Maker Faire 2012 in pictures

The Crucible's FIRE! The Village included blacksmithing, foundry work, welding, glass blowing, Raku ceramics, jewelry making and other workshops.

Maker Faire is a one-of-a-kind annual festival outside San Francisco where robots mingle with humans, inventors show off their latest creations, and crafters lead DIY workshops. It is like a science fair—but way cooler. You can learn how to solder jewelry, build a seed bomb, interact with R2D2 and learn about the latest in 3D printing all in one day. This was my very first Maker Faire and I'm already counting down the days until next year's festival. Check out some of the highlights from Maker Faire 2012 after the jump.

Fred the Dalek says "Do not exterminate! Make! Make! Make!" Robots walking alongside humans is a normal sight at Maker Faire.

A fire-breathing dragon inhabits one of the parking lots at Maker Faire. Gon KiRin is a 69 foot dragon made from found metal and tires made by Ryan Doyle and Teddy Lo.

One of the many Arduino-powered projects at Maker Faire. Arduino is an open-source electronic prototyping platform. This project by KippKits is a compact cooling system.

Cool Neon's bendable, wearable neon wires use LEDs and phosphor to light up and are surrounded by vinyl so you can rock all colors of the neon rainbow. TechHive wire sculpted by Joanna Ginn.

Giant bikes, tiny bikes, bikes that look like rattlesnakes? Cycling was well-represented with Cyclecide, Fun Bike Unicorn Club, Austin Bike Rodeo, and Rock the Bike! all showing off their pedal-powered creations.

MakerBot Industries showed off the latest in 3D printing. This dual-headed printer lets you make 3D objects in two colors, like this plastic globe.

In other 3D printing news, Ponoko's Personal Factory API can be used to print mini ceramic pots.

Flux Foundation's Brollyflock sculpture consists of 55 umbrellas attached to a structure composed of steel. Nine of the umbrellas contain propane flame effects while the others are lit by an elaborate system of LEDs and are constructed from steel and nylon fabric. The lowest umbrellas feature periodic misting systems.

The Bay Area R2 Builder's Club build full-sized replicas of everybody's favorite droid.

Not to be outdone, the Wall-E Builder's Club represented its replicas of Pixar's adorable lovelorn robot.

The Marine Advanced Technology Education Center (MATE) provided kids with a frame, motors and switch-box controls to build their very own diving underwater robot.

Skulltronix's creepy, animatronic Skeletron thrilled and frightened Maker Faire visitors.

Robots and fire sculpture aren't the only things to see at Maker Faire. Many local food and beverage companies were also present, like Ritual Coffee's mobile cafe (nicknamed Sputnik). Ritual also had a coffee tasting as well as a talk about coffee growing and roasting.

This is just a sliver of all there was to see at this year's Maker Faire. For more information about the companies, artists and inventors shown here, visit the Maker Faire site. PCWorld was also present so be sure to check out their Maker Faire slideshow as well.

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