TIME TO REVEAL, MY NEW COMPANY - POLYIO

Posted on Saturday January 10, 2015 in News, Personal


I’ve been working in secrecy on PolyIO (Polygon Input Output) for the last year, getting faster, better, making multiple products at once with ease.

I’m really proud of everything I’ve created. I took everything I’ve learned from previous work and projects, and combined it into my best work yet.

The first product I’m launching for this company is the one I’ve been working on the longest. I think it turned out great and works amazingly.

I think its origins make for quite the story as well.

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2014 year in review

Posted on Thursday January 01, 2015 in News, Personal

What a great year. Somehow every year just gets better. I’d be lying though if I said this year started perfectly. It didn’t.

In early 2014 I left the company I started (Matterform), which was sad. I’d worked so hard to create the company, the product and the launch, but leaving was required in order for me to continue developing new products.

But I had no shortage of projects tossed my way immediately, even before official word got out I’d left. I did some very cool work for Budweiser - it was nice to follow up the Budweiser Redlight with some more great projects for them. If you haven’t seen the Budlight Living Phone or Sneakers I made, check my portfolio.

I’m making new artwork as well. It’s wonderful to get back to that again. I’ve got some new pieces I’ve been wanting to do for a long time, but just hadn’t had time to do them. Right now I’m working on 2 new works. In the past I’ve had employers or partners tell me I can’t make art because it might affect any company I am affiliated with. Now I represent me, and only me, and can make what I want. Any reactions, either positive or negative, will reflect only on me.

I’m now the sole owner of a new company. My first new product is launching early in 2015, and there are another 15 products in the works.

I’m a very hands on person. Outsourcing to China and then doing paperwork just isn’t for me. I’m happy to hire an accountant to do the paperwork day in and day out, and spend my time working on projects I’m passionate about. I’ve become a one man army! People are sceptical that one person can design a product, manufacture and assemble it, design the website, brand it, advertise, and promote it. On behalf of the maker community, I’m ready to challenge that scepticism. 3D has been my passion for over 17 years now, starting with learning 3DS Max in a friends basement back in highschool, to stacks of 3D World magazines, dusty SGI systems, one of the first Makerbot Cupcakes, and then launching my own 3D scanner company 2 years ago. I’m ready for the next step.

On a non work related note, I proposed to the love of my life and best friend (she said yes) and got engaged. We also moved to a house on the beach, which has been the most amazing living experience ever. I never want to move. When not designing things we’re out on the water kayaking, paddle boarding or floating.

I remember being a geek back in highschool, and how that wasn’t considered cool. I don’t know - I ride motorcycles, kayak, launch products and companies, live on the water and I’m marrying the woman of my dreams. Being a geek has worked out pretty great if you ask me.

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SUP ornament

Posted on Saturday December 20, 2014 in 3D Printing


One of our traditions is that every year I make Shannon an ornament for the Christmas tree. Last year we spent a lot of time floating off the beach in a 6ft inflatable, so I made an ornament of that. This year I designed and 3D printed a stand up paddleboard for her as she spent a lot of our summer on hers. (I found I don’t have the balance for it so I’ll stick to my kayak and leave the paddle boarding to my awesome surfer fiance).

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Dinosaur skull sparkle ornament

Posted on Thursday December 18, 2014 in 3D Printing



Because sometimes you just look at your christmas tree and think, gosh, why isn’t there a sparkling dinosaur skull hanging on it... 

Or maybe you don’t. But I did, so I 3D printed myself a dinosaur skull in high resolution in resin, sprayed glue all over it, and then rolled it in a pile of silver sparkles.
I made ornaments as a kid, and I still make them now. I just upgraded my toolset a tad.

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TIP: How to create a 3D printed solder stencil!

Posted on Sunday December 07, 2014 in 3D Printing, Electronics



Save time, save money and save your sanity. Solder stencils are invaluable if you’re making a printed circuit board with tiny SMD (surface mount parts). The low tech way to deal with SMD PCB’s is a syringe, and dabbing each spot with a tiny blob of solder paste by hand.
The better way is to use a solder stencil, which only allows solder to flow where you want it to. The concept is very similar to creating a silkscreen for a t-shirt actually. It’s amazing how skills bleed across disciplines.

Solder stencils are usually expensive, although there are services that do them cheaper. I recently found one that will print them for $5, but I haven’t used them yet so I can’t recommend them. Nevermind the price though, what I’m talking about here is being in a bind. You need a solder stencil, and for whatever reason (lack of planning, quick turn around) you don’t have one, and ordering one could take weeks.

Another method would be to use kapton film and a laser engraver. My laser is currently on loan to a friend though, so it was time to experiment!

The process is actually pretty simple:
-If you’re using Eagle to design your pcb’s, create a cam job, select the tCream layer (that’s the top paste layer) and choose to save it as an eps.
-Click ‘process job’. This will create the eps vector file.
-Open in adobe illustrator (or another vector program) if your cad software can’t import an eps. I used 3ds max so I needed to convert it to an AI file first.
-After import, convert the outline to an editable polygon and extrude it to desired thickness. 0.3mm seems to be perfect.
-Print at the highest resolution possible, ( e.g. 0.1mm layer height).
You should end up with something paper thin. In fact, it’ll feel a lot like paper. It may be a little rough around some of the holes depending on your printer, but it’ll do the job. You can clean it up or fill any areas it misses with a syringe. I’d much rather fix 10 pads with a syringe than 300.

