REM

Drones lined with rainbow LED lights zoom pass. Children on steel, mechanical crustaceans charge through packed crowds. A giant metal octopus, named El Pulpo Mecanico, shoots bursts of fire into the sky. I’m walking around the grounds of the San Mateo Event Center—and it’s Maker Faire 2014.

As a passionate advocate for fixers, hackers, and makers alike, I have an embarrassing confession to make. I’ve never been to a Maker Faire. In fact, up until recently I wasn’t even sure what Maker Faire was. So I seized my chance to go to the weekend-long event with some of iFixit’s finest teardown engineers. We did over 7 live teardowns and worked in a booth with the great folks at ARM. It was awesome.

For those of you who haven’t attended DIY's greatest show-and-tell of the year (referred to by many as TEDx-meets-Burning Man), Maker Faire is a massive playground of projects, crafts, workshops, booths, and speakers. And as I explored the event—my eyes trying to keep up with the over-stimulation—I watched everything from a 3D printer creating a replica of Thor’s Hammer, to a team of 20 seamstresses collaborate on a multicolored quilt, to a popup glowing forest that kids used for an all day hide-and-seek game.

Here are some of my favorite moments from this year's Maker Faire in San Mateo:

Have you gone to a Maker Faire? Tell me what your favorite part is!