KCAD To Showcase Technology and Programs at Confluence Fest

Posted September 20, 2023 in community, Product Design, News

KCAD's booth at the 2022 Maker Expo at Confluence Fest.L to R: KCAD Product Design Professor/Program Chair Jon Moroney with Product Design student Caleb Voisine-Addis and Product Design Professor Phil Renato at the 2022 Confluence Maker Expo.

Confluence, a multifaceted festival that explores what’s possible when art, music, science and technology converge, returns for its third year on September 22-23 at Rosa Parks Circle in downtown Grand Rapids. Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University (KCAD) is excited to renew its collaboration with Confluence, promising a dynamic display of creativity and innovation.  

The Maker Expo on Saturday, Sept. 23, presented by Ferris State University, is a diverse showcase of enthusiasts, crafters, hobbyists, engineers, artists, and organizations who create amazing things in celebration of the DIY spirit. From 10 am – 6pm, makers will come together to share their work and experimentation across the spectrum of science, engineering and art. 

KCAD’s Maker Expo booth will highlight its product design tools, technologies, and processes, including 3D modeling and rendering, fiber laser cutting, and more. The booth will offer interactive demonstrations using the fiber laser where visitors can receive a custom engraved coin. KCAD staff and faculty members will be on-site to share how students employ the tools and technologies to take ideas from sketches and digital models to physical objects.  

“Confluence is a celebration of art, design, and technology with a community of fellow makers and innovators,” says Jon Moroney, KCAD Professor and Product Design Program Chair. “We are excited to demonstrate some of the technologies that enable KCAD students to experiment with their ideas as they pursue their passion for art and design." 

Ferris will feature its School of Digital Media, including the Television and Digital Media Production truck, showcasing the full range of its students’ gaming capabilities, from competition to casting to production.

Custom engraved coins from the fiber laser at KCAD's Confluence Maker Expo booth.Maker Expo visitors can stop by the KCAD booth to take part in an interactive demonstration to create their own custom engraved coins. 

The Innovation Showcase spotlights gaming and the regional organizations that are driving it forward. This year’s esports competition, co-produced by Ferris, will host four collegiate teams and four high school teams to compete in Super Smash Bros. tournaments. The winning team in each division will receive prizes and a custom trophy designed and produced by KCAD, utilizing some of the same technologies on display at the college’s Maker Expo booth.  

Custom designed and produced trophies for Confluence 2023 in progress.Sneak peek of the custom designed and produced trophies for the 2023 esports competition at Confluence Fest.

Between matches, festival attendees will be invited to play onstage and experience the full thrill of competition. The tournament and gaming experience runs Saturday, Sept 23 from 10 am – 6 pm. All events are free and open to the public. For more information about Confluence Fest, visit confluencefest.com. 

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