We are packing the models that we are taking to SIGGRAPH today and I wanted to show you a really cool one. It is Bathsheba's Klein Bottle. This is a mind blowing model and it is a really distracting object to have about the office. You see people pick it up, scratch their head and try to wrap their minds around it all the time. I don't know if you can see it properly from the photographs but a Klein Bottle is a "non-orientable surface". It does not have a distinct 'inside' and outside. You can read more about it here or check it out on Shapeways here.
Bram Cohen is not only the creator of BitTorrent, the protocol responsible for between 25% and 55% of all internet traffic, but also the creator and co-creator of a number of great puzzles that he sells on his Shapeways Shop. Intrigued by yet another Shapeways Community Member with their own wikipedia article (5 and counting) and the obvious dichotomy between someone that has done more than almost anyone else to make Intellectual Property immediately and widely available for free while whilst now selling his own IP online, I decided to interview Bram.
Joris: Bit Torrent makes it possible for anyone to download content from the web. People critical of it say that it is a tool for infringing Intellectual Property. At the same time you have a Shapeways Shop where you basically sell models based on your own intellectual property? Do you see the duality?
A 3D printed bust of a horror writer who died in 1937. These are uses of the technology that I don't think anyone could have come up with. In addition to Heinrich's bust we also have more HP Lovecraft things on Shapeways.
SolidSmack has a great post about Space Claim, a company that is bringing multi-touch to CAD. You must see the video. They have a second post with an interview with a Space Claim Co-founder.
Fabbaloo had a post a while back on 3D printing batteries. I simply can not believe that I missed it! That was kind of the missing link to my "make your own ipod" project. Circuits are possible and this means that your electronics are the housing. If you can then spread a battery out over the circuit/housing you could see some real fun with changing designs & form factors.
While the first two posts are all about dreaming of the future Replicator takes us into the past. With two 60's desktop manufacturing tools that allowed kids to make toys.
We loved Extrudedqwerty's(Stephen Yurkevitch) Stylus designs, so together with 16 year old Stephen we decided to launch a Stylus Creator. Choose a design you like, type in your initials and you can get your very own 3D printed customized stylus.
You can pick from Stainless Steel 3D printed styli or White, Strong & Flexible printed styli. The Stainless Steele styli are $29.95(including shipping) and the White, Strong & Flexible styli are $9.50. You can also get a set of three White, Strong & Flexible styli for $25.
Thomas Thwaites is trying to build a toaster from scratch, by hand, by himself. As I tried to explain in the previous post I think that this is just about the coolest art project ever. Luckily for us he thinks Shapeways is, "totally great, bringing on of the future!" and so he answered a few of my questions.
He takes a simple cheap every day household item the "Argos Value Range 2 Slice Toaster" and bombards it with all the fetishism and bombast usually reserved for more 'deserving' things such as cars. It shows us that he is serious about his subject, his challenge.
Joris: What was the most difficult thing to do so far?
Thomas: Making the iron (originally i was planning on making steel, but as iron
was so difficult i realised that steel for now, is well out of reach of
'the common man'). My first attempt at smelting in a furnace burning
coke melted the ore - and i think i refined it to some degree, but the
black hard, magnetic, metallic tasting lump that i got out at the end
wasn't workable into toaster shapes. I therefore resorted to the
microwave smelting - that took a lot of experimentation with different
times, crucibles, mixtures of coke and partially refined ore, etc. I
got workable iron in the end though, but it was a long process.
Joris: Are you bored with mass production?
Thomas: I think mass production is quite amazing as a system, the look of most
products is quite boring... and
even highly 'designed' stuff by 'designers' I find a bit dull; I went
into one of those
'design' shops in Rotterdam and was just quite bored by the kind of
witty takes on objects that it was filled with. I think the aesthetic
of 'products' needs to become a bit more raw - less smooth cases
covering everything. I also think that the authenticity of making
something yourself is extremely important.
Joris: What made you take on this project? People getting out of touch with technology and divorced from it because of its complexity?
Thomas: I was curious to see if I could do it, but I also wanted to add
something to the debate around the environmental/economic crisis The
need to buy less stuff to protect the environment, and the 'need' to
buy more stuff to maintain the economy seem to be on a collision
course. There's a feeling in some circles that we should retreat to
self-sufficient ways of life - I wanted to investigate what this would
Joris: Could I buy your toaster?
Thomas: Yes, but it would cost A LOT more than the £3.94 'value' version on which it was based! It is after all, unique...
Congrats to Thomas for his now working toaster and this fantastic project! He is basically doing by himself for one thing what Shapeways, in due time, wants to do together with you for all things. I'm now off to convince my girlfriend that his toaster is a household appliance that we need.
Thomas Thwaites is attempting to build a toaster. "I'm trying to build a toaster, from scratch - beginning by mining the
raw materials and ending with a product that Argos sells for only
£3.99. A toaster."
I have no words on how completely awesome this is. Increasing complexity in technology divorces us from the things around us. Complexity means that we can not understand, repair and tinker with the everyday objects that surround us. A toaster is one of the simplest electronic devices we have but to reduce the entire supply and manufacturing chain to one single person is a huge feat.
We've been bouncing some ideas of each other and playing with some concepts with regards to the new Creators. One of the things we've been thinking about is a ring in Silver. You could make it with a Creator tool and a Sterling Silver finger ring would be your result.
We have a few now in the office and some of us love them while others wonder if people will want them.
Apart from the obvious: we've kind of painted ourselves in a corner with the whole naming thing because our napkin rings which are called Ringpoems, we've been trying to find out if we should build the tooling for you to be able to make these customized silver rings.
So: would this be something that you would like to have, make and buy? Or would you give it a pass? The rings might be as much as $100 because the process of making them is rather expensive.
Would it be something that you would like to make for yourself?
Could you see this as a gift for your significant other?
Or would it be much more likely that you would purchase a cheaper Stainless Steel ring?
Or would you never ever buy such a thing?
Any comments would be very much appreciated. If you want one, email me (joris (at) shapeways (dot) com) and I'll see what I can do.