Sunday, June 14, 2015

At the East Coast Hobby Expo - ECHE 2015

It was my first 100+ km drive. It was a gloomy and rainy Sunday morning on the 14th of June. Though a little hesitant, I could not miss the East Coast Hobby Expo at Tweed Heads. So I drove and reached there around noon. I saw Elisa and Haydn manning a desk representing Techspace Tweed. Dalek and Tardis (models from Doctor Who TV series) built by Haydn stood proudly beside the desk. There were few gadgets lying around. The main feature of the desk though was a couple of 3D printers that were printing some designs. One of them was calibrated by me and one of the members last Thursday (yay!). As usual, I received a warm welcome. First, I decided to have a look around.

Techspace Tweed at ECHE 2015
I noticed that locomotive modeling was a main feature of the expo. There were quite a few stalls exhibiting model trains. While some of them were very sophisticated, some were more traditional. More modern ones were operated remotely with the help of microcontroller programming. They were operated through smartphones and tablet computers. I was talking with one of the members of a model train club. He said that they do it just as a hobby - 'There is no money in this for us'. The model train parts were available for sale for a very cheap prices. He also noted that it is a very old hobby that loosing popularity nowadays.

video

Apart from model trains, there were other model vehicles also - airplanes, cars, trucks etc. They all were locally made and were available to purchase for very reasonable prices.

Car, truck, models

Airplane models

I came across this woodworking hobbyist group also and found some fascinating woodwork designs. Surprisingly, most of the carvings were not available for purchase. Then, there were figure builders, War Hammer model builders, rug makers and so on. It was great to see so many people turning up and talking with the creators.
Some woodwork

Good for your FB profile picture?
 
A War Hammer Model

Figure/trophy modelling

Around 1.00, Caroline also joined us. Many people were quite interested about 3D printing. They were asking questions and we tried our best to make them understand what is going on. They also did not forget to take photographs with Dalek, despite he shouting out 'exterminate' whenever anyone comes nearby!

The proud and 'destructive' Dalek!
This expo was more towards artistic nature while the other exhibition I attended last year in Gold Coast (Gold Coast Maker Faire - Hack'n Show) which had a more science and tech color to it. We wrapped up around 3.00 pm and thought that it was a successful appearance at the expo. I had to drive 100+ kms again - well I wouldn't mind, I like driving!