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Updated prototype. Now with Magnetic locking!

Posted on Thursday December 04, 2014 in 3D Printing, Prototype


In my original prototype the kickstand wasn’t functional yet. I needed something to convey the look and feel and make sure all were happy before really digging in deeper on the design. To make the kickstand function correctly on this prototype I’ve added magnets. This helps the spring pull it into position after sliding the release clip, but also locks it in position strongly enough that the unit can stand on its own without issues. At first I imagined making the kickstand lock through plastic parts inside that would allow it to click into place, but after seeing the magnetic version in action it just feels so much better and works faster. I’m really happy with this change.



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Prototype

Posted on Tuesday December 02, 2014 in 3D Printing, Prototype, Electronics





A mere 13 days after I sketched this in a coffee shop with a team member sitting next to me, a pair of these prototypes are here on my desk in real life. Aluminum, plastic, professionally printed circuit boards from my design files, magnets, springs. etc. I love how fast I can go now from concept to reality - manufacturing really is a changing landscape. I have some tweaks to make and I have to redesign and print a few small parts today, but hey, I'm happy with the super fast progress so far and how clean it’s looking already.

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3D printing a Tyrannosaurus Rex dinosaur skull

Posted on Sunday November 23, 2014 in 3D Printing



I find I use my 3D printer mostly for personal or client work (inventions, products, prototypes, etc). I always have fun making products, but I rarely just print things FOR fun that do not serve a specific purpose. I decided to just print something frivolous. I’ve wanted a large t-rex skull on display for quite some time, but they can be kind of expensive and not great quality in most cases anyways, so why buy one? This is printed from a 3d scan I downloaded, and not finished yet. It’s about 1/5th scale (30cm long) and printed in 9 parts. Almost all 3d printers have fairly small print areas so it’s going to need a lot of filler and sanding, but when I’m done, I expect it’ll look great. I’ll update more on this later. It’ll have to sit in my queue with other projects and slowly progress.

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Another Project

Posted on Saturday November 15, 2014 in 3D Printing, Prototype



This is a very rough sketch of an assembly I’m designing for a new product I’m collaborating on.  I’ve designed multiple versions but I like this one the best I think. I’ve worked on about 20 products over the last year, and with practice I’ve become super fast at taking things from concept to finished version ready for production. I thought this went very quickly and turned out really well. I’ve got final tweaks to do yet, and use scenarios may dictate changing the design, but I’m happy with this version of it.

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FITC

Posted on Wednesday November 12, 2014 in Uncategorized


Well, I wasn’t at the FITC conference this year, but Professor Steve Mann was. He gave a presentation on wearable technology, and demoed a small light I designed in CAD and 3D printed. It was a talking point for a larger project we’ve teamed up on with a few others for a new company. I can’t really say more yet, but Steve’s previous companies have included Interaxxon, which created the Muse thought controlled headband, and Meta, which makes the augmented reality space glasses. (think Oculus, but with a 3D scanner built in). I was super excited to simply meet Steve Mann, and now I’m working with him. This project is separate from the big one I’ve been hinting at that I’m launching.

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Sneak peek at my new product 03

Posted on Monday November 10, 2014 in Prototype


For the new product I’m launching for my own company I needed some metal parts - this was the first time I’ve designed custom aluminum parts for a personal project. It was quite exciting getting a box of them in the mail. And no, it’s not a spatula or fly swatter. It’s far more exciting than that. haha. More to come...

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Sneak peek at my new product 02

Posted on Saturday November 08, 2014 in Prototype


Well I’m just going to tease a bit more. We just started shooting a video demo of the new product I’m designing and getting ready to launch. I’m very excited about the launch, and working with Jeremy Thompson again. Jeremy shot the video for the launch of our Matter and Form scanner also as a favor to me, so I owe him double big time now.

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Sneak peek at my new product 01

Posted on Saturday November 01, 2014 in Prototype, Electronics


I won’t say too much, other than that it’s purple and it’s my design.. and it’s part of something big coming soon. I like printing circuit boards at home, but I LOVE getting them professionally printed in gold.

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Happy Halloween!

Posted on Friday October 31, 2014 in Personal


We went as sackboy/sackgirl this year and won couples prize for best costume at the Silver Snail. Silver Snail always has a great halloween party. We threw these together in only a couple hours, but most of the costumes there looked like people spent months on them. They were all really great quality. I don’t think ours was as good as half of them, but I think we got attention because of how noticeable ours were. Bigger is better I guess.

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Makerbot store visit.

Posted on Tuesday October 07, 2014 in 3D Printing



We’re in Boston on our road trip, so we stopped by the Makerbot store. I have to say I think it’s neat to see an entire store based around 3d printing, and I’d wager they’ll become more widespread. For now, I think it’s a great way for people to see and experience the technology.

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