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It’s Class Work

This week, we have decided to add a new tool to our skill set. In conjunction with our modeling designs and ongoing coursework in organics, we will be taking classes in the lost wax method of casting metals. Our offerings can now include solid aluminum, bronze, silver or gold versions of our synthetic prints. This process also lends itself to lapel-type pins or jewelry, which can then be polished and buffed to a higher degree than the first pass extruded 3D metal, and also eliminates the internal honeycomb design that is part of the 3D extrusion process. A total of six 3 hour classes begins May 11 and follows every Wednesday.

We’ve had so many great suggestions that we would like to try, but without digressing too far from our original market intent. The great thing about 3D printing is the many branches of design that can stand on its own as a business. Art has always been my first interest, but the business may take us in directions we haven’t considered yet. This may not be a conventional business after all, but an ever evolving one. Profit doesn’t equate to happiness, and I would rather be happy in my business with modest gains, than to bring in great revenue but hate what I do. So what we do today may be completely different than what we do tomorrow. Let’s have fun with this.

Quote of the week:

“The eye of man hath not heard, the ear of man hath not seen,
man’s hand is not able to taste, his tongue to conceive,
nor his heart to report, what my dream was”.
-Wm. Shakespeare

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Loose Ends

A disappointing snag has interrupted our business plan. We’ve been informed that we cannot trademark our own design output until we have a product out in the public domain. Which seems counterproductive to me. Why would one put a design out into the public before it’s protected? So our initial items will be available for public consumption in the opening phase, to be followed at a later date with another attempt to trademark our own design line.

At the end of this week, and as you read this, we will have purchased an additional year of training classes, in the geometric software, that will keep us updated with additional subject matter as they are added to the software developer’s bag of tricks and tips. There is a very steep initial learning curve, but we understand the software is consistently considered one of the top of the line offerings in quality.

Additionally, our polling and market research has led us to a trove of ideas for figure models. We’ve also seen some exciting things that can be accomplished with a hand held scanner. Demonstrations of scanned actual human figures, in a variety of poses, with amazing accuracy in detail have shown astonishing results and we are excited to try our own hand at this. We have also found a “bank” of 3D figure models that can be manipulated to our own needs, so the speed with which we can tweak our designs grows ever smaller.

It’s also been brought to our attention that many simple items that might take six weeks for a larger manufacturer to finish could be produced by us in a third of the time. We continue to be excited about our futue prospects in the many different areas of “on-demand” production.

Quote of the week:

“Graphic design is the paradise of individuality, eccentricity, heresy, abnormality, hobbies and humours.”

-George Santayana

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Steps Forward and Setbacks

Our attempts to solidify our trademark have hit a snag, so that will impact our forthcoming web page redesign, but it’s nothing that can’t be overcome and in any case won’t affect our business name. We also now have our post office box which will be noted on our web page, and with the receipt of our credit cards, we can now begin the purchase of equipment, supplies, and additional training classes in our organic design software.

As an update, we are continuing our research into payment services, a cloud file service for our digital record keeping, other advertising streams and we are also searching for a competent photographer for use in adding our finished models to our web content. Suggestions from our followers, our own constant web browsing and family and friends continue to keep us busy with many great ideas to include in our line of offerings. Some of these items could well stand on their own with a dedicated website, so we we are pleased that we have so many great ideas sent our way for inclusion to our output. It may be that we’ll have to whittle down our selection and incorporate a just few that we feel may be the most popular. It’s also possible that we will include them at some time in the near future, in the way of keeping a revolving, and interesting, product line.

At this time, there aren’t enough hours in the day to do proper justice to every aspect of reasearching, organizing, starting, managing and running a small business. Bookkeeping, purchasing, accounts payable, filing, reference books, shipping, photography, web design, payment services, file services, security protocols, licensing, permits, federal agencies, state agencies, packaging/ shipping/ mail services, transportation, to name a few of the areas of research we have been involved with. We take one to three areas each day, according to the complexity of the subject, and work to completion if possible. More often, we can only reach 90% of our goal in that subject or area, for example if we have to wait for another agency or research subject for completion of additional information, and then return to the initial area of concern to complete our progress. It’s a slow tedious process of organizing all of these areas until we finally have a solid foundation of strength that we can rely on as we step into the final mode of design and production.

Please bear with us and grow with us as we move forward, we hope the reward will be great!

Quote of the week:

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future”.    -Steve Jobs

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Why I Design

In my last post, I talked about languishing in the “hurry up and wait” mode. Two areas of our business are causing some waste of our 12 week cushion of being ahead of schedule. Our law clinic continues research into the application of our trademark and logo, with no indication of when that will be finalized for admission to the patent office. Secondly, our bank’s egregious omission in applying for our business credit card left us without means to make our purchases of software and equipment, setting us back at least four weeks. That should be resolved the week of this posting, let us hope there will be no more setbacks.

As far as my entry into the design culture, it all began when I made my only career decision after high school. I love the outdoors, and growing up in the southern U.S. allowed for the enjoyment of that for nine months of the year. So the decision was, do I want to work indoors or outdoors? I thought I might have a better opportunity relying on my brains than brawn, so I decided to parlay two years of design and drafting into my future earnings. Some years later I entered the art and music community of my city and eventually opened an art gallery, where I was fortunate to curate others’ works and involve myself with a spectrum of artists, styles and design methods. This was the beginnings of my entry into both geometric and organic design, and continued in the community for about ten years.

I was also fortunate to have work-based training, in the origins of computer-aided design, in the late 1970’s. At that time, one typed keyboard data onto keypunch cards, which were then transferred to tape, then to computer, and finally to a beam and tracking arm drawing table. I went through the progression of ever improving computers and software, until we finally get to the current state of the art. The current downward trend in the local machine design industry forced me into early “retirement”, so this where my years of experience in CAD and art come together. I have decided to merge areas of my greatest interest and skills to my advantage. I hope others see some interest in my projects for their own use.

Quote of the week:

And as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen
Turns them to shapes, and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name.
– Wm. Shakespeare

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So Far So Good

We’ve found that as we dive into the needs of our business requirements, the more we see that fine tuning becomes an issue. So, recently, we’ve been looking into the legal aspects of protecting our business and future design submissions. Other areas of our business are in the “hurry up and wait” mode, which leaves us dependent on the speed with which other agencies can provide us with their expertise.

In the meantime, we are slowly improving our command of the 3D organic software, with good results. So, as with the items in our geometric design backlog, we have several ideas for subjects, and dependent on when we complete our coursework we’ll slowly add them to our collection. Keep in mind that everything we offer can be tweaked in any way desired by the customer, as they are meant to serve as a guide or a template for your own imagination.

For those of you with no design experience, you can begin thinking about your design by considering three basic processes: Form, Fit and Function. Form is the physical characteristic of the product, things like shape, weight, color, material, etc. Fit is shorthand for ‘does it fit the intended application’, it references the dimensions of the part in relation to the product it was designed to go into. Function is what it actually does.

For figure studies, form might reference the shape of the object in terms of stability. Can it support itself? Will the center of mass or gravity allow it to balance on its own without falling over? Fit might take into consideration the relationship between the object and its surroundings. Is it intended to work within other confines or themes, or is it a stand alone figure? Function can simply mean, does it give the intended meaning? Will it be used to develop a storyboard, a short story or novel, a game piece or other device? In this case you may have in mind a particular pose or stance, or maybe fine details in appearance.

Quote of the week:

“A distinctive appearance and a simple set of characteristics lead to an extremely flexible brand”.
– Woodrow Phoenix