Dave sez, "THE ZIPPER CLUB is a comic focusing on survivors of childhood congenital heart defects, written by a survivor of such a condition himself. It's on Indie-GO-Go in hopes to put out a first print run. Part of the proceeds will go to the AHA and part of the run will be distributed to pediatric cardiac care centers for the kids who will truly benefit from it."
At age 8, Cliffy Goldfarb was the recipient of an emergency heart
transplant. At age 9, Cliffy is now struggling to cope with the
limitations his still recovering body is undergoing, and the fact that
because of this, he has trouble relating to his peers. When his mom
suggests spending his summer at Camp Bravehearts, a place for kids
living with heart defects like his own, he has some trepidations about
going this camp for “special” kids, but soon learns his worries were
all over nothing when he meets a young girl named Rosie who introduces
him to a group of new friends who encourage him by showing off their
surgical scars to one another and inducting Cliffy into “The Zipper
Jordan sez, "Our t-shirt company was just successfully funded through Kickstarter, now at $46,000+ with 4 days to go. We take insane art from independent artists and throw them on shirts using a new type of printing called Sublimation. It allows us to print ALL OVER the shirt in extremely vibrant colors."
Not all this stuff is up my street, but some of it is pretty fawesome.
Matterform's Photon 3D Scanner is a $350-$400 IndieGoGo-funded gadget from Canada. It promises to be operable by novices with no particular knowledge of 3D modelling or printing. It folds up to a small package, making it portable as well, and it can complete a scan in three minutes, working at dimensions up to 7.5" diam/9.5" height. The project is fully funded, but you can still pre-order by adding to the campaign; they're estimating general fulfillment by August.
The Photon allows anyone to take a physical object, and turn it into a digital 3D model on your computer. From there, you can print your file on any 3D printer, or online printing service. Or use the model you created in an animation or video game.
We’ve been developing the Photon hardware and software from scratch for the past year and now we’re ready to release it to you. We'll fulfill all the indiegogo pledges first so if you're excited to get one, supporting us now is the best route and you can take advantage of our special intro pricing.
Reading Frenzy, the astoundingly great zine store in Portland, OR, lost its lease. They need to raise $50K to reopen. The store's founder, Chloe Eudaly, writes,
Reading Frenzy, a small but internationally renowned bookshop in Portland, Oregon devoted to small press and self-published titles, lost their lease and is kickstarting their relaunch! Plans include doubling their size and scope, adding a dedicated gallery space, increasing their events programming, and eventually adding workshop space, a reading room, and an artists' book and zine print-on-demand project. Rewards include a variety of top notch printed matter by some of their favorite artists, including Miranda July, Nikki McClure, and Carson Ellis.
Their project is currently hovering at about 30% funded with three weeks to go. This is an all or nothing scenario -- if the project doesn't succeed, Reading Frenzy will not reopen, and the world will have one less awesome independent bookshop.
Weirdest moment in the project so far: When Miranda July's tweet about the campaign was retweeted by (our hero) Judd Apatow!
This is one of the best bookstores I've ever visited. The world needs it! Chloe is a brilliant bookseller, too, and as she points out, if not for the rotten luck of losing a lease, the business would be humming along merrily, and also spinning off more projects like its zine-creator's makerspace, the Independent Publishing Resource Center.
Chris Chappell and Easton LaChappelle have launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the development of a 3D printed robotics hand. The hand is currently aimed at makers and researchers, but the eventual market will be for prosthetics.
Chris and Easton are primarily focused on dropping the cost of the hand, since current research hands or prosthetic hands can cost £50,000+. The cost of the Kickstarter hand fully assembled is £300 with electronics. They also offer a control glove (based on a nintendo power glove) for an extra £200.
Easton has also been developing a control method based on EEG measurements. Taking the design a step towards being a practical prosthesis. Easton just won the Da Vinci Award at the San Juan Basin Science Fair for his work.
Kent's excited about the Kickstarter for the Gigabot 3D printer, a large-format device that can print objects up to 24" on a side. He sez, "Just saw this at SxSW and it is AMAZING. Solid aluminum chassis, very precise, and the things it prints are awesome. Back it!" The minimum pledge for a kit is $2500, and it's $10K for an assembled unit.
