Tenyo using 3D printing?

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Tenyo using 3D printing?

Postby P.T.Widdle » January 30th, 2016, 8:14 pm

Richard, in your research for Tenyoism, was there any mention by anyone on the creative team about using 3D printing for prototyping (in the past or for the future)?
Just curious.

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Re: Tenyo using 3D printing?

Postby lybrary » January 30th, 2016, 9:30 pm

I don't have any knowledge about what Tenyo is doing, but I would think it is pretty certain that they would use 3D printing for prototyping.

I wrote about this in my newsletter some years ago. I think 3D printing will be used more often in manufacturing for magic soon. Magic is an ideal market for 3D printing. Production volumes are generally not that large (probably different for Tenyo) which would allow 3D print manufacturing to be a viable way to go.
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Re: Tenyo using 3D printing?

Postby Richard Kaufman » January 31st, 2016, 12:50 am

They do not use 3D Printing to create prototypes.
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Re: Tenyo using 3D printing?

Postby Tom Moore » January 31st, 2016, 6:05 am

3D printing isn't very durable (other than the high end, laser based machines that are the size of a room) and even if you apply Moore's Law to the technology it's still a good 8-10 years before the unit cost of 3D printing reaches a point where it's comparable with other traditional plastic/resin materials. To use 3D printing you also need to have a good working knowledge of 3D cad design in order to make practical CGI models that will actually print and as I've learnt many times over most magic designers are still struggling with 2D pencil and paper.

I use 3D printing in illusion design but mostly for "modelbox" - producing scale models of props that can be used by the director/set designer to practice the show on their scale set models. In the 3 years we've had our own 3D printer i can only think of 2 occasions it has actually been used to make a prop and when everything was factored in it wasn't any cheaper than conventional sculpting or prototyping techniques.
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Re: Tenyo using 3D printing?

Postby lybrary » January 31st, 2016, 7:58 am

Tom Moore wrote:3D printing isn't very durable (other than the high end, laser based machines that are the size of a room) and even if you apply Moore's Law to the technology it's still a good 8-10 years before the unit cost of 3D printing reaches a point where it's comparable with other traditional plastic/resin materials. To use 3D printing you also need to have a good working knowledge of 3D cad design in order to make practical CGI models that will actually print and as I've learnt many times over most magic designers are still struggling with 2D pencil and paper.


I have to disagree with this. I use 3D printers for almost 12 years. The first one I used was at MIT more than 11 years ago. 3D printing is coming to manufacturing if you want to believe it or not. Material strength is dramatically improving. And I am not talking about large and expensive machines. I am talking about desktop machines around $3000 - equivalent with the price of a good computer today. Have you ever printed with Nylon? Have you ever printed with the new carbon enriched filaments? Polymer chemistry is extremely rich and new types of printable plastics come out constantly. It is not anymore ABS only. There are flexible materials and transparent materials. Soon we will have better conducting materials. Etc. Printing speed is improving. Have you seen machines with multiple heads churning out the same objects in parallel? Printing quality is improving, too.

Yes, an injection molded piece will always be cheaper, IF you are willing to do tens of thousands. Otherwise the mold costs are more expensive and it will take much longer until you hold the pieces in your hand. 3D print manufacturing is ideal for markets with unit sales from 1 - 1000. Magic falls into this category. Particularly when you do not know how many will sell. With 3D printing you can make a few dozen and see how it sells. If it is a hit and you want to make many thousands you will injection mold it or find other ways to make it. But if sales stay in the hundreds it will be in general much better to simply 3D print them. This technology will enable many more new products to come to market. Gone are the times where you needed tens of thousands of dollars to injection mold plastic pieces to make just one product a reality. 3D printing can do this with a few hundred dollars.

Of course, not every object will be a good fit for 3D printing, but many are. And regarding 3D design, that is simply a skill that anybody who cares can acquire. The best 3D tools are free software. 30 years ago people huffed and puffed that one needed to learn to type to use a computer. Today pretty much everybody types to use a computer and most people have learned to create digital documents. A similar thing will happen with 3D design. I believe it will become an essential skill for many. As the 3D object libraries grow a lot of future work will be simply in taking existing models, scaling them, or making simple changes to them. One does not need to study design to do that.
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Re: Tenyo using 3D printing?

