One way to keep morale up in a high-pressure, high-stress work environment is through candy. Lots and lots of candy. One of the guys at the office brought in several gumball machines he has and filled them with delicious sweets, mostly different flavors of M&Ms. Unfortunately while trying to unlock one of them he pulled the key out without it being aligned properly, thus making it impossible to get the key back in the keyhole. Co-workers tried all sorts of ways to get it working, but no luck. Finally one guy remembered I had 3D printers and asked if I could help and, well, I’m always up for a challenge.
After getting settled in our rental home in Redmond, it was nice to be able to get my Thing-o-Matic out of it’s Pelican case and set up to print some fun things. But as I started to get things rolling, something just wasn’t right. Perhaps it was the software update I did to the latest ReplicatorG; perhaps something physically shook loose in transit. I had a pressing need to use my 3D printer, but couldn’t. What to do?
For the past 14 years, the company I work for, frog, has been hosting the SXSW Interactive opening party. For the past three of those years I’ve played a role in it: brainstorming installation ideas, and building/coding really cool experiences for our thousands of attendees.
This year the core concept was turning digital experiences into analog ones, and vice versa. Additionally, one of the consistent themes of our party is to play with scale. So one of the experiences we set out to build was “Electro Tennis” (an electro-mechanical version of the classic Pong video game). But we decided to build it on an enormous scale — two 30′ x 25′ playing “courts”, each with a 12″ cube for a ball and 4′ x 3.5′ water tank for a paddle. In other words: giant.
As I mentioned in my first attempt at creating a very small headphone shirt clip, I wanted to revisit the design and make some adjustments based on what I had learned. I got a chance over this holiday weekend to do just that — take some more measurements, make some new designs, and print some more clips.