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Lessons Learned from Austin Maker Faire | The Wand-Ring Project

I showed the wands off to the public at Austin Maker Faire on May 4, 2019 and learned a lot.

  • Young boys like to shake things very vigorously.
  • Thinly-printed PLA plastic breaks when shaken vigorously.
  • If the wand shaft and handle are separate pieces joined at the neck, that connection need to be very secure or it will fail.
  • PLA wands break easily in the plane they’re printed on when you drop them on concrete.
  • I need to add a fragility warning to the descriptions in the store.
  • More people than you’d expect will press a button with no idea of what it does. (The wands got turned off a lot.)
  • Having only audial or only visual feedback is not sufficient. Both work really well.
  • Younger children liked the blocky wand more than the round wand. I’m calling this “The Minecraft Effect.”
  • The dueling spells are too hard to cast – especially the “ball” part of any attack spell. I’ve simplified it.
  • Some (a few) people were ready to buy right on the spot.
  • Print cheap info cards on bright paper, like fluorescent green or yellow.
  • Restrict access to your stuff. Do not let people access both sides of your demo table (for example).

I need to redesign some of my wand shells and learn about how to print with plastics other than PLA. It was a good experience. I’m feeling pretty good about the entire thing. Yay!

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