After many trials and tribulations, false starts and disappointments, I have designed, made, and sent off the most complex and difficult of the Anywhere Organ Kickstarter rewards. This was the last of the rewards, which means that the long and winding process of fulfilling my campaign promises for the Anywhere Organ can now switch from making rewards to growing the instrument.
These were actually a lot of fun to design. I’ve found that SolidWorks can be good for sketching if you link relationships between elements to make a network of significant lines and measurements dance around each other as you drag parts into place. For this design, the significant measurements were the positions, diameters, and distances between the fingers that would be holding these knuckles. Once I had these dialed in (at least for my own fingers) I set up a sketch that I could drag around until I found a design that had some interesting aesthetic things going on. So far so hoopy.
Unfortunately the next part didn’t work out so fantastically. The usual process with getting anything 3d printed is to take the file to some folks with a 3d printer and give them a reason to want to print your stuff. For me this most often takes the form of money… though puppy dog eyes do the trick sometimes. I used Shapeways for this initial courtship as they’d always done good work at reasonable prices with a pretty quick turnaround time. Since these are nominally brass knuckles (though completely impractical and silly) they fell under Dutch weapons export laws, and could not be shipped. It was especially upsetting after seeing a picture of the final product, looking all sassy and coquettish.
Eventually, Ponoko took me up on the offer and made my knuckles. Then, it was simply a matter of buffing them up, documenting them, making some fancy packaging, and sending them off to the fabulous person who was willing to go above and beyond the call of duty in supporting the Anywhere Organ.