Developing a new product family quickly using @blender
My blog’s been pretty quiet of late as I got ready for @shapeways at the Maker Faire http://bit.ly/10z8u4V And here’s why…
As you know I’m really into designing typographic cufflinks… but I’ve also been working on something a bit more accessible to a wider audience (who aren’t type geeks or cufflink wearers, which is a pretty small audience to be fair).
Introducing the “Neckbangle” (I wasn’t sure what it was, it’s not a necklace, it might be a choker, it’s like a bangle hence the new product framily name is neckbangle).
Here’s the basic concept - I built it using Blender (which is awesome for rapid development). It’s a contoured, spherical wrap around one-piece design. Styled to sit at the base of the throat…
This took about a day to work out the specifics… it’s an asymmetrical slice through a hollow sphere - which gives the base structure a close-fitting, natural look which should fit most female necks. It’s got a 76mm aperture at the back which allows it to hook on without too much trouble but not fall off. In theory anyway…
Then I took a couple of hours to experiment with the form and create two other versions… the ancient neckbangle (inspired by the metalwork styles of old Saxon / Roman jewellery)
And the Shoredtich neckbangle - a punk themed version:
Cutting holes in an asymmetric slice of a sphere ain’t easy… you really need to do it by eye, changing the slice angle by -1 degrees on the X axis, regular (ish) rotation increments around the Z axis and adjusting Y axis coordinates by instinct. Blender is awesome for that - the controls for rotation around the object’s origin mean you can quite literally click away in each axis until it looks right on the little control box, no complex movements necessary. Also, for each hole or spike, just <shift><d> duplicate the last one and move it again… easy really.
What’s next? Well I’ve got a few prototypes in plastic and steel coming, so gauge the sizes with some real women… then it’s a matter of working out how to attach pendants and, of course, mount typography on it.
I’ll keep you posted ;)