Finding Inspiration via Rapid Prototyping and Rusthunting.

Lately, I’ve been all about rapid prototyping and discovering how its unique characteristics can add to my repertoire of fabrication abilities. The speed at which 3D printing is becoming ever more accessible for the consumer as of late is just staggering.

But what brought me down this path, and where do I get this unwavering desire to create physical things and incessantly modify objects in my possession? I never really took the time to look back and figure it out for myself. Aside from growing up attending assorted art schools, I think my recent trip back to my grandparent’s farm for the holidays provided both a direct influence and a peek at some underlying clues from the past.

Lets start with the new. When it came to finding something for my grandma for Christmas, where it is typically difficult to think of something truly useful, I decided I would like to create something unique. However, I’ve been battling with a difficulty in finding suitable machinery and material resources ever since moving to Japan (admittedly, all due to the language barrier which I need to overcome on my own). Additionally, with my somewhat nomadic lifestyle over the past decade, purchasing welders, lathes and other various heavy machinery for my dream shop never panned out. So, I recently turned to outsourced 3D printing services to create that special gift for my grandma.

The trip to the farm and a stroll around the pasture was the stimulus that reminded me of contributions from the past. Wandering around amongst the old farm supplies and well drilling equipment, I couldn’t help but think about how cool these huge gears and iron pieces seemed to me as a kid. The entire pasture was like a giant workbench, littered with parts from various projects and… a couple “barn finds” (like a ’55 Chevy Sedan and the ol ’62 Series 50 Chevy truck). Then it dawned on me that a wooden sword, that my grandpa hand cut and painted in the shop housing the ’55 sedan, is still one of the most prized possessions from my childhood. It definitely had me excited back then, watching him bring something fun to life.

I decided to dust off my CAD skills and create a moving hummingbird pendant as the gift. Since it was my initial test and I was short on time, I had it printed in two different materials.

I decided to dust off my CAD skills and create a moving hummingbird pendant as the gift. Since it was my initial test and I was short on time, I had it printed in two different materials.

I was really happy that the little bit of movement that I designed in actually worked. The bird can wobble from side to side along its centerline until the wings contact the outer ring.

I was really happy that the little bit of movement that I designed in actually worked. The bird can wobble from side to side along its centerline until the wings contact the outer ring.

I chose to gift the more detailed translucent piece because of the way light diffused through it. Also, the finish was nicer to the touch.

I chose to gift the more detailed translucent piece because of the way light diffused through it. Also, the finish was nicer to the touch.

One of the sights that greets me every time we pull up in front of my grandparent's house. The face of a '62 C 50.

One of the sights that greets me every time we pull up in front of my grandparent’s house. The face of a ’62 C 50.

Wandering through the pasture always makes for a nice time to reflect.

Wandering through the pasture always makes for a nice time to reflect.

PCW_0220

A table fabricated from a vintage sign. Someone has been tinkering.

A table fabricated from a vintage sign. Someone has been tinkering.

An odd looking contraption spotted out in the distance.

An odd looking contraption spotted out in the distance.

It was a mix of both Ford...

It was a mix of both Ford…

and Dodge parts combined into an old rail cart! That plow is pretty low and aggressive.

and Dodge parts combined into an old rail cart! That plow is pretty low and aggressive.

These 1937 Dodge 1 1/2 ton truck fenders and grill would look great on a rat rod build.

These 1937 Dodge 1 1/2 ton truck fenders and grill would look great on a rat rod build.

Nice patina

Nice patina

The series 50 beast of a truck modified with a huge boom to hoist things in and out of wells.

The series 50 beast of a truck modified with a huge boom to hoist things in and out of wells.

I would love to restore the truck but leave these doors as is.

I would love to restore the truck but leave these doors as is.

For some reason the face makes me think of an Evangelion's.

For some reason the face makes me think of an Evangelion’s.

Huge drivetrain and plough parts.

Huge drivetrain and plough parts.

A gigantic vise that would be awesome to get some use from.

A gigantic vise that would be awesome to get some use from.

Stepping into the old workshop. The bench and thin jaw vice are pretty cool.

Stepping into the old workshop. The bench and thin jaw vice are pretty cool.

Old alternators and tool chests. A guy can never have enough tools.

Old alternators and tool chests. A guy can never have enough tools.

Behind the workbench is this 1955 Chevrolet Sedan. It is the car that my dad learned to drive a manual transmission in and used for a while.

Behind the workbench is this 1955 Chevrolet Sedan. It is the car that my dad learned to drive a manual transmission in and used for a while.

Surprisingly the chrome isn't very pitted.

Surprisingly the chrome isn’t very pitted.

Love the curves and brightwork details on the front end.

Love the curves and brightwork details on the front end.

All original interior with some wasps guarding it.

All original interior with some wasps guarding it.

These door panels are better than what came on the Hakosuka!

These door panels are better than what came on the Hakosuka!

Stash of spare parts and interesting harnesses in the car. This seems all to familiar with my cars.

Stash of spare parts and interesting harnesses in the car. This seems all to familiar with my cars.

Wonder if the tail lamp lenses will still polish out.

Wonder if the tail lamp lenses will still polish out.

Unfortunately, she hasn't been registered since...

Unfortunately, she hasn’t been registered since…

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