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Wings ‘n Things


I’m having a fun time doing these steampunk designs. Design elements from the early industrial steam age remind me of the mechanical workings of the old fantasy movie of Captain Nemo’s Nautilus submarine, “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea”. I have cogs, steam pipes, steam cylinders and pistons waiting to be cobbled together into several different designs. Even the structure, with its ornate Victorian “gingerbread”, held together with rivets and nuts and bolts are interesting in their symmetry. I’m working on a wing design at the moment, I’ll use that in a couple of different assembly models.

Much like the piston ring, some of these new designs should have the ability of movement, although the design these for items will take much longer since they are rightly assemblies. The gear cross, for example, consists of twenty-seven pieces using thirteen modeled designs. I do have fun doing these, regardless of the time constraints. I’ll try to complete the steampunk folder before I move on to the remaining folders, since those remaining folders will have designs that shouldn’t take more than a few hours to a couple of days.

I could do the designs “on the fly”, which I’ve already done on a few models. Those only took anywhere from forty minutes to and hour to design, but I’m using expressions on some models that I can use repetitively in other assemblies. Using expressions allows me to scale the individual model up or down by changing one control number.

Back to the “drawing board” for now.

Quote of the week:

“How often the morning sun has surprised him working on some chart which he had begun at night! and how often night has surprised him at a task begun at the break of day”!

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Almost There


I added three more designs this week, two in the Steampunk folder and one in the Aztec folder. I have one more design for the Steampunk folder which will be uploaded sometime later today. That will leave seven more designs to be developed for the remaining folders, which I hope will not take more than two weeks. From that point we should finish the equipment purchases by mid to end of September, and at that point I should begin producing the first tests runs of modeling on the 3D printer, and if all goes well with that the metal casting will begin. It would be great to have all of that finished by the end of October, but I expect some unforeseen problems may arise, since my understanding of small business startups usually include some sort of hiccups of one form or another.

I’ve been working fourteen to sixteen hours daily, seven days a week since the middle of February. Doing research, taking classes and designing models. I may take a break of a couple of days to refresh my batteries. Looking at a monitor and sitting for that long is wearing me out. But the business is almost there, and our milestone of opening day is close at hand.

I look forward to the equipment testing and use, and metal casting, which at least will get me away from the computer for a while. After that will begin a hard push to the marketing phase and restart of the organic modeling classes, and back to the computer.

Quote of the Day:

“Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.”
-Greg Anderson

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Riding the Wave


Keep on an even keel in the midst of stormy seas. We were out of business for 31 hours due to equipment failure. Our I.T. froze during a critical software upgrade. We’re back in business but it was a few scary hours there.

Our modeling is moving forward but still needs a couple or three more days to complete Xochipilli. The design looks deceptively simple, but once started became far more complex than Quetzalcoatl the feathered serpent was, with far less individual pieces. Too late to turn back now after the time invested in the design.

We recently received a special request from one of our area private schools, the Redd School, to volunteer some time to provide support for their science and robotics lab, for preparation in national competition. We are pleased to volunteer our time and support in this important endeavor and look forward to providing any assistance we can in the way of 3D modeling and engineering design software instruction. More information will follow in later blogs as the school year develops.

We start our final metal-smith class on the last Tuesday in August and will end the first Tuesday of October. We are strained to meet our original October opening, and the 6 weeks we lost early in the business accounts setup is to blame. That which we had no control over. It may mean pushing our opening back those six weeks or if we make a final great push we can shave three weeks off of that and open mid November. Our original timeline was nine months to a year to develop all we needed to have a clean start. October is eight months from acquiring our business license in the first week of March, so we are actually keeping to the original time-frame plus or minus a month.

Quote of the week:

“Great design is great complexity presented via simplicity”.
-M. Cobanli

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The Latest News


I posted a pendant a couple of days ago in the Aztec folder, Quetzalcoatl the feathered serpent. I am particularly pleased with this effort as it’s comprised of one hundred separate pieces. Take a look if you have a minute to spare.

The design I’m working on at the moment is a tribal version of Xochipilli. Xochipilli ‘Prince of Flowers’ was the Mesoamerican god of summer, flowers, pleasure, love, dancing, painting, feasting, creativity and souls. He was associated with butterflies, poetry and the 11th of the 20 Aztec days: Ozomatli (Monkey). Generally speaking, he was thought of as a youthful care-free pleasure-seeker with a playful mischievous streak. I intend to design it as a ring, although the detail may prove to be too intricate, in that case sizing it as a pendant may be more appropriate.

The Goth folder has its quota of six designs which will suffice for now, while I commit to the other folders. Due to the intricacy of the Aztec designs, the output of the design factory has slowed. Those designs can take anywhere from a week to ten days each.

I have another three designs selected for the Women’s Jewelry folder which I may work on
concurrently with the Aztec designs. The Steampunk folder is still pending. I have two designs scheduled for that, but still need to make a decision for the other three that remain.

Quote of the week:

“Nothing will work unless you do”.
– Maya Angelou