A $154k Kickstarter Retrospective: What You Can Learn From the Game Frame’s Success

Anatomy of a successful Kickstarter

Jeremy Williams is the San Francisco based engineer / hacker / programmer / maker / video game enthusiast behind the Game Frame, a fully-programmable grid of LEDs designed to make it easy to display animated pixel art and old-school video game graphics.

Earlier this year Jeremy raised over $154,000 on Kickstarter for the Game Frame – an amazing sum considering the project’s original $15,000 goal.

7 months later – With the last of the Kickstarter rewards fulfilled, we sat down with Jeremy to get some insight into what led to his amazingly successful campaign.

Here’s a look at what has happened before and after the campaign was funded, along with some important lessons—both good and bad—that crowdfunding hopefuls can learn from Jeremy’s success story.

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A sense for laser cutting

The Laser Cutter Roundup — a weekly dose of laser-cut love: #188

Hey, Sam here collecting the post from The Laser Cutter.

Above are laser cut perforated paper take-off light lampshades which allow you to make any pattern or opacity you want from fifti-fifti.

Make sure you join TLC’s Facebook page.

After the jump, foam, hedgehogs, skulls, and friends… (more…)

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Laser cut from behind

The Laser Cutter Roundup — a weekly dose of laser-cut love: #182

Hey, Sam here collecting the post from The Laser Cutter.

Above is a laser cut plywood cake topper from My Madeline Trait.

Make sure you join TLC’s Facebook page.

After the jump, coral, castles, maps, butts, and Pi Borg… (more…)

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Laser cut light

The Laser Cutter Roundup — a weekly dose of laser-cut love: #178

Hey, Sam here collecting the post from The Laser Cutter.

Above is a laser cut MDF lamp from Baraboda.

Make sure you join TLC’s Facebook page.

After the jump, a wolf, a purse, a tree, and lanters… (more…)

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A camera that is more than it seems

Q: When is a camera Not-A-Camera? A: When it’s laser cut!

As an ornament, this laser cut and laser etched 2D wooden camera has its own charm. Just be sure to say cheese when you see someone wearing one, because there is more here than meets the eye.

Secreted inside the half-inch thick device are the tiny innards of a basic digital camera.

Olivia made the Not-A-Camera for her 101 year old grandmother, who has been a shutterbug ever since discovering a knack for photography back in her 90s.

Click through for a closer look as well as a shot of Grandma all set up for some snapping action. (more…)

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Open Source Laser Cut CT Scanner

Taking a DIY approach to high tech imaging

Providing the magical ability to scan not only the surface, but also to reveal details of the insides of an object, the CT (computed tomography) scanner has quite literally changed the way we see ourselves.

Modern CT scanners are frightfully expensive and are usually found in hospitals but Canadian-born Peter Jansen has built one himself out of laser cut wood.

“After seeing the cost for my CT scan, I decided it was time to try to build an open source desktop CT scanner for small objects, and to do it for much less than the cost of a single scan.”

With a design quite similar to the early commercial CT scanners, Peter’s device began as a quarter-scale laser cut acrylic version that he whipped up in a single day.

He then used this mockup to help refine the design, under the watchful gaze of a friendly house cat. (more…)

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Prototyping robot legs with a laser cutter

OFFRobot design iterations resolved using laser cutting

Responding to the tempting possibilities posed by the Hack The Arduino Robot challenge, the OFFRobot is a neat little walker designed by John Rees from the UK.

He’s documented his development process and thoughts along the way, from design of the walking mechanism (including inspiration from Disney Research and the ever-impressive Strandbeest) through to various stages of laser cut and 3d printed leg assemblies.

One interesting point to note is that John’s prototyping went from laser cut cardboard in the early stages, on to laser cut plywood and then 3d printing which came into play once the design was more resolved.

With the deadline of the competition looming, he went back to laser cutting in acrylic for the final burst.

“I did more 3d printing. It gave me some great, really solid and light pieces but I left it too late to print everything, so I will revert to laser cutting once again!”

By ‘reverting’ back to laser cutting for the robot’s legs and gears, John was able to achieve reliable, accurate and tangible results really quickly. That’s one of the major advantages of laser cutting – the unrivalled speed and precision.

Here’s a look at how the OFFRobot mechanism works:

Read more at OFFRobot.

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Etch A Sketch controls on a laser cutter?

Arduino-based modification turns laser cutting into a hands-on affair

Just in time for International Arduino Day, this fun project from Just Add Sharks really has our fingers twitching.

Imagine controlling a serious laser cutter with the dynamic ease of an Etch A Sketch. Having first toyed with the idea years ago, Just Add Sharks have finally followed through and attached a fully functional Etch A Sketch controller to their laser cutter. Talk about dreams coming true!

Complete with authentic twiddly knobs and retro-Etch styling (all laser cut, of course) the modification uses an Arduino Pro Mini to bypass the machine’s existing wiring.

Click through for a video of the controller in action, where you can see the different functionality of either Etch or Cut being demonstrated.

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Original ideas to laser cut (not really)

The Laser Cutter Roundup — a weekly dose of laser-cut love: #167

Hey, Sam here collecting the post from The Laser Cutter.

Make sure you join TLC’s Facebook page.

Above is a laser cut covered notebook from Creative Use of Technology.

After the jump, scarf buckles, dinosaurs, lips,  love, and a laser cutter… (more…)

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30 Holiday Gifts Created by Independent Designers

2013 Holiday Gift Guide

holiday gift guide

Cat silhouette snowflake ornaments? Check! Quotation mark earring studs? Yes! Full moon wall clock? Got it! DNA sequencer? Sho ‘nuf.

These are just a few of the fantastic things on our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide featuring original designs from Ponoko customers.

We’ve selected 30 different products this year to fit all budgets and suit everyone from your sister to your boss.

Check out our Gift Guide on Pinterest, and support independent designers this holiday season!

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