Friday, 8 January 2016

The best of the rest

I've made a lot of cakes for Dinkydoodle Designs, the BB8 cake was a particular high light, but there was also the flying carpet, the theatre royal and the washing line. It all kept me very busy and usually with very short turn around times.

Maker Faires:
We attended most of the maker faires/Makefests in 2015 as Just Add Sharks and usually built something new and interesting for each one. Edinburgh, Newcastle, Halifax, Liverpool, Manchester, Bristol, Brighton and Derby. Each one also required a stock of kits that took several days to prepare for.

Commission Work:
The commission type projects just seem to get bigger and more involved. Whether it was designing new kits like the pendulum wave (which went through 3 iterations and still didn't work), pint glasses or faffing with other peoples artwork (which has ultimately turned into 50 sets so very worthwhile) it was all rather time consuming. There are a dozen projects here I'm still not allowed to talk about, some hefty commissions for ideas still in development and websites yet to be launched. I'll be sure to update as and when I can.

LARP played it's usual role throughout the year, who knew that 3 weekends away would take so long to get ready for. I'm particularly pleased with the large mechanical iris and the knife switches. It's nice to have a job that can pay for the hobby and I really like the idea that my laser cutting is changing the way LARP weapons can be made. My Vale storage tray had multiple iterations and has only just been finished this week (yet to be posted)

The big success:
One of the best successes this year was the continuous autofocus laser hack. It's a hack and barely functional but it just came together so nicely, figuring out that it could be done and then actually getting it to work was very satisfying. There are plans afoot for more of the same this year, parts have been bought and a second iteration is already under way, this one stands more chance of being viable and reproducible though.

The unmentionables:
Finally there were a bunch of projects that just didn't quite reach completion. Great ideas and concepts that need a little push to get finished and then ultimately were never published. I invented a new type of laser cut hinge, I invented a component storage system to go alongside the linbin storage system. I spent a lot of time fiddling with Laos to no avail yet, there's a flat packing dice tower, a GM screen and a whole bunch of other gaming trays. Man, what have I done with my year I'm so far behind.