Postby Tom Stone » January 31st, 2016, 9:50 am

Tom Moore wrote:In the 3 years we've had our own 3D printer i can only think of 2 occasions it has actually been used to make a prop and when everything was factored in it wasn't any cheaper than conventional sculpting or prototyping techniques.

I guess that have more to do with being very comfortable and experienced with the conventional methods, than it has to do with the merits of 3D-printing.

I've got several friends (Charlie Caper, Simon Almers...) who have whole acts that exists solely thanks to 3d-printing. Their gadgets are very robust and will not break in a hurry.
However, none of my friends consider 3D-printing to exist in a vaccuum either, but think of it as an addition to the regular toolset, not as an replacement.

I'm still trying to become friendly with my own 3D-printer, but so far it is refusing my advances. I'm also beginning to covet the Nomad 883.

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Re: Tenyo using 3D printing?

Postby Tom Moore » January 31st, 2016, 1:37 pm

I guess that have more to do with being very comfortable and experienced with the conventional methods, than it has to do with the merits of 3D-printing.


We operate an entirely paperless workflow and have been 100% 3D CAD based for more than 10 years, to say we are "conventional" is an odd definition of conventional.

Part of the problem is that 3D printing for prototyping is an odd half-way house between true digital design and old school process's. 3D printing offers a way to move incomprehensible computer models and ideas in to the physical world where they can be scrutinized, but if you're working in a digital workflow properly then you almost never need to produce physical prototypes of your creations because the simulators and rendering engines in proper 3D design software are so good its simply not necessary and actually slows the process down rather than helping. We have 3D monitors, 3D mouse and virtual models of potential performance venues which all combine to enable us to practically test and improve a design a dozen times over without it ever entering the physical world. Obviously there are exceptions for fine tuning ergonomics (human-object interface) but again a lot of this work can actually be done in the computer as part of the core design process from the outset rather than being something you have to print to test - programs like Autocad INVENTOR have some amazing rendering and ergonomics tools that you utilise from the second design begins.

When it comes to physically producing a concept i have access to a range of CNC machines, laser cutters and some amazingly skilled craftsmen as well as our 2 3D printers. The technology is interesting but honestly the total true cost of producing prototypes via 3D print isn't all that different to the other methods and isn't substantially better yet.

Obviously I'm involved in the design and creation of "big" magic so ultimately we are at least a decade away from a practical 3D printer that can make objects of the scale i work in but from speaking with other designers (i work in conjunction with a lot of engineers and architects) the concensus seems to be that 3D printing has some advantages for very specific sub-sectors and that the prosumer market is growing but that (like virtually every new technology) the advantages of it are being hyped up by manufacturers as a solution to a problem that doesn't actually exist in many design practices.
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Re: Tenyo using 3D printing?

Postby P.T.Widdle » January 31st, 2016, 2:10 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:They do not use 3D Printing to create prototypes.


Can you elaborate on that? Did you talk to them about it? Is it a conscious decision or do they just not have anyone who has tried it or suggested it?

I'm not saying their prototyping process needs to be changed in any way, but I am curious why they do not use one, or have at least tried one.

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Re: Tenyo using 3D printing?

Postby Tom Stone » January 31st, 2016, 3:34 pm

Tom Moore wrote:We operate an entirely paperless workflow and have been 100% 3D CAD based for more than 10 years, to say we are "conventional" is an odd definition of conventional.

Part of the problem is that 3D printing for prototyping is an odd half-way house between true digital design and old school process's.

Heh, you named it "conventional" and I just repeated it.

But yes, for prototyping, I would agree that 3D-printing is pointless. Little point in printing something, if the intention is that it eventually is going to be made in some other way. But it can be very useful when making gimmicks to actually work with, for the artist who only need it for their own use.

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Re: Tenyo using 3D printing?

