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Oakland Squared Redux

Posted by on 10:43 am in Five Ton Crane | 0 comments

Five Ton Crane‘s “Oakland Squared” project was originally conceived for public installation in the outdoor window displays of the SF MOMA Artist’s gallery. After a six month installation there, they now have a new home in the newly-renovated Latham Square Building in uptown Oakland. Each of the six original panels consists of individual 12″x12″ squares, created by various artists from our collective of several dozen. Via various styles, techniques, and materials, these multiple squares comprise iconic scenes of Oakland, the place where we collectively work. Long a home for artists, the city houses many peoples and industries, a heritage and history that we have each touched in our own unique way. I contributed two CNC embroidered squares to this panel of the Fox Theater–just a block from where the panels now hang. So if you are in the neighborhood for a show at the Fox, come down Telegraph for a greyhound at Cafe Van Kleef, then walk next door to 1611 Telegraph Avenue and have a look at this richly detailed and diverse project. Oakland Squared by Five Ton Crane, an Oakland-based artists’ collective. Oakland Squared by Five Ton Crane, an Oakland-based artists’ collective. Oakland Squared by Five Ton Crane, an Oakland-based artists’ collective. Oakland Squared by Five Ton Crane, an Oakland-based artists’ collective. Oakland Squared by Five Ton Crane, an Oakland-based artists’ collective. Oakland Squared by Five Ton Crane, an Oakland-based artists’ collective. Oakland Squared by Five Ton Crane, an Oakland-based artists’ collective. Oakland Squared by Five Ton Crane, an Oakland-based artists’...

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Maker Faire Gems

Posted by on 10:01 am in DIY | 0 comments

Maker Faire Gems

Maker Faire made for many interesting memories. We had a great show with Steadcraft and are already looking forward to next year. If you haven’t been before, put it on your calendar now. For anybody used to toiling in relative obscurity with some strange obsession, you probably have had the experience of finally connecting in person with someone who really understands what you do. Maker Faire is where all of these people find their tribe. I didn’t get to range very far from the booth and there are several things I’m already feeling sorry for missing, but I made a couple discoveries I’m excited to share. First off, this amazing attachment that the folks over at Printerbot made which turns an ordinary sewing machine into a CNC embroidery machine. I didn’t see it in action, but from what I understand, it has a microcontroller and mechanics which allow it to accept SVG files (vectors) and to sew those patterns by moving the embroidery frame on the XY axis. I did’t see results from this machine either, but am looking forward to something that I can share with you here. Levitating Sculpture I loved this levitating sculpture from Nick Dong at Studio Dong Other highlights included this electroluminescent Tesla with a FLIR camera and powerful digital projector being shown by Racing Extinction, an important documentary project depicting the plight of Earth’s species. I didn’t make it over to see the La Attrata sculpture being constructed by Therm for Burning Man, but I found this photo and can’t wait to see the gorgeous stainless steel moth lighted and enlivened. Lastly, I have to share this amazing looking update of the Printrbot Metal that is due to ship soon. Highlights include a linear rail motion system, increased build size (to 6″ x 8″ x 8″), and touchscreen....

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Find Steadcraft at Maker Faire 2016

Posted by on 6:15 am in Events, Steadcraft | 0 comments

Find Steadcraft at Maker Faire 2016

This map should help. We are in Zone 2, all the way at the corner of the building, kitty corner to the California College of the Arts area. On this map it is marked as the “Make Electronics”...

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Peachy Printer Beta Kit Worlds First 99 Cent “3D Printer” | eBay

Posted by on 12:55 pm in 3D Printing | 0 comments

Peachy Printer Beta Kit Worlds First 99 Cent “3D Printer” | eBay

in Business & Industrial, Manufacturing & Metalworking, Process Equipment Source: Peachy Printer Beta Kit Worlds First 99 Cent “3D Printer” |...

