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A Bowl of Spaghetti



Another analogy would be the head of Medusa, or maybe better, the nine headed Hydra. Cut one head off and two more grow to replace it. So it goes with the experience of running a new business. After the initial success of opening, we were pleased to receive our first eight orders in a span of three and a half weeks. One of our customers informed us that our commerce software was at fault in not accepting online credit card purchases, so we found and corrected the problem and now all online ordering should function smoothly.

Our shipping supplies are now current as is our retail delivery services, so we’re up and running for any order in our local area and outside of that as well. We’ve been busy doing our shop work, taking photos, posting the results, developing new designs, adding holiday novelties and making some additional equipment purchases. You’ll see some of these additions added to our website folders.

In the course of these additional steps there have naturally been some stumbling blocks. I’m happy to say that all of them have been welcome learning experiences or exciting new ventures to move this business forward. Two of our most promising additions are the purchase of our 3D scanner. This will help greatly in speeding our design process by freeing up modeling and design time and allowing us to capture existing real life objects that we can modify via our software. We have also purchased a 3D sketch tablet which gives us the pleasure of using Zbrush software (another learning curve). This addition allows us to adapt our current and future designs by using free-hand sketch methods rather than the more traditional structural and parametric software, to make anime, figure, or other craft-type figure models.

So with our newly added products, and the additional scanning, sketching and figure modeling software we should be able to continue streamlining our design and offer content that has been the original intent of our design capabilities.

Quote of the week:

“Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do. Don’t wish it were easier; wish you were better.”

~ Jim Rohn

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Never-ending Story



Rome wasn’t built in a day. It turns out that initiating the credit card process is not easily accomplished in a one day sitting. There were several videos to watch, interactions with an agent of the service, information forms to be assembled, both of the financial interactions with various banking facilities and those regarding acquiring customer identification, web page links and formatting some additional design elements for that. I had no idea how complicated it would be. So we continue learning the curve and pushing forward with completing the setup.

Hand in hand with that, we’re finishing up two of the last additions to the current posted lineup of jewelry products. The Steamray pendant and the Lace Dragon pendant. The latter is in the final stages of polishing and assembly there only remains the photography and upload thereof to the webpage. The Steamray pendant is awaiting burnishing and assembly too, to be followed with the photographs and upload of those.

We have our first official order. A customer request for the Steampunk Screwhead and Rivet ring.

Quote of the week:

“Sowing and harvesting are the easiest part. The workload in between is the definition of your current state of life.”
~ Oscar Bimpong

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Brutal Beginnings


Apologies for disappearing from our regularly scheduled weekly updates. We had an unexpected two and a half weeks of entirely dismantling our office and internet connection, moving all into the workshop area and then reassembling and arranging our office again. This was followed by eight days of illness among two of our staff, myself included. We can now return to the completion and opening of our business. Everything is now in place and ready for applying the card processing links to those products completed and photographed on our website. This should be initiated this coming Monday.

Following the card service links, we’ll return to the shop to continue and complete the remaining items shown as screen shots at this time. After the jewelry items are completed, that will be followed by adding a couple of toys, and a couple of office accessories, and we’ll make some selections of design items to be included as screenshots for now, prior to production, of items for the remaining folders displayed in our online catalog categories. As you well know, we have much to catch up on. Here’s keeping our fingers crossed that we’ll have no more unplanned and unexpected delays.

Quote of the week:

“Embrace who you are and your divine purpose. Identify the barriers in your life, and develop discipline, courage and the strength to permanently move beyond them, and keep moving forward.”
~ Germany Kent

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One More Step


Our Terms and Conditions, and Policies, have been finalized and it remains to be uploaded to our website. We’ll do that after our commitment to the fine folks and students of The Redd School tomorrow. After that, the final step is to contact our payment processing service and link our production items.

We’ve been making preparations for our collaboration with The Redd School’s Spring Festival where we’ll demonstrate the operation of our 3D printer along with some interactive games in the form of 3D puzzles we’ve printed. We’ll upload one of those puzzles into the Toys folder on our website, in the next week. While at The Redd School we’ll also demonstrate a sampling of the post production work that is required in making the printed items. We hope to inspire future generations into the workings of engineering design.

It’s been a long and grueling road from our start in mid March of last year to this point. I hope that the remainder of our jewelry production items can be produced and uploaded quickly, as in a few weeks, and that will allow us to concentrate on the other folders still noted as under construction. We’ve had far too many side tracks that were related to office work, purchasing, legal and business matters. Personally, I much prefer concentrating on the design and production aspects and I hope to see a lot more of that in the coming months.

Quote of the week:

“Each step you take reveals a new horizon. You have taken the first step today. Now, I challenge you to take another.”
~Dan Poynter

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Land Sharks


The title of this blog refers to lawyers. We’ve only one more policy to complete, out of nine of the website terms and conditions, and this one is something we had hoped to avoid addressing. I refer to the proprietary ownership of our customers personal design.

It was my intent to leave ownership, and time spent, of said design in the hands of the customer, free of charge. I’ve since had to rethink that because of a recent event in the past couple of months. I started a project after a prospective customer contacted us regarding a specific design intent. After some back and forth consultation and design approvals and iterations with a full week of research and subsequent modeling design, the customer was surprised to be presented by someone else with a similarly designed product as a gift. The customer then asked us to defer their design for a later time, if at all. So we lost a valuable week of time and production and learned our lesson.

This leaves us with a couple of options regarding ownership of the design, and time spent. I’d still like to leave ownership of a custom design with the customer, but with provisions. That’s what we’re looking at now in terms of policy and procedures. I hope to have all of this tied up by Monday, then we can proceed with pricing our items and linking our payment service.

