Barnes & Noble Revs Up Weekend Fun with 3D Printing at Nationwide In-Store Mini Maker Faires

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barnes_noblelogoBarnes and Noble. Just those three words elicit a sense of comfort. You can almost smell the new books, feel your eager feet resting on the escalator, and summon up that luxurious feeling of browsing and turning crisp, white pages for hours on a Saturday. This is our idea of a good time.

And the fun is about to get seriously revved up in high-tech as the nation’s largest retail bookseller hosts the first retail Mini Maker Faire in coordination with Make: Magazine.

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Dale Dougherty

From November 6-8, customers will be able to enjoy weekend time at Barnes and Noble immersed in a variety of activities, workshops, and presentations regarding 3D printing and peripheral technologies like robotics, high-tech products, and a lineup of numerous ‘Meet the Makers’ guests, such as:

  • Dale Dougherty, the Founder and Executive Chairman of Maker Media/Maker Faire
  • Simon Shen, CEO of XYZprinting
  • Ayah Bdeir, Founder and CEO of littleBits
  • Nader Hamda, Founder and CEO of Ozobot
  • Parker Thomas, Inventor of Maker Studio
  • Bill Ritchie, Founder of ThinkFun

In a comprehensive event full of educational fun, customers at Barnes & Noble will have a roster chock full of things to choose from, including participating in interactive demonstrations, learning about programming, coding, and 3D printing, as well as other comprehensive experiences. Three different experiences will be offered with Meet the Makers, Make Workspace, and Make & Collaborate.

“One of the things we’re most excited about with this new partnership with Barnes & Noble is the unique ability to provide Makers nationwide with an authentic Mini Maker Faire experience concurrently simply by visiting their local store” said Sherry Huss, Vice President of Event Operations and co-founder of Maker Faire. “The incredible lineup across almost 650 Barnes & Noble stores will provide seasoned Makers with a fulfilling experience and introduce new audiences to the growing Maker Movement.”

The Make Workspace, where leading products will on display and allowed for interactive use as well, includes:

  • The da Vinci Jr. 1.0 3D Printer from XYZprinting
    Ozobot, which makes learning about robotics and programming easy
  • Sphero SPRK Edition, teaching coding and programming, powered by Nook
  • The Slipstream Drone from Protocol, a 4-channel radio-controlled mini quad copter
  • Meccano Meccanoid from Spin Master, a four-foot-tall, programmable, walking, talking robot for children

For the Make & Collaborate programs, they will offer the following for kids:

  • ELENCO Electronic Snap Circuits which actually form to create working circuit boards
  • littleBits, which are simple to more advanced building blocks that offer circuitry and electronics, with magnetic capabilities
  • Maker Studio from ThinkFun, offering engineering parts such as gears, spools, connectors, wheels, rods and hubcaps, meant to inspire making with fun and learning
  • LEGO Bionicle Bricks, which allow kids infinite fun in building

MF_blog_1-632x360Although all of the previously mentioned products are pretty fun for kids and adults, the Mini Maker Faire will cater to the more mature set also with the Extraordinaires Design Studio PRO. Sold only by Barnes & Noble, the package set challenges innovative thinking with a three-step process that involves research, design and improvement. Also offered is access to the LEGO Architecture Studio, a more adult-style LEGO for those interested in architectural designs. It can also be used for rapid prototyping of multiple designs.

Some Barnes & Noble locations will offer a Raspberry Jam event on Saturday, November 7th at 2 p.m. Designed to offer exposure to the Raspberry Pi, users will actually learn how to program the tiny computers through hands-on projects. Experts on the Raspberry Pi will be on hand at some locations, such as Matt Richardson, co-author of Getting Started with Raspberry Pi, who will be at Barnes & Noble’s Emeryville, CA, store.

While guidance and instruction are included, participants are also included to enjoy making original creations. Select Barnes & Noble stores will also be offering a special Make backpack and Make project card decks with the purchase of a print subscription of Make: Magazine.

“Barnes & Noble is always focused on providing the best possible experience for our customers, and we think the Mini Maker Faire lineup takes this promise to the next level. The never-before-done schedule of events, interactive activities and speakers we’re announcing today sets a new standard for experiential retailing,” said Kathleen Campisano, Vice President, Toys & Games at Barnes & Noble. “We’ve put together a fully integrated schedule that allows customers to experience every aspect of the Mini Maker Faire, whether they want to pack everything into one amazing day, or come back each day over the weekend to make, collaborate and learn about something new.”

00neb04There will also be an ‘all-star panel event’ at the Barnes & Noble in Union Square (New York City) on Sunday, November 8 at 1 p.m. The panel will feature the CEOs and founders of numerous and highly relevant companies such as Simon Chen, CEO of XYZprinting, Bill Ritchie, Founder of ThinkFun; Rory O’Connor, Founder of The Creativity Hub/Design Extraordinaires; Anita Murphy, Founder of The Creativity Hub/Design Extraordinaires; and more.

That the event spans the entire weekend truly does give customers time not only to come back and learn more at their leisure–as well as make more–but also allows them to tell friends and family and share what they’ve seen–as they all return for more. Along with the fun and sharing, Barnes and Noble also invites everyone involved to upload pictures from the events to social media, using hashtags #BNMakerFaire or #MakerFaire.

Discuss this story in the Mini Maker Faire forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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