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Peachy Printer: World’s First Million Dollar 2.5D Printer

Posted by on 10:09 am in 3D Printing | 0 comments

Peachy Printer: World’s First Million Dollar 2.5D Printer

Peachy Printer has posted an “uncut video” to prove to the world that they actually have a working prototype. It is not terribly surprising to see it function, as the technology is basically all there and cheap. Still, backers have never seen a start to finish print video like this and it has made a lot of people feel better right as they were starting to think the whole crowdfunding campaign and product development was a scam. There seems to be a fair amount of evidence that development did happen. The prototype shown in the video does have a USB connection rather than the original audio output (for starters). I have been pushed and pulled throughout this process, wanting to believe Rylan Grayston, and understand what could be a true story about his plight, while still feeling fairly well ripped off. Two problems here. One, this is not the video we have all been waiting for. It is only satisfying under the circumstances. With the camera and print both moving, under inadequate light, with the focus constantly shifting, and then the video ends, it hardly gives a clear enough shot of the print to judge quality. The most telling thing to me (besides the revelation of seeing the thing work), was the model chosen to print. It was not a true dimensional form, instead being an extrusion of a 2D profile. That’s right, it was a text stamp. Fourteen years ago I was making photopolymer stamps with nothing more than two pieces of glass, a bit of foam weather stripping, resin, blacklight, and inkjet transparency paper. It gave excellent sharp results. It can be done using either liquid resin or metal backed plate. Discovering this is part of what lead me to 3D printing allowed me to understand and be willing to back a project like Peachy Printer. So I’m not surprised to see the printer make a stamp. But as far as I can tell, I did a better job with my photopolymer flexographic printing plates. No doubt many people are relieved to be able to show this video to their friends and family to prove they were not insane or stupid to back a project like this. (I’m glad I can show my family and friends.) However, until I see this printer create true three dimensional forms, I won’t believe that it prints with the quality claimed. The biggest problem with this specific print, beyond the fact that it is simply a shallow extrusion, is that it can be created by programming the laser to trace the same profile over and over. It doesn’t demonstrate any ability of the printer to regulate the layer height, or know where it is in the print. It also does not demonstrate that the code driving the laser comes from slices of a 3D model. Peachy claims development of a slicer to transform models into layers and translate that into output that drives the laser in sync with the rising layer height. That in fact is necessary for this to be a 3D printer. This print could have been created without a 3D model at all, because every layer of an extrusion is the same. This could have been created by the laser simply tracing the same profile repetitively without any consideration...

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Come visit Steadcraft at Maker Faire, May 20, 21, and 22

Posted by on 10:02 am in Events, Steadcraft | 0 comments

Come visit Steadcraft at Maker Faire, May 20, 21, and 22

I am furiously preparing for Maker Faire, where I load in just three short days from now. I have a pile of freshly minted Steadcraft earrings for sale and will be exhibiting a range of work. Come see classic necklaces from my book, Polymer Clay Beads, Steadcraft prototypes of embroidered cuffs and mixed-media broaches as well as demonstrations of our latest processes. See my Printrbot in action, check out sculptural 3D prints from reality capture via the forthcoming Autodesk ReMake, watch my embroidery machine sew 600 stitches per minute, ask me “what the heck is metal clay?”or just stop by to chat with me about the state of affairs in the maker world. I’ve got lots to say about the Peachy Printer debacle, if you have been following that. Or, we can just jam about all the positive things that are happening to bring together hand-craft with digital fabrication. If you haven’t planned to attend Maker Faire yet, get tickets! It is May 20th-22nd and is the largest and longest running multi maker mashup in el mundo!...

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Peachy Printer Thief: “It’s been an interesting ride”

Posted by on 1:14 pm in 3D Printing | 0 comments

Peachy Printer Thief: “It’s been an interesting ride”

Those were David Boe’s words April 14th, 2014. David just stopped by the Beta Testers’ Forum to say hi–one month after he was apparently done spending $320,000 of Kickstarter backers money building a house instead of a 3D printer. “I would like to say thanks to all of our Peachy Printer team and everyone who has helped bring our little printer along this far, and am looking forward to seeing where it all goes!” Right after spending half their magically huge haul on a house he couldn’t even finish. He says that after meeting Peachy Printer creator Rylan Grayston randomly in his driveway one day that they started talking, sharing idea’s (sic) and everything seemed to just “click.” “Click,” indeed. And click by click a million dollars went down the drain. One wonders what ideas were really shared that day....