Quote of the week:

“Lawyers work hard and, like us, they’re human…, many of them.”
~Dick Cavett

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Can of Worms


Hi, this Joe again, owner and designer of advanc3Design. The Saturday after my last blog brought us the jewelry sales and use tax permit in the mail, so we’re ready to go on that front. Otherwise, I thought writing Terms and Conditions would be a straightforward task that the law firm would organize into legalese and I would just fill in the blanks, but I see that there are a minimum of at least a dozen subjects to consider carefully. This will include statements on policies and procedures, liability, intellectual ownership, copyrights, privacy, returns, shipping, payments and a few other subjects. This will take some research, into next week, to finalize.

This holiday weekend takes a couple of days away from my usual schedule, so I’ll take advantage of the time off before I get into the hearts of the subjects noted. I don’t know how long it will take for the law firm to develop the text of the statements, but I hope that it won’t take more than a couple of days. If I can get my research and decisions completed by Wednesday and the law firm can react in a timely manner, it is hoped that I may finalize that exercise by the end of the following week. All that will remain is the credit card processing, opening for business, and then we can concentrate again on the production and shop work.

My aides are not yet proficient in detailing post production shop work, so their roles, for the moment, are assigned to pre-production. That leaves me to essentially run the shop myself.

Quote of the week:

“Never open a can of worms unless you plan to go fishing.”
~John C Maxwell


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Opening Doors

So this past week led us to take a couple of big steps towards finally getting this business opened. The first was our application to the state for our sales and tax permit for vending our jewelry items locally and online. We’re checking our mailbox daily and hope for that to arrive at latest by sometime next week. The second is our contact last Thursday, with our law firm of choice, to review our website and policies before our opening date. After some final decisions on details, the next step will be to contact our existing credit card processor to establish the links and prices to each item, and that will then enable the official startup of the business site. At the moment, I’m in the process of writing and editing the disclaimers page, which our lawyer will then review. Along with that. I’m also looking into the possibility of providing free shipping of our items.

We’ll initially have eight items for sale, with another eight awaiting only the post-production cleanup of buffing and polishing and of course, our photography of those items for upload to the website. The final eight items items are now in queue for casting time. I think I’ll concentrate on the Goth and Steampunk designs before I finish the other folder items.

Quote of the week:

“There are so many doors to open. I am impatient to begin.”
~Charlie Gordan

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Photo Fixes

The past week has kept our photographer busy in diligently working through the limitations of the software, equipment and website structures. We are using AutoCAD ReMake to upload our series of model photos, whereby the software converts a series of pictures to wire-frame format, which can then be converted to a 3D model suitable for printing on our 3D printer. If our tests are successful, we should then have the ability to convert any images, static or including partial or full human subjects.

Along with the ReMake test subjects, time is also being spent to add replacement photos of the design software screenshots with shots of our in-house model displaying our jewelry. This gives us the opportunity to display our jewelry in true-to-scale reference. You can see our model’s presentation of the Aztec Macuahuitl warrior’s club pendant in the Aztec folder. We hope to showcase our remaining designs in thesame manner, so that you can see the representation in true scale.

We’re finally at the stage where we’re organizing shipping services, and will contact our credit card processing service to begin the process of creating links to our items. At that time, we’ll review our website policies and procedures for inclusion to the site on a separate page.

Quote of The week:

“The Earth is Art, The Photographer is only a Witness.”
~ Yann Arthus-Bertrand, Earth from Above

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Photo Updates

As much as we’d like to have all of ours gears meshing smoothly, we seem to have a knack for finding spanners in the works. After developing our photos of some of the finished jewelry items, we found that they don’t look very well after upload to the website. What we capture in detail loses some sharpness and content of scale. You will see three examples, in replacing the existing design software screenshots of the Aztec Macuahuitl warrior’s club, the Steampunk Screw & Rivet Head ring and the Flower Band ring in the Women’s Jewelry folder.

Before uploading any more of our jewelry shots, we’ll revisit our photography setup to try and zoom in more closely, while trying to keep within the websites sizing parameters to allow a balanced page symmetry. Resizing the photos on the website often clips off the outer egdes of the object, working within the confines of the website setup options often gives skewed results. It’s a matter of balancing our sizing with the website sizing.

On another note, our design capabilities have been noticed by a firm interested in contracting our services in the the area of theme park animatronics. We are involved in some preliminary discussions and I’ll report more information as we progress with this interesting development.

Quote of the week:

“Robots are great. I am saying that now so that when a future civilization of robots takes us captive, they will search through the ‘Guardian’ web archive and realize I said, ‘Robots are great,’ and then they’ll choose to save me.”

~Matt Haig

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Next Steps

Next Step

We’ve completed the website layout and are now moving on to populating the folders in small increments. We’re juggling several projects at once and, even though we now have a modest staff, the projects are moving along a little more slowly than I prefer. Final production details requiring some hand-crafting, photography for our model uploads for conversion to wire-frame format for 3D print upload, metal casting in the shop, new model design development, and finally new projects brainstorming occupy us for the moment.

Our sales tax permit applications are complete and we await the receipt thereof, to be followed by our individual items pricing and credit card processing service. I have decided to first offer our jewelry designs in pure silver for the time being. The combinations of silver and 18K gold can be a little prohibitive in price, and I’d like to make all of the designs affordable for now. We’ll produce the silver and gold versions upon completion of the .999 silver versions.

Quote of the week:

“Focused, hard work is the real key to success. Keep your eyes on the goal, and just keep taking the next step towards completing it. If you aren’t sure which way to do something, do it both ways and see which works better.”
~John Carmack