Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Summertime...like Will Smith

Mad locals like to complain that the summer is too short in the Bean. It's kinda true. But at the same time, it forces us to appreciate it more...and that's what's up. I mean, sure, I could use a winter that's a month shorter, and a month-longer summer. But it is what it is, and ya can't have everything.

Anyway, just putting my mind on what's happening outside these air-conditioned surroundings (at work...never A/C at the crib) helps me keep my head screwed on straight, y'knowmsayin? Yo, I spend long hours hustling these toy designs--half the shit I'm on I can't even bring up here because it's all collaborative work I'm doing with other heads, or it's ill experimental shit that's just too out-there to be blogging about publicly. But the late nights and coming into work on weekends is cool as long as I can maintain balance.

Lately, I've been doing that barefoot-running that hippie motherfuckers get excited about. No, not literally barefoot--but with "minimalist" running shoes, and running in that "Pose" style that's more biomechanically efficient and natural to how humans evolved. Don't worry: Reverend Brownnoize hasn't lost his shit and gone all New Age on yo' asses. I'm just trying to do whatever's in my means to live more healthy. No more high-fructose corn syrup, y'knowmsayin? Fuck that shit. Brown people need longer life-expectancies.

Aiight, enough with the PSA. Let's get back to the trill shit. As always, I'ma start with Foe Gokin news. My gods...Shapeways finally came through. Haha--I thought it'd be at least another month before I got the arm pieces back from them! Well, they're here and they look pretty good. I'm working with the resin-caster now to get these produced. I'm not in a big hurry because I want these done right, of course. As always, as shit progresses, I'll keep y'all posted. Who loves ya?

Remember last time when I mentioned that "alumide" material from Shapeways? The plan was to print up a Foe Gokin Gin Gin head in alumide, then send it off to my metal-caster to see if it's any good. Well, I got that joint too. Yo, it looks MAD weird. There's sort of a sparkly, sandy texture to it, but the basic geometry's tight. Check this shit out:

PhotobucketPewter on left; alumide on the right

I have no idea if that sandy texture's gonna fuck up the mold, but being so damn cheap and being able to withstand up to 350 degrees F is pretty tempting. I've already sent this thing to the metal-caster, so we'll see soon enough.

Anyway, like the title says, it's summertime...and that means East Coast Chogokin Summit! Plans for this year's Summit are coming along nicely. It'll be nice to rock the Beantown hospitality--yeah, we can be curmudgeony assholes, but we know how to treat fam! Make no mistake, Gin Gin will be making an appearance! Oh, and speaking of dope appearances, it looks like Boston's own Frankie B. Washington will gracing the event! That's some exciting shit, right there! Frankie is a professional illustrator who grew up watching Force Five and playing with Shogun Warriors like the rest of us Massholes, and besides having done tons of work in comics, he's got his own robot property called Robot God Akamatsu along with writer, James Biggie. Damn if that ain't some exciting shit right there! Will toy-production in Akamatsu's future? Well, you're gonna have to come to the Summit and see! ;)

Next up, let's talk about what's cooking in the world of MUSCLEs. I probably won't have the Gin Gin MUSCLE in production by the Summit...but gods DAMN, wait'll y'all see what we've got cooking! There'll definitely be some ill shit as far as "baby Gin Gin" goes! And speaking of whom, I wanted to show you some side-by-side shots of three different prints of him. The washed-out white figure is "White Detail" from Shapeways (again, their term for Objet VeroWhite), and the yellow-ish clear one is "Frosted Ultra Detail" from Shapeways (3D Systems polymer). And finally, the orangish pink joint was printed on an EnvisionTEC Multi Mini machine by my legit prototyper. Try not to drool on your keyboard...


By comparison, the Shapeways offerings are almost a joke. The EnvisionTEC print actually looks like a finished product. Need more convincing? Just click here and scrutinize. THIS is a fucking prototype:


And don't sweat ol'AshuraShine--I've got plans for him. I still want to do two more MUSCLEs to go along with him, but I've got something different up my sleeve for his companions that I think heads will dig. Once I've got some drawings properly made, I'll post. They'll be worth the wait!

Anyway, for sure, I've got other dope shit cooking--including stuff as diverse as designer vinyl accessories and Transformers upgrades--but it's all hush-hush for now. Catch y'all later.


  1. Dude, the EnvisionTEC print looks so much better. If the TF accessories were done in this manner, I'd have less headaches.

  2. I know, man, that Multi Mini machine is BEAST. I guess it was originally designed to do small, super hi-res prints for the jewelry industry, then they branched out into dental implants...and now prototypers of consumer products are using it for applications like this.

    Thing is, this is a REALLY high-end process. There's no sanding or buffing of the surfaces required (let alone recasting in resin), but there's a *lot* of prep and post work: designing complex support structures for the print process...and of course, shearing off these structures post print. So what you see above will cost in the neighborhood of *20* times more than what Shapeways would charge...but of course, even if I ordered twenty prints from Shapeways, not a single one would be as suitable for manufacture as this EnvisionTEC part.

    So obviously, it doesn't make sense to produce final products on this machine. But then again, I'd argue neither are Shapeways' prints...but that's a whole other discussion...

  3. It doesn't cost 20 times as much as Shapeways. Whoever quoted you that is full of crap. Shop around. Whoever quoted you 20 times more as lying his ass off. I'm pretty sure they don't design the support structures, the machine does, and they are teeny tiny spots to sand, requiring no time at all.

  4. Well, feel free to believe what you like. My blog's meant to keep my friends and those interested in my toy-making adventures up-to-date with my silliness...NOT advertise 3D printing resources! :P

    The fact of the matter is that I'm an aspiring toy-maker here. So at the end of the day, I need stuff that *works*. Nine times outta ten, "close enough" doesn't cut it...and that's usually all Shapeways can provide. Price isn't even part of the picture. If the print isn't precise enough for tooling or whatever the application is, then it's of no use to me.

    I think you may have missed a few details when I mentioned that my prototyper charges 20 more. But for the sake of being thorough, I'll give you the whole process. While Shapeways just arbitrarily prints your file in whatever orientation they want to make the process easier for them, my prototyper and I talk on the phone regularly to discuss the best orientation to minimize the effects of the print lines/layers. In fact, he decided to split the Gin Gin MUSCLE printing above at the shoulders (you can see the partitions) and reorient the parts in order to get a much cleaner look (hence the manual designing of the support structures).

    The EnvisionTEC can also print in different materials, so we chose some expensive stuff that'll allow the print to withstand the high temperatures of a vulcanizer (for rubber molding). And, yes, of course there are the other options for recasting the printing if tighter surface finish tolerances are required.

    Again, all this is DIMENSIONS beyond what Shapeways offers. These guys are professionals and they work with you to provide something precisely suited to your manufacturing needs. I'm not saying there isn't another prototyper out there who doesn't charge as much, but I'm happy with my guy's communication and service.

    So if YOU are a toy-maker or otherwise producer of consumer products, and YOU work with someone who can provide that same level of service for cheaper, well, awesome! Show us whatchu got!


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