Another Kickstarter success using Ponoko
Office wars don’t always have to be nasty email battles. Sometimes they can be fun too! Armed with this idea, Apptivus – a collective of creative thinkers came up with ‘PennyPult’.
Presenting, the PennyPult
The team at Apptivus has a successful history of designing exciting products including mobile apps and games as well as physical goods. The PennyPult is miniature siege weapon. By definition, it is a trebuchet or a gravity-powered catapult. The kit comes with everything you need to build your very own desk sized trebuchet. All you need is a flat surface and 16 pennies.
Apptivus believes the PennyPult is a step above the other trebuchet kits on the market because it’s smaller, easier to build, and more fun. Additionally, it has a unique design they claim you won’t find anywhere else.
The PennyPult gets its special look from the stacked counterweight design. Unlike a traditional trebuchet, the counterweight is positioned above the throwing arm. In addition to having a unique throwing action, it actually increases the throwing distance. The PennyPult can throw a projectile up to 35ft! Not bad for a machine that stands only 9 inches tall. Plus, it’s easy to load and fire and you won’t have to deal with finicky slings, tangled lines, or misfires.
Designed with precision through Ponoko
Using laser cut parts from Ponoko, constructing a working trebuchet has never been easier. A PennyPult can be constructed in less than 15 minutes and without the use of tools. It requires no glue, no sanding, and no knowledge of woodworking. The precision laser-cut pieces simply snap together. The other pieces are made of brass, copper, rubber, and acrylic ensuring you wont be disappointed with its quality.
Blowing the roof off Kickstarter funding goals
The first PennyPult was created in January 2015. Since then, it has gone through countless iterations and improvements. Months later, the team at Apptivus had something they were really proud of. After a first production run in May and having received positive feedback from friends and family, they decided to take the project to KickStarter. Their goal was to raise $2,000 from August to September.
Yet, nothing could have prepared them for the overwhelming success they were about to witness. They breezed past their original funding goal and saw the figures increase by a whopping $6000 in just one weekend.
And with a few days still to go, they have exceeded their original budget by 15 times to raise an astounding $37,989 and the money is still pouring in.
The PennyPult is available through Kickstarter at a discounted price, with kits ranging from $25-$150. And if reading this has inspired you to launch your own hardware idea, make it and sell it with Ponoko today!
Amex Plastic Re-Imagined
With a rich history in highly refined laser cut art pieces, French design agency Future Marketry were the right guys to bank on for American Express. The financial giant commissioned them to create interpretations of the three classic credit cards – Green, Gold and Platinum.
The results are a dynamic sculptural interplay of light and shade as the contoured laser cut surfaces replicate the holographic sheen of the actual cards. All this is achieved in multiple layers of poplar ply, brass and acrylic. This is a fantastic example of how to create a sense of depth and visual complexity using 2D laser cutting. Click through to the source for more detail images from the series.
What other clever examples of laser cut light and shade have you seen? Let us know in the comments below.
Going BIG: Changing the way we see everyday objects
Every day we interact with hundreds of objects, barely giving them a second thought as they perform their designated functions. The transformation that happens when you dramatically upscale an item can be a real conversation starter, as is demonstrated by the giant comb bike rack pictured above.
This clever design was a response by Know How Shop LA to the question: “What would I lock my bike to if I were really small?”
Changes in scale can be a simple way to create an eye-catching impact, where often the more ubiquitous the item, the stronger the reaction will be. See how using laser cutting to go big can help your clients stand out from the crowd! Let us know about your ‘big ideas’ in the comments below.
Give your photography a boost using laser cut filters
Techniques for taking dramatic photos often rely on fancy (ie expensive) equipment, but as this little project from Jin Tsubota very effectively demonstrates, you can achieve some impressive results on a tight budget thanks to the Ponoko Personal Factory.
Watch the video above to see Jin’s step-by-step walkthrough of the remarkably easy process he used to make custom laser cut Bokeh Filters for a friend’s wedding.
“…I thought it would be fun to surprise him and his bride by shooting their wedding with these DIY bokeh filters.”
For those not familar with Bokeh, it refers to the aesthetic quality of the blurred elements that are captured through a camera lens. Bokeh filters take advantage of this, by controlling the shape of these areas using a physical filter attached to the front of the lens.
Inspired by these results, we had a quick go using the Ponoko logo! While our outcome isn’t quite as impressive as Jin’s, it is still fun to experiment with this technique.
You can see a photo with no filter on the left, then the filter with laser cut Ponoko logo, and the effect it creates on the right of the above image.
DIY Bokeh Filters make for a great low-cost laser cutting project, and the results can give your photography a unique, eye-catching personal touch. Have you made your own laser cut camera filters? Let us know in the comments below.
Laser Cut Bokeh Filters via YouTube: Jin Tsubota
Hey there makers. If you’ve got something big planned for this year’s World Maker Faire New York these are the dates you’ll need to get your goodies in time for the big event:
Laser Cutting Order Deadlines:
Standard Making & Shipping Speeds: Last Orders by Thursday September 10th 2015.
Upgraded Making & Shipping Speeds: Last Orders by Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015.
Metal Machining (PCM) Order Deadline:
Standard Making & Shipping Speeds: Last Orders by Thursday September 3rd 2015.
3D Printing Order Deadline:
Standard Making & Shipping Speeds: Last Orders by Friday, August 28th 2015.
Laser cut and etched numbers send us back to the Atomic age
For retro-loving tech-heads, there is almost nothing quite as mesmerising as the soothing glow of those iconic nixie tubes. Their illuminated typography with refined, crisp fonts traced out in delicate filaments evoke an era of technological optimism and mysterious futuristic endeavours.
Inspired by this iconic visual, Thingiverse maker Folker has created a 21st century interpretation using laser cut and etched acrylic. Each number is etched onto a laser cut panel, and illuminated by an individual RGB LED. All characters from 0-9 are then laminated together to form one digit module. Pictured above is a prototype for the resulting clock/calendar device, also published on Thingiverse.
You can click through to see clips of the numbers ticking away as well as the smooth transitions as the LEDs phase through their full color range, thanks to some clever programming. Interestingly, the filament-thin fonts referenced from the original nixie tubes are quite similar to modern design elements that appear on popular i-devices. Those fashion cycles keep on repeating!
As we see here, using LEDs for illumination of laser etched designs can create a bold, distinctive visual impact that is a welcome change from the brightly lit screens we have become used to. How would you use this technique in your designs? Jump into the Ponoko Personal Factory and try it yourself!