CO● 2017
- The Arts Center
- Ashbrook Independent School
- Bricks 4 Kidz
- Carrie Davis (Android automation and multimedia art)
- Corvallis Benton County Public Library
- Corvallis Geek Olympathon
- Crescent Valley High School Robotics Team
- Da Vinci Days
- Free-Choice Learning Lab: Cyberlab (OSU Hatfield Marine Science Center)
- Gearbox – Brick Circuit
- Go Baby Go (OSU School of Biological and Population Health Sciences, OSU CARS Club)
- Heart of the Valley Astronomers
- HP and the HP Makerspace
- Jeremy Smith: Mathematical Art
- Listen Up! Oregon Object Stories Workshop with Liddy Detar
- Mars Viking Mission: Preservation and Making
- Mobile Color Lab (Maddy Corbin)
- Oregon State University
- Applied Mycology Lab
- Art (Michael Boonstra and Andy Myers)
- Astronomy Club
- Craft Center
- Libraries & Press
- Music Production Collective
- Open Source Lab
- OPEnS (Openly Published Environmental Sensing Lab)
- Orange Media Network Photo Booth
- Precollege Programs
- School of Writing, Literature and Film: Digital Humanities Projects
- Patrick Hackleman and CEI/Artworks
- Pi Dads
- Project X: STEM Outreach
- SAC Academy (OSU School of Arts and Communication: Shar Fagersten and Yuji Hiratsuka)
- Thinker Tinker Trailer
- Solid Fuel Studios