Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Crowdfunding the Rygo

The aim of this project is to 3D print the Rygo with a DShape and install it outside of Gropp's Gallery in Vancouver. After some consolation with artist Bathsheba Grossman and Enrico Dini (inventor of the DShape), we decided to go with the Rygo. Now I am putting together a group of like-minded people to make a video to promote the project and decide what rewards would work best.

The video will have to be short (2 minutes or less), explaining what we are making, how we are making it and what people will get back in return.

What people will get back in return is a mix of access to the project, actual 3D prints (some printed by an ordinary printer, others by a DShape). The smallest will be things like thank you notes or internet control of the internal light of the sculpture (you can view via webcam). Low mid-range will be prints by our partner Buildatron. High mid-range rewards will be 3D prints of the Rygo. High-range rewards will be small prints by the DShape.

Contributions by donors will go towards the printing costs (about 3000 Euros per cubic meter), shipping costs (between 300-600 dollars per cubic meter or ton, which ever is highest), smoothing, finishing and installation (2,000 dollars).

We hope to get this project on Kickstarter or IndieGoGo by mid-January 2012 for 60 days.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Too Many 3D Printing Companies

Although 3D Systems has made it their goal to buy every single 3D printer manufacturer (i.e. ZCorp, Bits from Bytes), dozens of new ones are popping up (Buildatron, Printr, UP!, Techzone, Open3DP). So, all the technical expertise (and patents) are being eaten up by one company while a billion others without the expertise (but the tenacity) are proliferating. One wonders - are we gonna get good printers from these new companies, or is 3D Systems (or other big companies...Stratsys) are gonna bust out a kick-ass low-cost printer and wipe the floor with these new startups.


Well. Let's look regular 2D printers - 3D printer's older and better known cousin. They are difficult to run sometimes and break down, not to mention, run by a few big companies that tie their customers to their ink to keep printer costs low. I would place 2D printers as one of the more unreliable and bloated member in Consumer Electronics. Will 3D printers suffer the same fate?

As always, "The Oatmeal" is spot on.

Full Piece Right here

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Air Sponge

A few images of an invention I wish to develop in the future. Let's just say, we 3D print it and it cleans the air with a nano particle treated surface.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Fog That's Killing Us

Today it was announced that CO2 emission rose dramatically in 2010....bad news as it is, the worst part is that it was an unprecedented increase. Its on the high end of the IPCC's estimates for C02 emissions, trends that equate with a +2 C degree increase by 2100. For those unaware of that number, any increase of 2 degrees or more won't just hurt the earth (and by extension, us) but perhaps hurt its ability to sustain life in general. While we may concern ourselves with trivialities of celebrity life or fashion, we're killing the planet.

Concrete manufacturing (heating kilns to prepare cement), transportation (moving minerals and material), extraction (getting gypsum and aggregates) and impacts related to its use (manufacturing and discarding of formwork, use of rebar, poorly built structures that make building less energy efficient) we can be concerned. Concrete accounts for 7% of CO2 emissions, and we can reduce that significantly if we used 3D printing. But why?

Using local materials, we print everything. Using less formwork and labour, we reduce emission by complimentary goods. By using 3D modelling and programming, we can create more efficient buildings. One way is using the shape of the building to maximize energy use. Another is geometry - more flexibility and freedom in construction = less material used = less emissions. Whatever material we don't use in a DShape is reused. Whatever building we tear down we can reuse by crushing it up into aggregate and using it.

If you're worried about emissions, so am I. But there are solutions. It just means the concrete industry is going to have to realize they have to undergo deep structural change in how they operate, otherwise they'll be going out the door like the oil industry, the music or film industry.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Crowd-funding DShape

I've been considering Crowd-funding over the past few days - it makes complete sense to crowd-fund a sculpture. Here's why.

Great opportunity
-3D Printing is sexy and other printistas have managed to crowd-fund their designs. The most telling is Joshua Harkers Crania Anatomica Filigre He offered rewards like posters, thank you notes and a 3D print for certain donations amounts. And violá!, he raised 77,000 dollars from almost 1000 backers! So having a cool 3D print is worth it to people!

-My aim is to market the DShape and find investors. Crowd-funding is much better aligned with my interests and abilities because I have really only involved myself in the music industry - we are all about grassroots funding! Getting a lot of people to donate a little bit rather than one person to give a massive amount is what I think would fly faster. So far all the investors i talk to mention the recession. Ditto, its an emergent technology....why would I invest when i have no clue what sales or interest are like?

This vision plays in the Grass.
Furthermore, I want DShape to be rooted in DIY rather than big-investor least until we find the right, respectful investor. If this project is successful, that shows an aspect of solidarity with people's wishes to see something truly beautiful that they voted for with their cash instead of some bumpkiss pretentious architecture because it was backed by one developer's tasteless pile of money to make tasteless bullshit because they have no fucking taste.

Although we're choosing the sculpture - its only because there are limitations on what we can make. I had this fear that the first investor would want a sculpture of himself and his fucking dog. If we're making a bold move, it has to seem honest. It is also an opportunity to properly sand and smooth the sculpture.

Im moving back to Gropps Gallery after almost 18 months out.. we have a space to install the piece! Its near downtown, and its visible to the public. Also, we have the tools to properly install it.

So this is the plan for the next few months. Ive been in contact with a few designers...usually mathematical artists....George Hart, Carlos Sequin and (please!) Bathesheba Grossman. Depending on what prints best, we will choose one of these. I put a craigslist ad but all i got were character artists...should have been specific.

Mermaid's Delight by George Hart

Enchinoderm by George Hart

Tower by Carlos Sequin

Once we have a design, we price out the costs. I want the standard thank you note, poster and tshirt from 1 - 40. Plus, there will be a chunk of 3d printed material (i wish it was something designed...OH SHIT YES. I had a great idea. How about a 3D printed Pet Rock?) 50 to a 100 rewards are actual 3D prints from shape ways of our design. From 200 upwards we were thinking of actual DStone prints using the leftover space in the bounding box. Ring, linked chains of rock. Also, lamps...because they're easy to make. This all depends on what design we choose, the level of support structure 'within' the bounding box. In all likelihood, we may get Enrico to do a small print run of separate objects and send them here to be repackaged and sent to their respective donors.

Once that is figured out, we develop a video and the project site. Also - must find an american with an account...kickstarter only 'operates' in the US.

And of course, I have to get back to VANCOUVER! Im in ottawa and not to happy about it. SHould have left earlier. But then again, i have all this free time to develop this project. By the time December 31st rolls around, i should be ready to sell.

There are, of course, challenges. A single cubic meter of printed sculpture cost 2000 Euros...after shipping....maybe 2500 or about 3400 dollars. So, we have to raise between 10,000 and 20,000 dollars. Is that even POSSIBLE?