Postby Richard Kaufman » January 31st, 2016, 5:23 pm

Widdle, don't give me the third degree.
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Re: Tenyo using 3D printing?

Postby P.T.Widdle » January 31st, 2016, 7:23 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:Widdle, don't give me the third degree.


Okay....Sheesh.

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Re: Tenyo using 3D printing?

Postby lybrary » January 31st, 2016, 8:04 pm

Tom, you are working at what I would call an architectural scale, where 3D printing has not that much to offer. The topic of this thread is Tenyo and 3D printing. AFAIK Tenyo makes predominantly small close-up tricks which are on the scale of a hand. In that range 3D printing has a lot to offer, both as a prototyping tool, as well as a manufacturing process.

If you are skeptical I recommend you to watch Lybrary.com over the next months. We will introduce 3D print manufacturing for magic products. In reality we already have done that with a product we offered last year. It was designed by David Walsh and was a T&R gimmick. It was something very simple but a good first test for us. We learned a lot from it and are currently in the process of regrouping our print processing and order fulfillment. It is an exciting time. Regardless of how successful this will be, 3D printing will impact almost every product sector including magic.
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Re: Tenyo using 3D printing?

Postby Ian Kendall » February 1st, 2016, 3:45 am

I wonder how long before people start selling STL files for consumers to print at home?

It amuses me that everyone I have spoken to who owns a 3D printer has admitted that the first thing they made was a Tommy Wonder hold out lock :)

The TnR holdout from Lybrary is, I think, a good example of the subject in hand; it's small, light and does the job well. I printed a chip dropper, but that was more because I found the files and was playing with a new toy.

The CAD skills required, however, are - I think - beyond most of us (myself included).

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Re: Tenyo using 3D printing?

Postby Tom Moore » February 1st, 2016, 4:39 am

Tom, you are working at what I would call an architectural scale, where 3D printing has not that much to offer. The topic of this thread is Tenyo and 3D printing. AFAIK Tenyo makes predominantly small close-up tricks which are on the scale of a hand. In that range 3D printing has a lot to offer, both as a prototyping tool, as well as a manufacturing process.


that's true, but my broader point about the design industry (and this is born out by the points you and others have raised in this thread) is that the use of 3D printing for prototyping really isn't anything like as big as many assume it to be simply because it doesn't solve a problem. Complex mechanical systems like tenyo create can be tested and refined much more effectively staying entirely in the virtual world, principles and methodologies for tricks can be tested with cardboard models (as we know they use) and those cardboard concept testers can be created much quicker and cheaper than 3D print technologies.

the "thingverse" is something that a lot of people are pushing to get off the ground and is actually what most people on here are talking about (downloading an object and printing it at home with minimal tweaks) but that has nothing at all to do with design and prototyping which is something that if done properly and digitally has almost no need for physical interaction with the real world until after 95% of all the design and development is done.
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Re: Tenyo using 3D printing?

Postby lybrary » February 1st, 2016, 8:07 am

Tom Moore wrote:that's true, but my broader point about the design industry (and this is born out by the points you and others have raised in this thread) is that the use of 3D printing for prototyping really isn't anything like as big as many assume it to be simply because it doesn't solve a problem. Complex mechanical systems like tenyo create can be tested and refined much more effectively staying entirely in the virtual world, principles and methodologies for tricks can be tested with cardboard models (as we know they use) and those cardboard concept testers can be created much quicker and cheaper than 3D print technologies.


For some applications your are correct, but there are also many areas where this is not at all the case. It also depends on the designer. There is a lot to be gained being able to touch a mechanism or object as a real object. In my own experience inventing/designing/manufacturing things there is a lot of fine tuning and tweaking that happens at the very end, which is pretty much impossible to do in a purely virtual 3D design process on the computer. One needs to hold the object, use it, use it in relationship to other things it is used with, get a range of people to test it etc. None of this can be easily done digitally. One needs a functional prototype. A paper model can help the designer to get through the first stages of a concept (in some cases). A functional printed 3D prototype is in many cases easier and much more useful. At least that has been my experience over the past years. 3D printing has allowed me to realize ideas which I was not able to realize before.
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Re: Tenyo using 3D printing?

