12 Irish events taking place for European Maker Week

30 May 2016

With European Makers Week now in full swing, we look at 12 events taking place across the island of Ireland that will bring together makers – both new recruits and veterans.

Europe is a continent of makers and innovators, whether it’s the latest developments in the internet of things (IoT), or just tinkering around with making some robots, and now we have a whole week to celebrate this with European Maker Week (EMW).

The EMW initiative is a collaboration between the EU and Startup Europe to create a week in which people of all backgrounds can attend a number of meet-ups to build and design whatever their minds can think of.

With two objectives in mind, the organisers hope to not only create awareness about the importance of the maker culture to foster an education of creativity and innovation in all schools across Europe, but also build bridges between local authorities and media and the main players of their own local makers ecosystems.

Taking place from today (30 May) to 5 June, EMW has around 500 events scheduled to take place across the continent during the week, which will also include the first-ever EU Institutional Maker Faire in Brussels on 31 May.

The event will feature a number of Europe’s leading makers and advocates for creativity, as well as workshops and exhibitions of some of the fascinating things that have come from DIY labs across Europe.

However, here in Ireland, 12 of the largest events taking place have been listed, spanning across the island ranging from boat building to getting to learn coding using Raspberry Pis, so here’s what you need to know if you’re looking to get making this week.

30 May

Limerick – Raspberry Pi and Python beginners’ workshop

Organised by Fab Lab Limerick and supported by Fab Foundation Ireland, this workshop will help people learn about the components of a computer, electrical circuits, python programming and more using the low-cost computer. Suitable for anyone aged 13 or over.

1 June

Derry – Future Artist Maker Labs

Future Artist-Maker Labs is an international programme of art-making, exhibition, training and networking, led by Nerve Centre in partnership with Ultra Lab Madrid and Fab Lab Limerick.

As part of the project, Fab Lab Nerve Centre is offering artists free access to advanced digital manufacturing technologies, design software, training and materials.

Derry – Take Over

Take Over is a new evening drop-in facility for anyone interested in design, making, hacking or just having some fun with digital fabrication technologies.

Users will have access to a full suite of machines, including laser cutters, CNC milling, vinyl cutters, 3D printers and embroidery.

Limerick – CNC Router 101

This event will show people from all disciplines how to use a CNC Router and no previous experience is required.

Attendees are encouraged to bring their own laptops on the night and any 2D drawing software they are familiar with.

During the night, the basics of creating a 2D drawing and then producing a cut object will be demonstrated through the course.

2 June

Derry – Intro to Design for Makers

This short introductory course will help students get an understanding of how to use 2D vector-based design software to generate outputs for machining within Fab Lab.

This event will be hosted in the Fab Lab Nerve Centre.

Limerick – Makers Talk

Makers Talk is a snapshot of some of the cool projects by various Limerick makers. A mixture of technical, electronic and digitally-fabricated projects will be on display, as well as speakers making their own 3D printers, Raspberry Pi-based automation systems, digitally fabricated lightweight tri-copters and more.

Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi image via Shutterstock

3 June

Belfast – Discover the World of Fab Lab

Fab Lab Belfast are encouraging people to see how the world of digital technology is changing the world on both a local and global scale.

Derry – Open Day

The Derry Fab Lab centre will be opened to the public, with those attending being able get a tour of the facilities, see demonstrations of the machines/processes, and maybe even make something for themselves.

Limerick – Open Night

Fab Lab Limerick will host an open night with tutorials and activities on 3D printing, scanning and laser cutting. Fab Lab Limerick will present a broad range of exciting and innovative technologies, with demonstrations and activities for all.

4 June

Leitrim – Fab Lab Open Day

Come along to Fab Lab Manorhamilton and experience digital fabrication up close and personal on its open day, where they will be giving demonstrations of 3D printing, 3D scanning, laser cutting, vinyl cutting and electronic prototyping.

Tipperary – Fab Lab Open Day

Drop by the Fab Lab in Cloughjordan in Tipperary to see digital fabrication in action and get hands-on making experience. All welcome, whether you’re an expert maker or just interested in finding out more.

Dublin – Boat Building Competition

TOG hackerspace in Dublin will be hosting its first-ever boat-building competition, where participants will create boats and run a time trial in its homemade tank.

Each boat will have to be smaller than 10cmx10cm and there will be a fan at one end to provide wind to your sails. Apart from a size restriction, the only other condition is no batteries. A special prize will be up for grabs to the boat with the fastest time.

3D printer image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic