On Sept. 21 and 22, the World Maker Faire descends on New York City. It's a festival featuring all things made by hand, from handcrafts to sophisticated science projects—a real treat for DIYers. And Consumer Reports is joining the exhibitors this year.
Consumer Reports has a lot in common with the so-called maker movement, and our collective DIY mindset melds well with the spirit of Maker Faire. We test all sorts of products in our labs—vacuum cleaners, smart phones, baby strollers, you name it—and frequently project leaders and technicians have to build their own testing devices.
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When we started testing treadmills, for example, we needed a way to test their durability. So we built a machine we dubbed Johnny Walker (shown). It's a spinning aluminum drum with "feet" attached that's propelled by the running belt of the treadmill, simulating a 170-pound runner.
We've also built machines to test dental floss, pedometers, tablet battery life, and much more. We even recently purchased a 3D printer to create custom pieces for our testing fixtures.
At the two-day event, held at the New York Hall of Science in Queens, we'll be showing off some of our testing creations. Also stop by our booth to watch videos of our labs and meet some of our lab experts, who love to escape their testing duties and meet real people once in a while!
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