Postby lybrary » February 1st, 2016, 9:23 am

Ian Kendall wrote:I wonder how long before people start selling STL files for consumers to print at home?


This has already started, but I think it will play out a bit differently to that scenario. I think that it will happen somewhat similar to POD. There will be local services with top of the line maintained 3D printers which will print out all kind of things you can pick up or buy from them locally.

3D printers are a bit more complex than what I imagine the average person is willing to handle. While there will of course be some folks who will print out stuff, be it self-created or design file bought, the majority will not. There are already many mail services which will happily print out stuff for you. They are still expensive, but prices will come down and if one can pick up an order locally then all that shipping cost is eliminated.

There will also be a significant arts&crafts market emerging from 3D printing. Individual artists, designers, and craftsmen will offer their creations for sale - things they have designed and 3D printed. A 3D printer is an enormously empowering tool. Those folks who have access to a prototype shop staffed with skilled workers and all the latest tools cannot appreciate this. A 3D printer allows individuals and small companies to manufacture stuff on a small scale in ways unimaginable otherwise.

I still remember when the first home-computers and personal-computers emerged. Many pundits claimed that these were toys and utterly useless for anything. I guess nobody would say that today. A very similar thing will happen with 3D print. Some now say it is not very useful, 3D printers are toys, are hype. In 20 or 30 years 3D print technology will be ubiquitous.
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Re: Tenyo using 3D printing?

Postby P.T.Widdle » February 5th, 2016, 8:38 am

If not 3D printing, might Tenyo have a use for this instead?

https://glowforge.com/

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Re: Tenyo using 3D printing?

Postby lybrary » February 5th, 2016, 9:47 am

This is actually currently the best low cost laser cutter.
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Re: Tenyo using 3D printing?

Postby Pete McCabe » February 5th, 2016, 12:32 pm

I made a series of gimmicks for Michael Weber's "Thinkerprint" effect, which were 3D printed. I created the design(s) using the free google Sketchup program, and had them printed by a few different online services. They are all quite durable for their purpose, and since they are never seen, they are not just prototypes but actual, usable gimmicks.

There is no way I would ever have done this without 3D printing. I am surprised that a company that makes small plastic magic devices wouldn't mock up everything on a 3D printer. I think that will be coming soon enough.

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Re: Tenyo using 3D printing?

Postby Tom Moore » February 5th, 2016, 12:54 pm

There is no way I would ever have done this without 3D printing. I am surprised that a company that makes small plastic magic devices wouldn't mock up everything on a 3D printer. I think that will be coming soon enough.


Again i have to point out that if you're a company employing 3D cad draughstman, designers and engineers all who work in an entirely 3D computer design process there's really no need to print things out in 3D to test them; it can all be done better, quicker & cheaper within the computer - Even "performing" a trick can be done in the computer simulation and that will give you infinitely more usable data about your design than a rough 3D print (which will have different tolerances, different construction method and be made of different material) ever could. Unless there's some specific key egonomics issues where the interaction between your object and an actual human hand is paramount then there is absolutely no benfit at all to a designer in creating a rough approximation of their product.
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Re: Tenyo using 3D printing?

Postby lybrary » February 5th, 2016, 3:01 pm

Pete McCabe wrote:There is no way I would ever have done this without 3D printing. I am surprised that a company that makes small plastic magic devices wouldn't mock up everything on a 3D printer. I think that will be coming soon enough.


Yes it will. Particularly if also the manufacturing process is 3D printing then prototyping and manufacturing will seamlessly flow together. One will modify and print single quantities until everything is just right, and then print more as sales grow.
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Re: Tenyo using 3D printing?

Postby Pete McCabe » February 5th, 2016, 3:24 pm

Tom I have no idea how many "3D cad draughstman, designers and engineers all who work in an entirely 3D computer design" are employed by Tenyo, but I think it's beside the point. The vast majority of magicians and magic producers do not fit this description. For them, the availability of 3d printing for prototypes, and actual gimmicks, can be invaluable.

