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I make toys for kids who don't want to grow up. I'm on the lookout for new projects. If you're interested in commissioning me to build something ridiculous, shoot me an email.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Rapid Prototyping and the MkIII Ironman Helmet

A while back I won an Objet30 3D Printer in a contest on instructables.com.  This is an amazing machine that turns a digital 3D model into physical object by slicing it into very fine layers, then printing layer after layer of a photosensitive resin on top of one another until it has built the entire thing.

I've been watching 3D printing technology develop over the past couple of years, but this is the first one I've seen that has high enough resolution and seems reliable enough to make it worth owning.  I named mine "Jarvis."

Because it seemed apropos, this is the first thing I had Jarvis build:
Ironman Helmet Right Angle

In case you don't recognize it, this is the Mark 3 Ironman helmet from the first movie. 

On that note, if you don't recognize it, you're wrong.  What rock have you been living under?  If you've been living in a country with electricity at any point in the past five years you should've seen at least one of the three movies that have come out with this character.  If not, get yourself a copy of each film by clicking HERE, HERE, and HERE, lock yourself in a room, watch them all, and catch up with the rest of the planet.  There's a fourth one coming out this weekend, so get yourself educated.

For more details on the build process for my helmet, read on...

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Showing Off for the Bay Area Young Makers

Not too long ago I was asked to be a featured maker at the April monthly meeting of Young Makers. This is a program that matches young people aged 12-17 with adult mentors who coach and inspire them to become innovators and craft a variety of projects to exhibit at the Bay Area Maker Faire (which is coming up fast).

The group meets once a month to discuss their progress and exchange ideas.  At the tail end of their monthly meetings, they invite folks like myself who make a variety of art and tech projects come and give a brief presentation to spark potential ideas for projects the kids can take on.

The task: give a 20-minute talk about my various projects and hobbies.

The challenge: talk about myself and all of my toys and limit it to only 20 minutes.

It was tricky, but I managed to pull it off.

Keeping people's attention is never really all that hard for me.  In this case, I started with a simple Powerpoint presentation showing pictures of various projects I've finished over the years:
Young Makers Presentation (28)

I talked a lot:
But no matter how fascinating I can make a slideshow, it pales by comparison to having costumed characters actually walk in and interact with the audience:
Predatore Enters Young Makers Presentation

That was the Predator costume I made for Halloween back in 2005.  Here's a close-up shot:
Predator Talking

It's looking a bit worse for wear, so this might be the last time that guy goes out in public.  Here's a detail pic from behind while he was waiting to enter the auditorium:
Predator Back

I also brought along one of my HALO Spartans:
Blue Spartan at Young Makers Presentation

And the Dead Space 2 Isaac Clarke costume I made a couple of years ago:
Isaac Clarke at Young Makers Presentation

Which looks good from any angle:
Isaac Clarke at Young Makers Presentation 2

Still, the real showstopper was my latest Warhammer 40K Space Marine build:
Space Marine Sergeant at Young Makers Presentation
The suit looks a little stocky when I wear it, but with my 6' 4" friend Eric wearing it, it's almost lanky:
Shawn Thorsson and Space Marine Sergeant

Because I was in a mad rush all day, I neglected to have all four characters pose for a photo.  The best I got was three of them:
Group shot 2

They also spent some quality time taking photos of themselves:
iPhone Self-Portrait

The Dead Space costume was worn by Dani Yuan who, despite wearing the bulk of the suit, managed to shoot a short video showing Eric being built into the Space Marine suit:

Everybody had a pretty good time, but the fun part was answering questions and interacting with the youth:
Shawn and one of the Young Makers

I was hoping to get a shot of some of the characters with the kids, but they were swarmed enough that I couldn't fit down the hall with a camera:
a group shot

Good times.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Making the STA-52 Light Assault Rifle From Killzone

A while back, I got a message from a very talented 3D modeller named Hugh Holder who had made a pretty decent digital model of one of these:

This is the STA-52 light assault rifle used by the Light Assault Infantry troops of the Helghan Empire.  From one title to the next in the Killzone series there are some minor changes in the design, but nothing significant.

With the 3D modelling  done, he asked me if I'd be willing to build it for him.  No problem.

Here's a couple of copies of the finished piece:
STA-52 LAR Pair Painted

To see how they were made, read on.