I just got back from 2015 International CES in Las Vegas. My head is still spinning from all I experienced and how little I slept. There were over 170,000 attendees this year and that's a lot of hands to shake. Really happy to be home.

I was there with my colleagues from Aleph Objects Inc to launch our newest 3D printer, the LulzBot Mini. The reception was warm, to say the least, and rightfully so because it's an awesome little machine. I have a feeling that 2015 will be a HUGE one for LulzBot.

Beyond the robotics and 3D printing area, I didn't see much that really blew my mind, but then I barely had time to walk the show we were so busy. One thing I can say for sure, tech is becoming more and more invisible and experiential from wearables to the internet of things.

Vegas itself, on the other hand, is more overwhelmingly flashy and distracting then ever. It had been a few years, and I feel like the number of 20-foot video screens has at least doubled.

The pics posted below come no where close to capturing my CES experience. But they're all I've got.

Whelp....life has been kooky as it's known to be from time to time. Yeah, it's been quite a year.

Since my last update, 3D printing took me from my position at Acuity Design, to full partnership there, to spinning off a new startup called Helix3D, designing an all new 3D printer, producing and managing a successfully funded Kickstarter campaign, learning how much it sucks to be a fundraising CEO, and feeling the heartbreak and loss of pouring so much into a project only to watch it be torn down against my wishes.

And that was all before I moved to a new state, Colorado, to work for the open source company called Aleph Objects, makers of LulzBot 3D Printers.

Loving the people I work with and the products we make. Funny how things work out, eh? I'm really excited about where things will go from here!

So much of this is best explained in pictures. Many, many pictures. I'll add captions to the images later as time allows, but they're more or less chronological.
It's been a while since I've updated this site on my adventures in 3D printing. Life has been pretty cool of late. First off, I am now employed as Creative Director at Acuity Design, a product design and development startup here in Missoula. I print prototypes, render CAD models, and produce marketing content for a living. And my coworkers are a great group of talented people. Wow.

I also got on board with Taulman 3D as a tester of their excellent new nylon copolymer printer filament called "618." It's simply amazing stuff, strong, impact resistant, and flexible. It's a game changer for low cost 3D printers allowing us to print durable and functional parts. I also think it looks amazing so I've been printing vases and lamps with it.

Several of my designs have been featured on Thingiverse and downloaded hundreds, even thousands of times around the world. It's very cool to see a picture of a physical object printed on the other side of the globe based on a small digital file you uploaded to the internet. Magic.

Anyway, the attention I've gotten on Thingiverse caught the attention of some folks in New York City at the Openhouse Gallery. Openhouse hosts a 3D printing "pop-up store" called 3DEA and 3DEA asked if I wanted to have my worked displayed and sold at their next event. I said yes of course, which sent me into a printing frenzy getting samples and sale pieces ready for shipment. I don't have any idea yet how many (if any) things are selling or how things are being received, but I see my work in the background of pictures on their blog and I still can't believe it.

I'll post pics from the show when I get my hands on some, but for now just a sampling of some of the pieces I sent to NY.

Maloufco Enterprises was to be my MFA thesis project, but then 3D printing came into my life and led me in another direction.

My plan was to fully flesh out Maloufco as an absurdly large and naively evil multinational conglomerate corporate behemoth. There were to be fake sponsorships of charity sporting events, pseudo corporate historical documentary shorts, employee safety videos, and even a "First Friday" art opening hosted in a made-over business lobby posing as Maloufco HQ.

Well, Benito Sanduchi may never have been made Time's "Person of the Year," but his carbon belching pseudo company has a sweet website and a Facebook presence.

The Maloufco Corporate Site

Maloufco on the Facebook
This is a short animation I created for an upcoming documentary film called "We Sing Where I'm From."
This exhibition of 3D prints was the culmination of my MFA in Integrated Digital Media. I was dealing with numerous issues raised by this new technology including authenticity, copyright, and ownership. My artist's statement is below, along with images from the show and a time lapse printing video that played during the opening.

The rapidly growing world of 3D printing and 3D scanning will soon make it possible for anyone to digitize and reproduce exact replicas of anything they can snap a picture of. This is not an empty prophecy. Online libraries of digital models are already filling with such scans. 3D printers are getting cheaper and more abundant every day. As quality and ubiquity increase, so disappears one of the last vestiges of object-centered preciousness in the art world, the third dimension.

With this work I simply explore the emerging new reality, and try to keep a sense of humor about it. People have been painting mustaches on copies of the Mona Lisa for decades. Now we can merge dollar store kitties with Michelangelo’s David, deface local monuments with kitsch pig heads, rearrange formalist monoliths; and all in small, colorful plastic models. The resulting objects are recognizable in their fine art roots, but are no more precious than the kitsch junk they’ve been merged with. My intent is not to celebrate this change, nor to decry it as something we should fear. Like all new technology, we artists must embrace it, and make art with it.

The questions of copyright, ownership, and authenticity will linger for years. The plastic these models are made of will last even longer.


Presentation Links
If you attended one of my presentations on this project and would like to visit the websites I discussed and showed in the session, you can find the links below.

What is 3D Printing?

RepRap.org - Home of the Replicating Rapid Prototyper. This is where affordable 3D printing was born and continues to develop.

Lulzbot, a small 3D printing company in Colorado, has a fleet of RepRaps busy all day every day making more RepRaps.

Thingiverse - Hosted by MakerBot Industries, this is an online, user-generated library of digital 3D objects available for download and generally intended for 3D printing. Thingiverse has established itself as THE place to share and find things to print.

123D Catch is a free, cloud-based 3D scanning program. It delivers amazing results without requiring the purchase of any new equipment.

My 123D Catch scanning rig, a design from Thingiverse.

A compilation of print time lapses from this project.

The School of Media Arts at The University of Montana purchased a Thing-o-Matic 3D printer kit in the Fall of 2011. I was fortunate enough to be the one who put most of it together and also got to bring the working printer home over winter break for optimization, testing, and lots of printing.
I was hooked, so at the end of February I bought my own printer, a RepRap Prusa Mendel from Lulzbot. So far I've been very impressed with what it can do.
It's been a blast, I've learned a ton, and I've printed a lot of cool stuff. Some I designed, some I downloaded from thingiverse.com. I've also brought the Thing-o-Matic into my 3D class and have really enjoyed watching my students make things with their fledgling modeling skills. More recently, I enjoyed presenting the printers to state higher education professionals at the XLi conference at The University of Montana, and have two more 3D printing presentations forthcoming later this spring. We even got a write-up in the Missoulian newspaper. Who knew, when that box of Thing-o-Matic parts showed up, how much fun I'd be having now?
Now I'm looking into 3D scanning technologies to pair with our printers.
My page on the Thingiverse is here. Three of my designs have been featured on the Thingiverse front page, and my Fat Bunbun model took First Runner Up in a recent modeling contest. Below are two slideshows with pictures of some successful prints. The first group are pictures of my new Prusa Mendel printer and its output. The second are images of prints from the School of Media Arts' MakerBot Thing-o-Matic.


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