At re:3D, we believe that the biggest problems in our world are solved by taking a bigger view. That’s why our project is aimed at designing the first large-format 3D printer... that you can take home with you. It’s not only about taking the amazing technology of 3D printing and amplifying it. If we’re successful, we can envision entire markets opening up to use this technology. Markets which have struggled to maintain the status quo, let alone use some of the cutting-edge technology that for the rest of the world is an overnight delivery away. We believe that by making a production-quality model of our 3D printer, and putting it in the hands of small businesses anywhere on the planet, will give them the flexibility to sustain their community, their business, and ultimately, the world we live in.
Daniel José Older and I are thrilled to be co-editing LONG HIDDEN, an anthology of speculative fiction from the margins of history. It's a crowdfunded project; we've already made our initial goal, and now we'd love your help reaching our ambitious stretch goals.
Each story will take place between 1400 and the early 1900s and put a speculative twist on real past events, with marginalized people as the heroes. The anthology will be published by Crossed Genres, which has an excellent history of coming through on crowdfunded projects. We also have a tremendous lineup of talented, well-known authors (Beverly Jenkins, Victor LaValle, Nnedi Okorafor, Ken Liu, Amal El-Mohtar, and many others) eager to submit stories, and will be opening submissions as soon as our Kickstarter is funded.
Over 400 generous people have already boosted us past our initial goal of $12,000. Now we're hoping to push onward to $20,000, which will let us buy ~50,000 more words of fiction--at SFWA pro rates of 5¢/word--and reveal even more voices of silenced dreamers. Further goals include interior illustrations and an audiobook edition.
We're grateful for each and every pledge, from the $1 "Kickstarter high-five" on up, and we have lots of terrific rewards lined up. If you don't want to pledge, we hope you'll consider buying the book when it's out next year and spreading the word in the meantime. In particular, tell your author friends to send us stories! Open submissions are the original crowdsourcing and we can't wait to see what we get. We'd love to give some unknown authors their first pro sales, side by side with some of the genre's brightest stars.
Thanks for helping an awesome project come into being.
The Pyrobar, a roving, flaming, booze-dispensing art-car that's a staple of Burning Man, is nearing the end of its Kickstarter, and needs to raise another $4,000 or so in maintenance funds to help refurbish and improve it for this summer's festivities:
The Pyrobar started its charmed life in 2004 with a collective of artists called Clan Destino. This raucous Santa Barbara based performance group had built a few art cars for the famed Burning Man festival, with this one being built under the namesake to be the grandest and last under their tutelage. In this vision, they took a 1975 chevy RV and ripped it up and warped into a roving box of splendid adult entertainment. After a few strong years of providing to the Playa and beyond, this trusty steed was left in a lonely, Reno storage lot, waiting for its next life. That day came in 2010 when its current owners, Mark and Corinna, heard the calling from afar, and acted on on it immediately. Pyrobar's next phase took it to a new aesthetic height and direction, reflecting the mystic and wacky stylings of an Afghani jingle truck with a constantly growing degree of detail and offerings.
David Wondermark" Malki ! sez, "We've taken the Machine of Death concept [ed: a wildly successful independent anthology of stories about a world where a machine can accurately forecast your date of death] and adapted it into a pretty wacky party game. You play assassins who know their target's death prediction in advance, and have to come up with creative ways of making it come true. It's a storytelling game that's kind of like Rube Goldberg meets a Roadrunner cartoon meets MURDER.
We've already blown past our Kickstarter goal and are now fundraising to add more and more cool stretch goal cards by webcomics artists! We also have some handmade laser-cut deluxe game boxes that'll only be available during the Kickstarter. We've been thrilled by the response to the game so far and are really excited to see it become a reality!"
Elix sez, "Tailly is the invention of Shota Ishiwatari, the Japanese maker/inventor that designed and built the prototypes for the emotion-displaying Necomimi cat ears by NeuroSky. He's invented a tail that monitors your heart rate and reacts accordingly: A slow, lazy swish when you're relaxed, a brisk wag when you're excited, and so on. The goal is to deliver the goods (if successful) in September. It's down to the last three days, and it's struggling. It's only raised about 30% of its goal, and it could use some happy mutant help. The actual cost for the initial production run is $100,000, but Ishiwatari has negotiated a deal with a trading company to get them to kick in half if he can crowdfund the other half. This is a Kickstarter-style fixed funding campaign, so if he doesn't make the goal, he gets nothing at all."
