Being at a Maker Faire means lots of wandering around and meeting new brands and projects.
Futura caught our attention at Maker Faire Rome, because of its booth, full of making tools, an interactive LED screen and a chocolate 3D printer.
We caught up with Boris Landoni, the Technical Director to find out more about their mission.
Futura is a magazine and a shop. Can you tell us more about the structure?
The magazine is for makers. We send the magazine to our 6,000 subscribers, mid-level schools, high-schools, universities and engineers. Our site is also international for English speaking audience, where we review the products we stock or we’re looking to stock and we also have a catalogue of all the products.
The magazine works pretty well because many people buy it to read about a product they may be interested in, before buying it.
How do you decide on the content for the magazine and also which products you’d like to stock?
There are cases that we make projects that can be inspired by the news. For instance, with the big earthquake that happened in Italy, we created a little breakout board to detect the earthquake.
There are companies that give us samples and we always try to build something, so the audience and our erasers can see what’s the potential for making with this product. If we see that there is a lot of interest and demand, then we’ll most likely to bring the product on our shelves.
You mentioned that you also have an English website. What kind of content do you share there?
Open Electronics is the place, where people can read our most successful stories, projects and also see what’s new in the market. We try to explain the schematics, PCBs, pretty much everything, so the people can create their own project ideas or get inspired and start with something simple.
What does your readership consist of for the magazine?
As I mentioned we have schools, universities, but our biggest focus is the makers’ community and educational sector. We also work with companies as in the case with the earthquake detector. They asked us to build the sensor for them, so they can use it. So, our audience is quite diverse, but we always want to attract more and more makers.
What do you think differentiates you from other Electronic shops?
The main difference is the fact that we have both a magazine and a store. The magazine works as a support to the shop. Usually, whatever we feature in our magazine, then it will have a big success in the catalogue. Our purpose is to educate and help the makers community through our magazine.
What are you hoping to achieve from Maker Faire Rome?
We’re coming to Maker Faire Rome every year since it started. We also try to visit other Faires around the world to get ideas and see what lies ahead for technology.
We make our new 3D printer, which is unique because it moves the plate and not the head. Maker Faire helped us to find partnerships and sell these 3D printers. This is the first 3D printer that you can print chocolate, pretty unique for the market. So, our intention is of course to expand our awareness, but also to find new collaborators.
We’re also makers ourselves and we enjoy making new projects using new products and technologies and also make our own products. However, we’re a small team of 15 people, we have many collaborators that help us with the products and new projects.
Do you also have any kind of sponsorship? For example, if someone comes with a new board idea and ask you to make something with it.
Yes, of course. We prefer to get the samples, built a project or a module and then run a contest for our community with sponsored products by our collaborators. We’re very open to new products and ideas and we love to have new people to work with.
Images: Futura & Bare Conductive