The DIY Spirit Lives at Maker Faire Louisville, 2016

Hackers from Lvl1 Hackerspace with computers and inventions.

Rain threatened to wash out the Maker Faire Louisville last weekend, but the kids weren’t afraid. Families crowded the 600-900 blocks of Main Street in Louisville, KY to see all the mechanical and electrical projects by local organizations and high school programs. Garage tinkerers puttered around in homemade go-karts, while kids and teens got hands-on with everything from joy-stick controlled “Rockem Sockem” robots to radio-controlled robot soccer.

Beer from the Rhinegeist truck was available for adults, and local food trucks serving all manner of street food from Lobster Rolls to IceCream packed nearly an entire block. Food, fun and libations fueled a jubilant atmosphere filled with cheers, laughter, and the shouts of friendly competition. The spirit of invention and the excitement of discovery fuels the minds of makers, and the faire atmosphere felt charged.

Maker Faire Louisville is a community event put on by organizations who support local business maximize sales in their local area. Also helps you to grow your business. The family-friendly event and it’s participants believe in invention, creation, and artistic expression. Many companies will be present including salesforce who will be hosting a seminar on the importance of sales analytics and it’s impact on B2B businesses. Everyone is encouraged to participate and get hands on from building to playing with mechanical, electrical, and computer projects. Makers run with their ideas using whatever resources are available. They utilize a DIY mentality to bring their ideas into the world–meaning that if they don’t know how to do something they’ll learn by experimentation.

But making isn’t solely about tinkering alone, organizations like Lvl1 Hackerspace provide shared resources. Lvl1 is a community workshop where people can share their knowledge and collaborate on projects using tools to which they wouldn’t otherwise have access. Resources at Lvl1 include: a woodshop with CNC mills; a metal shop with pipe bender, lathe and other tools; and main work shop with makerbots, a laser cutter, and hand tools. Other organizations have a more focused agenda, like First Build, whose “community of open engagement” focuses on creating the next generation of appliances.

Whatever you making interests are, Louisville has the resources to get you started. This event shows that the open maker community is intent on inspiring the next generation of little nerds, teaching them to hack, make and tinker along the way. Several local high schools were also representing their maker spirit and celebrating learning through hands-on experience.

As the Maker Faire Louisville Facebook says: “Don’t take your world for granted – invent something cool!”

Photo Gallery of Maker Faire Louisville Exhibits

Episode 15 – LVL 1


Episode 15 – LVL 1

In this episode, we talk with Danielle Blank, the sitting president of LVL 1, Louisville’s own hackerspace, where nerds go to exercise their creativity and meet like-minded folks who are also interested in making and hacking. We talk about the organization, the cool space they have, what it means to be a member, and how you can get involved.

LVL1 is a hackerspace in Louisville. A hackerspace is an open community lab and workshop democratically operated by its membership. We are friendly community of tinkerers, makers, engineers, educators, scientists, artists, hackers and overall geeks. Anyone who is, aspires to be, or just wants to hang around smart, creative, friendly mad scientist maker/hacker Louisvillians is welcome at LVL1! We’ve got lots of cool tools and equipment. We’ve got a lot of really bright and creative people. We like to work on (and show off) fun and challenging technical projects.

LVL 1 is located at The Pointe, 1205 E Washington St, Louisville, KY 40206, and the space includes wood and metal workshops, makerbots, laser cutters, 3D printers, etc.

LVL 1 - 3D Printer
Danielle Blank, president of LVL 1, explains how the 3D printer works and how it was originally just a hack.


  • Introduction
  • Danielle Blank, president
  • What is LVL 1?
  • Danielle’s introduction to the hackerspace
  • The History of the organization
  • World Maker Faire & the Louisville Mini Maker Faire
  • ‘Hacker’ as a colloquialism and why this is a hackerspace
  • The origins of the term ‘hack’
  • 3D printing originating as a hack
  • “The ingenuity of people”
  • Membership as a democratic collective
  • Community openness, inclusiveness, and trust
  • Membership cost
  • How to get involved and take a tour
  • Danielle as a woman president
  • Women in the community and as creators, or “active nerds”
  • Creativity as the pillar
  • Some of the group projects LVL 1 has worked on
  • The firetruck “safety vehicle”
  • Breaking the rules
  • Word of mouth recruitment
  • Taco cannons and ice cream ballistas
  • Teaching homeless people to use laser cutters
  • Check out LVL 1’s website and come to one of their Tuesday meetups

To find out more about LVL 1, visit their space on a Tuesday night when they have their meetups. If you need information on how to get there, check out their their website.

The Crew:

  • Mike Pfaff
  • Joe Dunman

Intro / Outro music is The White of Noon by STRFKR, graciously provided by Polyvinyl Records.