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I am Feroze Ali, Sophmore at Pittsford Sutherland Highschool. For a while now, I have been considering what to put here, and what to leave out. But, I realized that sharing about myself is a huge positive, so here I go. It would be silly for me to say that it all started at SouthXSouthWest, but it's true. While my Father, Nasir Ali, was at SXSW, he gave me a call, immediately prompting eight-year-old Feroze if he wanted an M3D Micro 3D printer. At the time, I had thought 3D printers were a work of StarTrek, or more accurately, SpyKids. So I said, "Sure, that would be fun!"Unknowingly, I set myself up for 3 years worth of tinkering with the M3D Micro to get it up and running. 3 years later, I got my second 3D printer(CR-10), with soldering knowledge and machine safety knowledge I had gained from the Le-Moyne College Makerspace in Syracuse NY. Using this printer, I was able to experiment with business, raspberry pi's, hobby electronics, and videography. This led me to purchase 7 more 3D printers and gave me a heart-aching obsession with the craft. In the meantime, I was starting 3DFeroze as a way to prototype for others and share my projects. Around this time, in 2017, I went to the World MakerFaire In Queens. Then, I grew an obsession with projects and networking with others who had similar interests. Because of job searches, my family and I moved to the Suburbs of Rochester NY in the summer of 2018.


That fall, I went to the Rochester Mini Makerfaire for 30 Minutes to look around. While I found some interesting projects, I didn't meet anyone who was willing to talk to a 12 year old. The next year, however, I met three people at the Makerfaire that would change the course of my next 2 years. The first was a Maker from Penfield NY, who, while trooping with the 501st Garrison, joined the Penfield Robotics team and built an R2D2. Amazed with his creation, I continued to look for inspiration. I next met Uncle Jessy and Kevin Volo, from their respective youtube channels where they print and paint props from pop culture. They convinced me to make many of the projects that I am proud of today. Finally, I met Jill Freeman from the Rochester Awesome Foundation, an organization built to fund projects. They were giving away a $500 check to the best project Idea posted on their wall. For some reason, I thought it was a swell idea to post that I would make an R2D2 for a children's hospital.


Well, I won the prize, as well as a huge burden that would sit on my back until today. For the first year, progress was slow. While the COVID pandemic had hit my school, it also allowed for a team of Rochestarians to create 3D printed face shields for Front Line workers. Funny enough, this group was created by me in the Rochester Subreddit. The next 10 months were dedicated to producing more than 2,000 face shields. With the R2D2 having been held back a year, I started to make more progress on his dome. The beginning of 2021 was filled with broken 3d printers and a halt of progress. But later on in the year, I enrolled in a Columbia physics program, giving me the motivation to finish the legs of R2. Around August of 2021, I signed up for a booth at MakerFaire Roc 2021. This gave me the means and the motivation to finish r2d2's structure. One week before the Makerfaire, I was able to finish the drives, the body, and the dome. And two days before the Makerfaire, everything was assembled. 

I met a lot of great people at this Makerfaire, including Tyler from Digikeys MakerUpdate show, Dan Shneiderman the event organizer, Bahij and Hana from Fulament, and many more makers! In the near future, I plan to attend MakerFaire Syracuse, so if you are in the area, come by and I may get to meet you!