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Peachy Printer Backers Incensed. FCAA Investigates.

Posted by on 12:44 pm in 3D Printing | 0 comments

Peachy Printer Backers Incensed. FCAA Investigates.

Did you hear the one about the Peachy Printer? Guy asks for $100,000 to build a $100 3D printer. Raises over a million dollars between Kickstarter, Indiegogo, Backerkit, the Canadian government and his family for his dream. Partner secretly spends over $300,000 on a house. CEO covers up theft to apparently maintain face, recoup funds, continue development. Recovers $100,000 from thief who defaults repayment agreement. Spends the vast majority of the rest of the funds on salary. Goes broke. Blames theft. Releases taped “confession” from thief that he has been holding over his head for 18 months to extract payment. Thief said he was coerced to confess. Project dead in water. Inventor very bummed. Backers? (pissed). Canadian authorities notified 6 months ago but don’t know what to do with this new fangled crowdfunding thing. Eric Greene, director of consumer protection with the province’s Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority, is working to determine what people thought they would get in return for their money. “Was it a gift, a donation, an investment, a contribution or a purchase? Was the promise that you would get a product at the end of the day dependent on a variety of issues?” There are a few big questions here. Is it legitimate to blame the loss of a portion of funds for the failure of the project? There was much more money spent on the salaries of the developers than was left ultimately outstanding to the embezzler. Only a portion of the funds are included in the peachyprinter.com mea culpa fancy graphics. How much was raised by Backerkit? Critically, how does Backerkit’s lack of user facing terms of service regarding such transactions as “pre-orders” affect the transacting parties? We know that funds given to Kickstarter and Indiegogo have basically no guarantee of returning any reward. What about Backerkit’s blurring of the lines with the concept of a pre-order? Is this any different than an order? When I contacted Backerkit to tell them that I had been defrauded by Peachy, they replied that they were very very sorry, but “due to the recent developments in the Peachy Printer project, we are unable to handle cancellation or refund requests at this time.” I explained to them that I was under the impression that my transaction was framed as a pre-order, and asked them if they could clearly define this concept for me. Their answer? “Unfortunately, BackerKit does not currently have a public-facing Terms Of Service for Pre-orders, and this debacle is definitely pushing that to the top of our to-do-list.” I’ll bet it is. Here is how Backerkit promotes the concept of pre-orders on their site: Expand your fan base A crowdfunding campaign is an exciting event, not a store. Kickstarter has been clear about their position on this, and we think it’s a good idea to retain the sanctity of that event, too. But offering preorders doesn’t actually reduce the value or excitement of this event—it’s just a way for you to allow more people to support your project. But just to make sure to retain the sanctity of the original campaign, you can always create a little bit of differentiation between pre-order backers and your original backers. Most pre-order backers are excited just to have the option to get in on a campaign that...

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Day two of the Peachy 3D Printer Scandal