Tailly is not just a toy, nor is it a fashion accessory or a gadget. It is those three items combined, and, since it reacts to the heart beat rate, an extension of the users’ body. Tailly is fun to wear to parties, while out with friends or playing with kids. You could even wear Tailly on a date and express your true feelings through the wagging tail. Even better, your partner could also wear one for the both of you to add a level of subconscious communication between the two of you.
Robert Kaye sez, "Among the many standout cocktail-pouring robots on display this weekend at BarBot
in San Francisco was Bartendro, the latest creation by Robert Kaye and Pierre Michael of
Party Robotics. (They're also the creators of the
Water to Wine watercooler gag featured recently on
Make.) If you've ever wanted an open source robot to help you refine your recipe for the perfect margarita, or needed an
extra hand serving drinks at a party, they've now launched a
Kickstarter for the
first production run of Bartendro. The duo also released the source code and hardware designs to their creation on
Github for hackers to improve upon the design or create something
new. As a Kickstarter backer, you can get a finished bot in a variety of sizes, or just the parts to try your hand at a
different enclosure, or make your own custom dispenser for reef tank chemicals, epoxy, pancake batter, or almost any liquid."
Chris sez, "The oft-touted promise of 3D printing is of personalisation and customisation. There is an alternative use though which is that of mini and micro-manufacture, where production runs of things numbering hundreds and thousands are suddenly made possible and in some cases commercially viable.
"We're investigating this space as a new way of manufacturing model kits, using laser scanning to get the data for the prototypes to make the kits very accurate. The financial advantage of 3D printing in producing kits at whatever scale people want to model in, often from the same file, is huge and makes the creation of very niche items viable. We're experimenting with crowd sourcing what potential kits to explore and using crowd funding to decide what to focus on and make."
Chris and co are scanning full-sized railroad engines at insane resolution.
We realised though that some things that you want to model were too complex even for incredibly talented CAD model makers like Vijay to create perfectly just from photographs, or at least that the time taken to produce the model would be too long and the process of checking the model’s fidelity would be too involved and too risky. We looked into 3D scanning and found a firm, Digital Surveys, who normally scan petrochemical plants and oil rigs and who specialise in “as built” surveys.
They worked with us to scan Winifred, a steam locomotive that had just returned from the USA in an almost identical condition to that she left the quarry in Wales in 1965. The survey, 3D model and 3D printed model that ensued showed us that we were on the right track...
...p.s. this data is too precious to lock it up, so we’re working on opening up the original data and the CAD files of individual parts with other manufacturers (of wheels and parts) and railway societies who are keeping the real things going!
Stefan writes, "Parltrack is free software that liberates a lot of hard to process data (like PDFs, Word docs, and HTML pages) as reusable open data and presents this as a kind of dashboard for activists, providing fresh and relevant data not only for the concerned but the curious citizen as well. Even pros from the European Parliament have praised it. Parltrack is free software, for further development it needs a few more backers in its crowdsourcing campaign."
All round e-publishing genius Pablo Defendini sez,
Fireside Magazine is a multigenre fiction magazine. Our goal is twofold: to publish great storytelling and offer fair pay for writers and artists. We published three issues last year, each funded by its own Kickstarter. That wasn’t really a sustainable way to make a magazine, and we want to create more certainty for our readers and for the magazine.
So we came up with a new plan for Year Two: a monthly subscription website and ebook (epub and mobi). Each issue in Year Two will have two pieces of flash fiction (1,000 words or less), one short story, and one of 12 episodes of a serial fiction experiment by Chuck Wendig. Each issue will also have artwork by Galen Dara. The website is being rethought and is being designed responsively, which means it will adjust to display an optimum reading experience on screens of any size. We are aiming to provide a clean, simple way to read our stories without any clutter or distractions, just the words and the artwork. But in order to do all this work up front and pay the creators their fair share, we need to raise the money ahead of time, so it's back to Kickstarter!