3Doodler’s Total Domination

I felt like Ralphie’s dad when he finally received his “Major Award” when I finally got my 3Doodler in December. It was like “The soft glow of 3D Printing bliss gleaming in the palm of my hands!”
3Doodler Opened  ???????????????????????????????

So the first thing I made was a Santa hat for my FoldableMe, also a great Kickstarter project. Ok, really the first thing I made was those squiggly blobs in the photo….

Once I got the hang of using the 3Doodler I wanted to put it to the ultimate test: the very first ever 3D Printer Cage Match held at Chicago’s Beauty Bar. I had missed the deadline for entry so I entered under the radar. The battle took place in a very low lit room with most of the light being provided by a disco ball. The challenge was to 3D print a siege weapon to then fire marshmallows at the slower competitors trying to build their weapons. The odds were stacked against myself and the 3Doodler. We were up against formidable odds: a SeeMeCnc Orion and Rostock Max, Rep Rap, Ord Bot, UP! Plus 2, and even a Shapeoko mill.

2013-12-12 19.54.01   2013-12-12 20.19.36   2013-12-12 20.19.15

But the competition didn’t even stand a chance. Little did they know I now had the most portable, easiest setup, fastest warm up times, and fastest design to construction times of any 3D printer on the market. Also the cheapest with no 3D modeling skills required!

Mallow  Launch

With the release of the latest Make: Ultimate Guide to 3D Printing and all of the new machines and products coming out at CES for 3D Printing, don’t count out the little guy the 3Doodler! It really provides the fastest way to go from idea to physical object, even though it might not be the prettiest object.

Download the stencil for the Desktop Catapult here. It will also be available on The 3Doodler web page too, where you can find a lot of other great designs. #Whatwillyoucreate?

Thank you to Simpleswitchlabs, SeeMeCNC, Inventables, and Beauty Bar


Everywhere a Pop Up!

Version Fest 12 starts today!  There are going to be Pop Ups everywhere for the month of May in the neighborhood of the future, Bridgeport Chicago.  There are going to be Pop Up bookstores, art galleries, donuts, parades, dog parks, and Bridgeport Day!

Myself and 26LAB will be participating in Bridgeport Day along with a bunch of others like ssh:chicago, lionVSgorilla, and many others. Check out Bridgeport Day for more.

Click on the image to learn more about the Pop Up Pup Park, part of Bridgeport Day and keep checking back to see more on Version Fest and Bridgeport Day throughout May.

Render Your Time and Money Effectively

Next Limit Technologies has come up with a great affordable plugin for SketchUp, a simpler version of their very powerful Maxwell Render.  Here are some quick one click renders using only SketchUp materials, sunlight, and environment.  See SketchUp exported images here.

There seems to be some limitations with advanced interior lighting, if there is not a lot of daylight but, who designs without daylighting anymore.  For $95 and one click not too bad!  There is a great set of starter tutorials that walk you through the interface as well as a large library of Maxwell textures and skies available for your rendering pleasure. Your SketchUp materials can also be saved with the Maxwell render settings for ease of use later.  As you can see from my portfolio, I am not a huge fan of photo-realistic renderings.  I find my time better spent on designing instead of waiting for renderings. With the new plugin though I can now have the best of both worlds without a lot of hassle.  Overall the Maxwell plugin is a well priced, simple, and powerful addition to your SketchUp workflow.

First Date at the New Navy Pier?

Which new design would you want to have a new first date at? Here are the first three redesigns for the Navy Pier Centennial Vision.  The second presentation with Field Operations and Xavier Vendrell Studio are probably starting right now but, here is how the first three presentations went.  The three contenders that went first were AECOM/BIG, Aedas Architects, and !melk.

The first up for the night was Aedas/HOK, PierEscape.  The most interesting portion of their project was the redesign of the Navy Pier entry it was recreated into a more natural marsh habitat with interesting look out point to view the city and the pier and some cool lighting sculptures.


Next was AECOM/BIG Pier +, easily the winner of the night.  We will have to see what Field Operations comes up with another one of my favorite firms.  I am a pretty big BIG fan but there are a few reasons why, he is one of the best presenters of our time and his designs are usually quite thoughtful.


Their presentation was well presented and well thought out, like the first date scenario that could take place at the new pier.  It takes advantage of the existing facilities and takes them to the next level.Great new winter sledding spot would maybe bring people to the Pier during their slowest season.  They also turned the green house into a great urban hydroponic garden with actual fish, not just a fish pattern on the floor.  Also it was refreshing to see an addition of a non-architectural solution, the Pier + card and app.  With the app you could control one of the interactive fountains.

The last team !melk, Great Pier.  They also had a good solution to the entrance of the Pier “business in the front party/park in the back.”  The space would be a great activator to bring new people to Navy Pier.  Their project included a glacier sculpture and theme.


For more information about all of the designs you can see them on display at CAF in Chicago or visit Navy Pier Vision website for all of the video presentations.

Architectural Bounce House?

What a great way to bring in the new year with a bit of fun.  Whenever I would describe this project to one of my non-architect friends they immediately think “bounce house.”  That may not necessarily be a bad thing, bounce houses bring back memories of fun and maybe a rolled ankle or two.

To be more architectural about the inflatable Bike Parking Oasis.  It was created with the quote from Buckminster Fuller, and Norman Foster in mind.  “How much does your building weigh?”  Also an Arch-documentary by Norman Foster.  We saw the film at last year’s Chicago Architectural Film Festival in Chicago, where we also met Bjarke Ingels.

It does not get much lighter than a portable inflatable structure that defines space and provides seating.  The project also pushes the boundaries for some, in that it takes up a “valuable” car parking space.  The title of the project comes from the sometimes vast desert of adequate bike parking in many areas around the city.  If bicycles are supposed to follow all of the same rules of the road as vehicles, why are they not granted the same parking rights?  For more details about the project, click on the image above.

Many more projects currently in the works for 2012.  Architecture, furniture, objects, 26lab curriculum, paper toys, graphics, and more DukeTIP Keep an eye out!

Happy Holidays!

Here are a few things that we were working on over the holidays.

Stocking holders created at MSI Chicago, Fab Lab for DS26. Laser cut acrylic.

Recyclable wrapping paper, thanks RedEye! It’s all about the details.

And a paper craft star.  Thanks Unfold Plugin.

X-men Knuckle Bump for X-mas!

Collect all three, before the end of the year.  A great last minute, FREE, X-mas gift for all.  They look great on the desk, on the Christmas tree, in a stocking, or helping out with holding the new phone you got for X-mas. Have fun folding and have a great holiday.  Princess, X-men, and Zombie.

Be careful you might poke your eye out!

Only for fun, any reproduction rights or copyrights belong to rzfolio.com & Robert Zylstra. See post below for ideas and finished Knuckle Bump.