Introducing Cyber-Lab, a cyberpunk themed series for the ultra-high tech look.
As with every convention we go to, we wanted to demo what DioWarriors is capable of. This year's JoeFest we teamed up with the folks of the Venomous Sea Serpent to share and combine our two tables -- one showing the VSS aircraft carrier and the other showing DioWarriors. Leading up to the convention all production was focused on the VSS console sets. But we also wanted to show other ideas and concepts. One of these other concepts was a last minute -- one week before -- idea of a cyberpunk apartment. Simply arrange some future looking furniture, computers, and place random equipment and some human necessities (rice cooker, microwave, mini-fridge) and other loose stuff for a lived-in look and the diorama would be the image of the stereotypical cyberpunk apartment. But other than the computers, none of the items existed. Every day, from midnight to 2AM we spent the week before the convention designing the cyberpunk items.
It is clear that most of the DioWarriors style is Sci-Fi. A cyberpunk diorama posed a challenge in the sense that even though cyberpunk is also Sci-Fi, the items would have to look well for both an ultra-clean setting (as a well funded corporate office or laboratory would be) or look well as a run-down, under-funded, non-corporate or personal apartment setting. In other words, with cyberpunk you get either clean, Ghost In The Shell good equipment or dirty, grimmy, Blade Runner looking stuff.
Cyber-Lab offers another choice for the diorama enthusiast. It's a laboratory or apartment or both. The props include things like a coffee table, small chairs, and modern art highlights -- the human side of things. There's also desks and workstations, and techno walls. Combine these with classic DioWarriors props for a full environment. Cyber-Lab works well for various figure lines. For example, in the Marvel or GI Joe universe, an independent laboratory doing advanced biomedical or Artificial Intelligence research. For Marauders or Acid Rain World, an abandoned research facility. The upcoming Planet Green Valley also proposes new ideas for a diorama -- a dormitory or apartment setting for the PGV girls.
We would love to see what you do with the Cyber-Lab props.
It's been a while since the DioWarriors Blog had been updated, I'm dusting off the old keyboard and settling down for another article. Today it's about a possible kickstarter for the DioWarriors Zombie Lab. Here's a photo:
A lot has happened since the last time this blog was updated. I could write another article on it, but discussing a kickstarter has been heavy on my mind these last few months. Then recently DioWarriors got a golden opportunity to do a long dreamed of project concerning our line of action figures. That would make for an ideal blog article, but I'll have to let that project progress a bit more before revealing details. So I don't want to say too much now. However, what I can say is that there's been a slight change in flavor for some of the props. We're going more into the Sci-Fi styling with updates across the board for computer consoles, tables, chairs, weapon systems, and battlefield robots. What triggered this was the return to the DioWarriors Zombie Lab late last year.
If you are not familiar with it, the DioWarriors Zombie Lab is a diorama system we first showed during the GI Joe Convention in Dallas, Texas, back in the 2014. It's a high tech laboratory diorama system we designed and built mostly to have something to show at the convention, and also to test what it would take to build a modular diorama. Now, after the final JoeCon in 2018 we revisited the DW Zombie Lab to update it. After all, we've been doing a lot of 3D printing since 2014 and have fine tuned our techniques. So we have several years of lessons learned that we wanted to show with an updated zombie lab.
The updated style turned out to be fun to implement and was very Science Fiction looking. The Sci-Fi styling led to other parts of the lab being updated -- computers, tables -- and eventually to "holograms" and other Sci-Fi looking props. The central "containment unit" structure became more modular and we started thinking "what-if" DioWarriors could offer a kickstarter to help produce the containment unit on a larger scale -- more modular parts, more computer choices, etc -- and the machines to manufacture them?
So we're kinda looking for direction here. If we do a kickstarter it'll be our first. A lot of folks are turned off from kickstarters unless the company doing it has already proven they can deliver. Currently there's several kickstarters from 2017 still being processed in China and people wondering if their pledges will be honored. If DioWarriors does do a kickstarter, we want to be certain of success, that we can deliver. We can better guarantee a finished product, delivered on schedule, by keeping production in-house, using the technologies we are already familiar with. If left up to a Chinese factory there's really no guarantee on anything.
So this is where we're at. The zombie lab containment unit kickstarter with props designed for it, 3D printed and laser cut. If DioWarriors should do a kickstarter, would you be on board? What do you think of 3D printed parts for something massive like a large prop? Let us know in the comments or send us an email or PM in Facebook.
DioWarriors will be at the GI Joe Convention this year. Orders placed from June 9 and beyond will be delayed until after we return from the convention.
Orders will continue to be processed so that when we do return we can start shipping as quickly as we can.
If you are at the GI Joe Convention, come check us out. We'll have a table there with some things on display.
Here is some info about upcoming conventions. If you have news for upcoming conventions, corrections, or removal, please let us know.
Kickstarters and Pre-Orders:
It looks like many of the DioWarriors props are becoming hybrids: first we introduced FDM combined with SLA 3D printing for many of our props. Now we are combining 3D printing with laser cutting.
We recently got involved with laser cutting. Late last year we received our laser cutter, but it sat in the corner of the workshop for a few months. There is a learning curve with laser cutting. We do a lot of 3D printing which means we design models in 3D, not 2D that a laser cutter needs. Even though many 3D CAD programs offer the ability to convert a 3D model to 2D, it is not the same as designing the model in 2D. So we had to learn new software and design new models.
With the laser cutter itself you're dealing with focus, speed, and beam intensity. There is also the factor of the material you're working with. Many materials like to burn, others like to melt. Settings on the laser machine is a balance between cutting and burning -- if the laser moves too slow the beam might be too hot that wood might burn, or plastic might melt, welding itself together.
Combining laser engraving and cutting with 3D printing is opening a whole new world of possibilities. To illustrate, DioWarriors recently started a Sci-Fi theme. The first set of models being a "tactical" display featuring a world map on clear acrylic. Acrylic illuminates well with LED lights and works well for the Sci-Fi theme. We now have several "tactical" displays and a number of computer consoles with clear acrylic. More are planned, such as holographic displays, tactical tables, even medical scanners.
Other themes are planned as well. Wood and plastic are big on the list, and there's many themes we can use wood for. These materials work well with laser cutting and are widely available. We're still experimenting, though, so you'll see things posted that have nothing to do with diorama or props. 1:1 scaled stuff such as Zippo lighters and drink coasters (cork and even stone and slate). You will also see other things that are not diorama props, but are props for the Action Figure collector. Lighted displays are going to be interesting and can make for good attention grabbers for a collection. You'll see some of these ideas in action at the 2018 GI Joe convention (be sure to stop at the DioWarriors table.)
So, for now, you'll see a lot of random stuff and some props. We're still at the experimental stage, but the future is going to be exciting. If you have ideas for laser cutting, please feel free to share your ideas in the comment section.
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