BRCK at Maker Faire Africa: From Prototype to Production
[caption id="attachment_970" align="aligncenter" width="770"] The BRCK and Gearbox tables at Maker Faire Africa in Johannesburg[/caption] We've been excited to show up at Maker Faire Africa (old site) in Johannesburg for quite a few months, so actually being there yesterday was a big deal for us. Especially as we had driven 4,400km to be here and it was our primary goal for the journey. The BRCK table certainly drew our fair share of interest at Maker Faire Africa this year. While Maker Faires elsewhere often feature the likes of fire-breathing dragon statues and other impressive works of art, making in Africa has a slightly different tone. The Faire in Joburg had plenty of amazing artwork – not least of which was a 30-foot tall LED light sculpture made of CNC’ed plywood and steel that looked amazing as the sun went down – but it also featured a leveling device for brick layers to make high-quality masonry easier to achieve. There’s a strong enterprising spirit to many local makers, and lots of them were keen to learn BRCK’s story of starting a hardware company in Africa. From questions about sourcing components, to finding access to tools, financing, and marketing expertise, makers from across the continent wanted to know BRCK’s story of taking a uniquely African innovation to commercializable product. We held a joint workshop with the Gearbox team on how to take a product design from idea to prototype to production, and showed lots of people how they could leverage their experience in the local market and knowledge of the local context to develop innovative new products that no one else in the world would be capable of making. While this year's MFA is a bit smaller than in years past, we were still in great company with people building drones, robots, DIY kids electronics kits, 3D printers and a guy who built his own art car and skinned it in denim. (The best coverage is found on HTXT.africa. There were these guys who had built a small remote-controlled hovercraft who kept sliding it around, as well as a whole space setup for people to 3D print and make their own things.