Posted by on 10:57 am in 3D Printing | 0 comments

I’m appreciating this take on this particular scandal from Makers Muse: Summarizing my thoughts almost exactly–with the exception that I’m somewhat lacking in sympathy for Rylan Grayston at this point. If his story is true then he has been victimized by his partner David Boe. Regardless of his story, the fact remains that Peachy burned through a million dollars before it was all done (not including the $200,000 allegedly outstanding to Boe). They only asked for $100,000 via Kickstarter and Indiegogo. They were over-funded by a factor of 12. The missing money is 16% of their total take. I waited patiently all along because I believed everything Rylan was reporting. It has been a long haul but I would rather have them make the best possible product rather than get something unfinished. No doubt it has been a massive undertaking, and scaling up to the size of production required is a challenge. It was clear from the start that prototypes were rudimentary. The appeal was the number of innovative things being done to cut cost. Unfortunately many of those decisions cut quality as well. The revisions that were made in development clearly went to address key shortcomings (“innovations” like driving laser mirror galvanometers with an audio signal). Many “clever” innovations were actually a huge challenge that needed to be overcome by substantial design revisions and had the potential to be fatal flaws (see top down build). It was more like a really cool science fair project than anything. I wanted printers out of it, but I also backed it because any level of success it had was going to drive competition and lower prices across the board. The fact remains that if you want quality, it will cost money. Two years later, Peachy has been surpassed by more important innovations. Many bottom up resin printer technologies have come to pass. Layerless printing ala Carbon. Barrier technologies that reduce mechanical force for layer separation from the vat surface. LCD curing like the Uniz Slash. I don’t doubt that Rylan was unprepared for the level of success he found with his campaigns. It may be that he was simply hamstrung by his ambition for the project and he overreached on development. Maybe people got paid too much. There has been some debate on this fact and it will be telling to have some analysis of the numbers. What seems evident is that 70% of detailed funding went to salaries of 8 people. For his part, Rylan claims to be near to shipping printers, stuck at 70% completion on the first run of 600. I have been following development closely and find this credible. He claims as he has done all along that the team is doing everything to push forward and beyond the parts and assembly time needed for the additional printers, all that is required is to pass the laser certification process which has begun, and is required to ship to the majority of backers. This also is credible on the surface. What is difficult to swallow is this idea that the whole thing is falling apart because of the 16% David allegedly retains. Yes, Rylan is earnest, and believable to those of us that have followed him all along. His claim that he hid this theft to wrest control...

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Peachy Printer Crowdfunding Fraud Erupts

Posted by on 3:18 pm in 3D Printing | 0 comments

Peachy Printer Crowdfunding Fraud Erupts

Billed as the first $100 3D printer and scanner, it was almost too good to be true. Now, it’s a million dollar scandal that is rocking Kickstarter and Indiegogo. After two years of delays past promised shipping and nebulous updates of continuing development, Peachy Printer project head Rylan Grayston has come forward to present backers with a well crafted and graphically endowed sob story of his victimization at the hands of his business partner David Boe, whom he says built a house with over $350,000 in backer funds, leaving him broke. Apparently, the embezzled funds can not even be fully recouped from the unfinished home. This is a historic occasion for both the 3D printing community and for crowdfunding more generally, which has been reeling a bit from other high profile project failures (see Coolest). Mr Grayston presents himself as well intentioned. He also is a victim, he says. While that may be the case, his handling of the matter is a failure almost on a par with that of his evidently criminal business partner. Specifically, having had knowledge of this embezzlement for well over a year, as well as reason to believe the funds were in danger ever since the project was funding, Rylan Grayston did not go to the police until he had run out of money himself, nor did he report the truth to backers. Being unable to fully recoup on a supposed “repayment agreement” from his lowlife partner, Grayston has now gone public with his “plight”. I can’t bear to watch the video myself, complete as it is with fancy editing and a dubstep soundtrack. Did these jerks just spend money to tell us we got ripped off? With today’s announcement, Peachy has revealed an elaborate website which purports to show that Peachy has been acting in good faith and place the blame entirely on the actions of David Boe. If comments on the Kickstarter and Indiegogo pages are any indication, backers feel the polished presentation only adds insult to injury. The timeline on peachyprinter.com is meant to be exculpatory, shifting blame to Boe. What it tells me is that Grayston knew this was a problem for a long time. Instead of making the predicted delivery in October 2014, the company was broke, having spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on salary. When exactly Grayston “knew” Boe had stolen the money will be a question for courts and journalists. What he did clearly know was that his company had no money and could not deliver on time. While Grayston may have hoped that Boe would fully repay the company (he apparently did in part), the company also launched a pre-order campaign in October 2014, after it had spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on salary and was nearly broke. On October 15, 2014, Peachy emailed sent the following email with the header: “The Peachy Printer Now Available!” Two weeks later they bounced their $17,000 payroll. By mid December, 2014, this confession from Boe was apparently filmed: Here is the period during which the theft was allegedly discovered. (via peachyprinter.com): Unfortunately, rather than involve the police, Grayston apparently tried to eke out a product over the next year and a half. Eventually the shoestring broke, leading to today’s admission of insolvency. The internet will no doubt judge Peachy quite...

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