Epic Movie Beaver

Many of you may not know this, but I spent a few years working in the movie FX industry. Specifically, I made animatronic props and movie monsters for films like AVP:Requiem, Snakes on a Plane, and Epic Movie. Interestingly a mini documentary just came out profiling the studio “Mark Rappaport’s Creature FX” and my beaver prop from Epic Movie’s featured about halfway through! It’s kind of exciting as I never actually saw Epic Movie and never had much of a chance to see the finished prop in action. Video after the jump. Continue reading

QuahogCon’s Closing Keynote

Some months back I gave the closing keynote at QuahogCon. It was an overview of the digital manufacture techniques available today focusing on 3d printing. I gave detailed information on how to interface with them, what properties different techniques impart, and how to generate geometry.

You can find an audio recording of the presentation here. You can also download my resources (containing links to artists, 3d printing companies, software tools, and awesome projects) here. You can also find my presentation’s visuals on Prezi.

Bioshock Belt Buckle

Being both a fan of victoriana and Bioshock (related afflictions) I contrived to create for myself a belt buckle of the Bioshock logo. The prototype was milled out of machinst’s wax over on the Tormach 4-axis CNC at Techshop. After creating a mold in silicone I had some wax duplicates cast in bronze. You can see more of the prototype on Flickr and view a tutorial of the process on Instructables.

The first version informed some design and method changes which were applied to a 3d printed Objet version. This was then duplicated in wax and turned into a short series. The process of revising and refining an idea from its rough first iteration, fostering that kernel that inspired everything until it’s spun out into a successful design is incredibly rewarding. I’ve released the design on Thingiverse if you’d like to download it and print your own.


Bioshock buckles on SuperPunch, Technabob, CrunchGear, and Kyozokicks.

Digitally Fabricated Goggles

These digitally fabricated steampunk goggles took over a year of tinkering, procrastinating, and experimentation to build. I started with the metal pieces, designing them in Solidworks and cutting out waxes on a CNC milling machine over at Tech Shop SF. From there, parts were cast in bronze at a place called JR Casting. I designed all the leather parts in Illustrator, creating cut-out paper models to test the design as it became more refined. Then all the cut patterns were sent off to Ponoko  to get laser cut in leather. From there it was a couple evenings of dyeing, painting, stitching, and sweating to get everything together.

I really started seriously pursuing digital fabrication when, a couple of years ago, I was operating the laser cutter over at Instructables. A man named Robert Lang came through the door to work out some prototypes in paper. He was doing origami designs, etching the results of computer-based experiments on paper, and then folding them. It all came together for me when he explained how he could have a couple of crucial measurements and relationships drive an origami design that he could infinitely tweak before transferring it to the paper all ready to fold. From there, I began playing with ready-to-assemble designs, flat printed designs, and 3d printing.


Digitally fabricated goggles on Make, Ponoko, and Trial by Steam. Download the designs at Thingiverse, Ponoko (extra), and Shapeways.