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 Post subject: Re: Elemental:Neon (formerly known as the BioHazard puzzle)
PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2008 5:57 pm 
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That is a beautiful cake! Happy birthday!

I hope to order a neon in about a month. Its a beautify puzzle.

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 Post subject: Re: Elemental:Neon (formerly known as the BioHazard puzzle)
PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 10:48 am 
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I finished Taylor's Tiger themed Neon:
Image
Image

I etched the pearl (fur), black and orange pieces and inked with gold. I also etched the back of the orange pieces with a Tiger stripe pattern to complete the look. This is my first Neon where I have etched on two sides of acrylic, and it turned out quite nice.

Enjoy,

Dave

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 Post subject: Re: Elemental:Neon (formerly known as the BioHazard puzzle)
PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 11:11 am 
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nicely done!!! it looks great!! Hopefully I'll have mine soon ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Elemental:Neon (formerly known as the BioHazard puzzle)
PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 1:36 pm 
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Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
Oh wow. That is one of my favorites so far.

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 Post subject: Re: Elemental:Neon (formerly known as the BioHazard puzzle)
PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 1:43 pm 
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These puzzles are a work of art!


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 Post subject: Re: Elemental:Neon (formerly known as the BioHazard puzzle)
PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 5:35 pm 
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roar

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 Post subject: Re: Elemental:Neon (formerly known as the BioHazard puzzle)
PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2008 1:32 am 
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Wow! That is some beautiful work...

I'd love to support your efforts by purchasing one, but I simply don't have the funds to do so, at least not at 100 a piece. Someone in Hong Kong could just as easily market a similar puzzle with ABS plastic and an acrylic cover (comparable to the rubik's fifteen), but it wouldn't look like a gorgeous work of art sitting on display on someone's mantlepiece.

I'm sorry to hear about your troubles with fabrication - that is probably why most common mass-produced parts are machined or injection molded - again I'd like to emphasize the sheer beauty of your puzzles.

As much as I wish that these puzzles could be made available to the common masses, it would cheapen the product and ruin your dedicated efforts. Have you applied for a patent? If not, someone could rip-off your idea with cheap product and you would be the one infringing upon it.

Bravo, and good luck on your endeavors :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Elemental:Neon (formerly known as the BioHazard puzzle)
PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2008 3:14 am 
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Location: Bay Area, CA
stardust4ever wrote:
Wow! That is some beautiful work...
I'd love to support your efforts by purchasing one, but I simply don't have the funds to do so, at least not at 100 a piece.
Thanks for the compliments :)
You might be interested in a Neon DIY. I have a prototype, but need to figure out pricing. I'll post when I have more news on that.
stardust4ever wrote:
Someone in Hong Kong could just as easily market a similar puzzle with ABS plastic and an acrylic cover (comparable to the rubik's fifteen), but it wouldn't look like a gorgeous work of art sitting on display on someone's mantlepiece.
Probably not ABS (it is expensive) but injection molded of some plastic definitely. I think it could be done to look pretty good, but no, not like what I produce by hand.
stardust4ever wrote:
I'm sorry to hear about your troubles with fabrication - that is probably why most common mass-produced parts are machined or injection molded - again I'd like to emphasize the sheer beauty of your puzzles.

As much as I wish that these puzzles could be made available to the common masses, it would cheapen the product and ruin your dedicated efforts.
I think "ruin my dedicated efforts" is a bit too strong a statement. Perhaps not match the hand built versions in variety and acrylic shininess is a better statement.
stardust4ever wrote:
Have you applied for a patent? If not, someone could rip-off your idea with cheap product and you would be the one infringing upon it.
Nope. Search for patent threads, you'll find it isn't something most do. Costs are high and enforcement is costly and not certain. As for me infringing on someone who steals my design, I believe my year of posts on this forum is pretty clearly "prior art". If stolen I probably wouldn't be able to stop it, but I certainly won't be prevented from anything.

But while we are on the topic of someone producing the Neon...

What if, say, a toy maker perusing flickr saw my puzzle and had interest? What if, perhaps, I was working on an injection molded design? What if, with careful thought, my 106 part layer based design could be redesigned and reduced to about 20 parts from 10 unique molds? What if, by some unlikely event, I was actually able to take it to market for a reasonable price?

I don't know that I would think of it as cheapening my work. I could offer the Neon to a much wider market but still make custom ones by hand for collectors more interested in the art of the puzzle.

Hmmm... That might be nice. Perhaps if I ever get done building Neons by hand I would have time for such things...

Dave

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 Post subject: Re: Elemental:Neon (formerly known as the BioHazard puzzle)
PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 3:41 am 
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Sorry to double post but it deserved the bump as not everyone reads Marketplace and people have asked about a DIY kit in this thread:

The DIY is now available, see this thread for details.

