Viewing entries tagged
design

Clone Factory Bootstrapping

pouring a robot printer

As many of you know, we like to take action and move fast on things that excite us.  A couple of weeks ago, Open3DP announced their clonedel process, and we decided that we were going to be the first to jump on board.   I posted that we were going to do a Kickstarter project, and begin building a Distributed Clone Factory.

Unfortunately, Kickstarter didn’t see this project as fitting within their rules (I guess clone factories go on forever) and turned us down.   We moved ahead anyway, and have started ramping up on production of parts and mold kits.

It has been nine days since the github release (the actual open source plates), and we are starting to fill orders for parts today and will be pushing molds out later this week when we get more materials.    We have set up a page with paypal links for those who are interested in getting parts and molds, and just so there is no confusion,  the prices listed are introductory and will last throughout the month of March.   We don’t need Kickstarter, all we need is a project and the will to follow through.  We will continue to fill orders after April, but we’re pricing low to raise money for the shop and another project in the works, so after our initial offer, you can expect prices to go up a little.  Our main focus is not producing products, it is helping you make awesome things.

That said, this project is filling the shop with excitement, because it’s not just rapid prototyping, it is rapid replication on a local level.  With 3D printing and some knowledge (not a lot honestly) of mold making and casting, you can increase your output tenfold.  Push this out to the edge, and we move from centralized mass production to distributed mass production.  

Because we are bootstrapping Reprap with a cloned repstrap, there is no chance of being left behind in a dead fork either.  If your Clonedel is built, you can print an upgrade.  If it isn’t, you can get the latest bits cast.  The iteration time is so short from design to thing that we can actually ship a moving target and nobody gets left behind.

This is the future.

It is in a basement, not a garage.

_DSC5059.JPG_DSC4994.JPG_DSC4972.JPGmetrix clonedel

Here’s an oxymoron in action, a fail whale that works.   Our member Haven Skys has been playing with the idea of laser etched acrylic circuits, and has built his first prototype.    Silver conductive ink for the traces and a deep etch gives not only a circuit, but a working schematic styled resistor.   Add in a CR2032 battery and a couple of surface mount LEDs and you’ve got a working LED flashlight that shows off the win that is fail.

Here’s an oxymoron in action, a fail whale that works.   Our member Haven Skys has been playing with the idea of laser etched acrylic circuits, and has built his first prototype.    Silver conductive ink for the traces and a deep etch gives not only a circuit, but a working schematic styled resistor.   Add in a CR2032 battery and a couple of surface mount LEDs and you’ve got a working LED flashlight that shows off the win that is fail.

Procrastination can lead you down a pretty funny path sometimes.    A lot of you have asked us about flyers, business cards, brochures, and we’ve mostly just shrugged and pointed at the website.   Those things are important in a business, and it’s not like I don’t know that, but they’re fairly low on the stack of important things to do, and as I’ve said many times, I’m interrupt driven.   Last night, business cards jumped to the top of the stack because we’ve been doing some work for the Seattle Central Creative Academy Portfolio Show and around 6PM or so, we figured out we didn’t have anything to hand out at the show.   We have some nice veneer and a laser, so the most straightforward thing in the world for us to do is engrave and cut a business card.  Right?    So since this is one of those ‘straightforward’ things, and we have a big sign that says MAKE SOMETHING AWESOME on the wall, we started bouncing around ideas of what would make an awesome business card.   Would it be rounded corners?  Or maybe a cool die cut gear or something?  Should it fold up and become something else?   The hours started to tick away.   How about making something useful?  What can you make useful in a 2”x3.5” rectangle anyway?  I started to wander down the path of a DC motor.   A simple fold here, a bit of wire, a magnet.   This could maybe work.   Duncan and I pulled out the notepad.   To make a DC motor, we’d need to wind a rotor, stick some magnets on the side, and have brushes.   Kind of complicated.   Brushless DC might be simpler;  more awesome.    11:30PM, time for Inkscape.   With Duncan driving and an evolving idea, we start figuring out what we have at the shop, and whether or not we can do this in the time we have left.   Magnet wire?  Yes, we have 5lbs of it.  Magnets? hm.  only a couple, but good enough for a prototype.   Time for calipers, some wacky design and more caffeine.    By 3:00AM, we have a design.  Cut, assembled and Photographed.      Tonight we’ll see if we can drive it with an Arduino.   Maybe add our actual information to the card.   In the meantime, I’ve started in on a simple veneer card.  a 3mm plywood press-fit brushless DC motor business card might not fit in everyone’s wallet.

Procrastination can lead you down a pretty funny path sometimes.    A lot of you have asked us about flyers, business cards, brochures, and we’ve mostly just shrugged and pointed at the website.   Those things are important in a business, and it’s not like I don’t know that, but they’re fairly low on the stack of important things to do, and as I’ve said many times, I’m interrupt driven.  

Last night, business cards jumped to the top of the stack because we’ve been doing some work for the Seattle Central Creative Academy Portfolio Show and around 6PM or so, we figured out we didn’t have anything to hand out at the show.   We have some nice veneer and a laser, so the most straightforward thing in the world for us to do is engrave and cut a business card.  Right?   

So since this is one of those ‘straightforward’ things, and we have a big sign that says MAKE SOMETHING AWESOME on the wall, we started bouncing around ideas of what would make an awesome business card.   Would it be rounded corners?  Or maybe a cool die cut gear or something?  Should it fold up and become something else?   The hours started to tick away.   How about making something useful?  What can you make useful in a 2”x3.5” rectangle anyway? 

I started to wander down the path of a DC motor.   A simple fold here, a bit of wire, a magnet.   This could maybe work.   Duncan and I pulled out the notepad.   To make a DC motor, we’d need to wind a rotor, stick some magnets on the side, and have brushes.   Kind of complicated.   Brushless DC might be simpler;  more awesome.    11:30PM, time for Inkscape.   With Duncan driving and an evolving idea, we start figuring out what we have at the shop, and whether or not we can do this in the time we have left.   Magnet wire?  Yes, we have 5lbs of it.  Magnets? hm.  only a couple, but good enough for a prototype.   Time for calipers, some wacky design and more caffeine.    By 3:00AM, we have a design.  Cut, assembled and Photographed.   
 
Tonight we’ll see if we can drive it with an Arduino.   Maybe add our actual information to the card.   In the meantime, I’ve started in on a simple veneer card.  a 3mm plywood press-fit brushless DC motor business card might not fit in everyone’s wallet.