There are already companies that let you upload an STL file and then have people buy them in a 3d-print-on-demand model, like lulu does for books. This will be the wave of the future for some magic items, I'd bet.

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Re: Tenyo using 3D printing?

Postby lybrary » February 5th, 2016, 3:45 pm

Tom Moore wrote:Even "performing" a trick can be done in the computer simulation and that will give you infinitely more usable data about your design than a rough 3D print.


Tom, this is such a naive statement that I have to respond. I don't know if you have ever really used simulation or developed a simulator. From the above statement I have to conclude you did not. For many years in my past professional life I have done both - very sophisticated simulation that supported billions of dollars of manufacturing. If I am an expert in anything it is in simulation. One of the big problems of simulation is that one can only simulate what one already knows and fully understands. Product development, innovation, inventing usually happens on the edge of what is known well enough that it can actually be simulated well. This is why simulation is never the entire answer. If done well it can certainly help and support creative work, but a lot takes place outside of it. And in order to interpret simulation results one has to be an expert. It is much easier for somebody who is not an accomplished expert to take a functional prototype and play around with it to figure out if it is exactly what he wants it to be. That is part of the reason why 3D printing will be so successful - it democratizes the design and development process. Suddenly you do not need to have a room filled with experts to develop something new.
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Re: Tenyo using 3D printing?

Postby Tom Moore » February 5th, 2016, 4:04 pm

Again we are crossing terminologies and industries. As a designer designing a product (in almost every conceivable sector) there's no need to use a 3D printer to create a prototype in a completely different material and construction process to that which the finished object will be created in.

For someone creating one-off items who doesn't have access/skills/experience in other manufacturing techniques 3D printing is a way to create things relatively simply at home and in truth is probably best thought of as simply a modern version of the workshop at the bottom of the garden.

As a method to commercially produce magic tricks (along the lines of thingverse) whilst it is conceivable that a few products will appear quite simply the core technologies and principles involved mean it really isn't practical - the lack of standardization, wide range of manufacturing tolerances and 101 other issues mean that unless you're selling a product very cheaply and it can be of relatively low quality this technology isn't going to be practical. There are plenty of other prototyping and short-production-run technologies which produce considerably better, consistently finished products than additive 3D printing systems at very comparative costs.

In just the same way as the photocopier/word processor was supposed to wipe out the book industry, the home tape recorder was supposed to replace music sales so domestic 3D printing is supposed to wipe out whole swaiths of manufacturing industry. It simply won't - it has a place and a niche but the problem it is solving is nowhere near as big as people make out; whilst it is a new technology for the public theses systems have been available to industry for close to 20 years and yet still haven't caused the great revolution everyone expects.

I can only speak as a designer about to hit 25 years in the business who's known for being an early adopter of technology, owns 3D printers and who spends vast amounts of time speaking to other designers.
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Re: Tenyo using 3D printing?

Postby lybrary » February 5th, 2016, 4:26 pm

We are talking primarily about magic here. Magic is a cottage industry where most products are created by individuals and small companies made up of a handful of people at the most. (Tenyo is an exception in this industry.) I am certain that 3D printing will capture an important place in this industry. Nobody has said on this thread that it will take over everything. Tenyo with production runs in the tens of thousands will continue to use injection molding. Their innovation process is established and they may not find much use for 3D printing. But that is not to say that hundreds of other creators in the magic market will not make use of 3D printing. Just the anecdotal feedback we have already received on this thread indicates that 3D printing is already a good fit for both prototyping and manufacturing. And that ignores all the future development and improvements that will happen in 3D printing. Homecomputers also started out as toys making many believe that they have no 'real world' use. Same will happen with 3D print. We are at the very beginning of widespread use of 3D printing technology.
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Re: Tenyo using 3D printing?

Postby P.T.Widdle » February 16th, 2016, 10:12 am

Announced at Toy Fair:

http://thingmaker.com/printer


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