Another Pencase update

So the latest version is looking very clean – I made some serious print setting modifications which make it a little more durable. It’s not bulletproof and it was never really meant to be – but I am confident that with the right materials, the current version will suit people well if they fit a certain customer profile.

And that’s the big rub – one of the things I gleaned from a very small (and thus not dependable) customer sample was that people who got the first version were – uh – on a continuum of clumsiness.

I am REALLY trying to be politically correct about that because everyone who tried out the first version was without a doubt SUPER. But there was an obvious continuum on which they fell when it came to the amount of use and wear they put on the pencase. It ranged from carrying it carefully in some other case, protected from most of the elements to being wielded full bore while riding a Harley (really not kidding about that last one).

Now, there is no way ANYTHING I print using PLA (Polylactic Acid Thermoplastic for printing) will survive a full speed crash off of a Harley on the freeway. I didn’t create it for that. But I am pretty sure if I printed one of these in the current range of Nylons from some of the higher end service bureaus, I would get seriously close to that survivability.

Anyway, I had put this project on hold for a LONG time because of some other interesting and time dependent projects. And the Fuse 1, Formlab’s new SLS standalone solution is nearing market release. Now there is a longshot at being able to afford that full system – which when figured might clear 20K – but it is an ideal way to actually, personally, and repeatedly manufacture the Pencase for real on my own.

If there was enough of a market for them, I would love to go that route. But then again, an SLS Machine of my own? Avoiding the desire, distraction and capability of creating things in that format would be like Ulysses resisting the Sirens. As the meme goes, I would MAKE ALL THE THINGS.

So the next step on this round of the Pencase isn’t really clear.

Gawk or GTFO

I hate to use such a loaded acronym but to be honest – it is just a weird observations to make while sketching this weekend. The odd docent or two at a certain facility (if you know me, you already know which one I am talking about) can be just this side of hostile when I spend time in a museum.

I get it – I know full well the value of the stuff on the walls – probably in ways more meaningful as an artist than to many who walk around aimlessly gawping at the walls.

But I’m ranting. Places like museums have become entertainment complexes and profit centers as well as serving legitimate educational goals. And one of the sweet spots they hit psychologically is that of a “luxury good.”

In one of my favorite movies, “The Art of the Steal” forces aligned to acquire the famous Barnes collection of artwork. The wishes of the man who amassed these works was very different from the goals of the political forces that eventually wrested control of them. And I admit, I am deeply conflicted sometimes about the nature and purpose of many museums these days.

But most of the time, I am incredibly grateful that I get to visit these works of art that I only used to read about. Nearly every time I visit the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens, I visit the mausoleum, pay my respects and say than you.