Dave

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 Post subject: Re: Elemental:Neon (formerly known as the BioHazard puzzle)
PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 4:07 am 
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It has been a long time since I last posted here, but my recent experiments with inking seemed like they were worth a post.

Klara had interest in a Neon with a Fractal design. She had a low res bitmap of a fractal she liked and I was wanting a challenge. There were two distinct challenges for this project:
1.) Taking a low res image and getting it separated into nice shapes and few colors
Image
Image
This was mostly a task I handled between PaintShop Pro and InkScape, but it was far more difficult than I thought. InkScape has a good bitmap tracer, but the image was so low res it didn't come out well. I wound up using a bitmap editor to scale it up then blur and sharpen it to get a better image to start from. I spent a lot of time lowering the image back down to just a few colors before bringing it to InkScape to trace.
Image
In the end we settled on five colors with a brighter feel than the original, but keeping the red on blue basic theme.

2.) Inking multiple colors next to each other

This was more of a challenge. I had done single color inking fairly easily: Etch, ink, then wipe away the ink that flowed out of the etched areas with an alcohol wipe (I use alcohol soluble pens, so don't spill your drink on your Neon!)

I have even recently done two color inking where I do a deep etch, ink, then do a shallower etch and ink with another color. The second color doesn't tend to drop off into the shallower trenchs, and the excess can still be wiped from the unetched top. I might be able to extend this technique to do three colors, but 3mm acrylic isn't very deep and at some point each level has to have a certain height difference or the inking will hit the next layer.

Here is an example of the two color technique: I etched the red of the SuperMan logo deep, then the yellow shallow:
Image
What I tried to do better than this was etching and inking on the back side of transparent acrylic.

I initially tried to etch, ink, wipe in a series of colors. The idea was each time I wipe it would only be the unetched top acrylic being cleaned. This fails pretty quickly and also the acrylic cracks easily when acohol from the wipe is applied to the etched are too much. My first trial looks pretty bad with lots of cracks.

My solution was to not wipe away ink at all, but to overlay it on the previous layer. By doing this and going dark to light in color, I could overlap inks that wouldn't show through the front. Each new etch would expose new transparent area through already inked acrylic.

It worked, but not without some difficulties. The first came fairly quick: The solvent in the paint pens can start to dissolve the paint already on the acrylic, causing a lighter color to get muddied by the darker color already there. I addressed this partially by letting things dry longer and alternating alcohol based pens and Xylene based pens. I tried spraying a clear coat of acrylic at one point and it actually dissolved the Xylene based ink and made it partially translucent. I had to re-ink over it. I did do a final clear coat over the final result, but that was after a long time drying and a layer of alcohol based ink.

Here is my second inking test next to the design. I just chose random colors from my collection of paint pens.
Image
Here are two images of my third test with closer colors. You can see the streaking of the blue ink. It is hard to ink smoothly without the pen smearing what you inked before. And the pens dry out so quick! I can't keep them long.
ImageImage
Here is the first four layers inked, only yellow left to go. Yellow took two etchings as the first wasn't deep enough given the layers of paint and left an orange haze instead of transparent acrylic.
Image
A few pictures of the pieces after being sealed with the transparent acrylic spray.
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Image
The final result. I accidentally had the upper left piece rotated. Not to worry, I fixed it :)
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Klara has a few pictures here.

The new technique gives me some options to do far more complicated designs, although at a high cost of design and production time.

Enjoy,

Dave

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 Post subject: Re: Elemental:Neon (formerly known as the BioHazard puzzle)
PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 12:59 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 17, 2008 1:58 pm
Location: Wyoming - USA
Wow!

That looks like the hardest puzzle ever! :lol:

Superman looks pretty sweet too. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Elemental:Neon (formerly known as the BioHazard puzzle)
PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 8:39 pm 
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Those are freakin' cool. Wow, amazing work again.

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 Post subject: Re: Elemental:Neon (formerly known as the BioHazard puzzle)
PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 10:37 am 
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Seems you're an artist on several levels. That must have taken you forever to ink. All I can say is bravo!


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 Post subject: Re: Elemental:Neon (formerly known as the BioHazard puzzle)
PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 10:53 am 
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flambore wrote:
That must have taken you forever to ink.
It wasn't that bad because I didn't have to try to stay within the etched part. I did have to get good coverage though, which meant favoring pens with ink that flowed well.

I am giving some thought to trying out spray paint, but that has a longer drying time than the pens. Since I need it dry before doing the next etch, that could mean only being able etch one or two colors per trip to the TechShop, which means a lot of time to finish a particular project.

On the inked photo note the sets of eight holes etched around the shape. These are registration marks so on subsequent trips to the shop I can calibrate the laser to the image again.

Dave

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