Happy New Year!
2015 was a great year for DioWarriors. The most notable thing is the store web site went live. And going live was a fantastic success. Really, I wish we would have gone live sooner, but there were things going on behind the scenes.
One thing we kept silent about was a huge order from a company interested in 3D Printed clocks for a trade show. This single order had us producing 1:1 scale clocks for nearly a month non-stop. This job did teach us some important aspects for producing a large quantity of items with complex parts and a complex assembly. Everything went well, though, and we met our production schedule on time.
Once that job was over we shifted focus to going live with the store. The prototypes seen in the various groups on Facebook were simply prototypes. For producing lots of items for selling our prototype designs had to be re-designed. Our production process needed adjustment too: 3D Print parts in the appropriate color of plastic -- a car tire should be printed in black plastic, for example, a missile in white plastic. Re-designing took some time so we decided to go live with the store with designs ready to go now, and just add to the store's selection as time went on. This is also the reason why we started with simple props first, slowly adding the more complex props as we go on.
Now we are at the end of 2015. What to expect from DioWarriors in 2016?
2016 promises to be an interesting year for DioWarriors. There's the Joe Con in Colorado that will be extremely important for DioWarriors to attend. So expect us there. Expect also to unveil our new Modular Diorama Construction System at the Joe Con. We hope to have all the bugs worked out and production with our Injection Molding Machine to be going full steam.
There's also new hardware scheduled for delivery in 2016. DioWarriors took part in supporting several kickstarter campaigns in 2014 and 2015. Everything looks good with them when they post status reports. Delays have been minor and if all goes well the first quarter of 2016 we should have one or two new hardware delivered: a more advanced 3D Printer than the ones we us currently and a laser cutter.
Having more 3D Printers will help us tremendously in printing more props. The more complex our designs become the longer they take to print. Having more printers means that some printers can be delegated to print the complex props while other printers work on other props. Having access to a laser cutter also opens new options for props: everything from enhanced details to different materials than simply plastic.
How will all these new things work together with the DioWarriors System? If all goes according to plan, DioWarriors will have some very interesting designs for you all to enjoy.
See you all in 2016!
This holiday season DioWarriors celebrated Christmas with a fluid diorama highlighting uses of our computer props. The setting was in our older Zombie Lab and Maintenance Bay sets. These two sets were filled with a Christmas Tree, colorful presents, many tables and many computer terminals. Gaps in the background were filled with shipping crates. Action Figures from GI Joe, Acid Rain World, Microman, and gashapons were used.
Since opening in November, we've printed a bunch of props from generic machines, to computers, to shipping crates. But also we've printed other things -- coffee cups, coffee urn, and beer keg. These things are actually important for setting a festive atmosphere. A lighted tree and colorful presents topped things off. The only thing missing was a Santa Claus action figure. So we improvised with gashapons.
Also known as capsule toys, gashapons originate from Japan and are often sold in gumball-like vending machines. Place your coin into the machine, turn the knob, and you receive a random capsule. Many capsule toys have figures from anime or manga, and are made of PVC and need to be assembled. We used Rei and Asuka from Evangelion, a very popular anime, in Christmas "Santa Helper" outfits.
The bulk of the photos show Cobra troopers from the GI Joe line. The 25th anniversary release of the Cobra Viper had hands molded in an odd angle, making the figure difficult to use for most photo scenes. However, the angle is good for typing on a keyboard pose. Other Cobra troopers (30th anniversary) were used to fill-in other scenes. 50th anniversary Cobra Commander with his red highlights worked well for the Christmas look. And a custom painted Crimson Baroness.
Acid Rain action figures were used to highlight the guitar and banjo props. The articulation is simply better for grabbing props like these, especially the soft, flexible hands.
To wrap up all of the festivities, Microman action figures were used. The theme was Love Live, which is a popular anime in Japan. Takara-Tomy in 2014 released a new style of Microman which hides the articulation points of the legs. Love Live got a Microman release with this new style.
We hope you enjoyed this year Christmas fun. Next year should be very interesting and very different with some new things we have planned to print. See you then!
Christmas is around the corner, or maybe more accurately it's just down the street and getting closer. This month so far we've been 3D Printing a bunch of computer products. First an 80's style data tape backup machine, then an 80's style terminal computer. Then we went back to basics printing an updated version of our very first original 3D Printed prop -- the "radio chair."
All of this together we wanted to begin setting the mood for a Christmas theme. Earlier in the week we were at Target and came across a small Christmas tree for the table-top Christmas town displays folks sometimes set up during the season. This one was lighted and would make for a nice Christmas tree display with some action figures, a few presents, and so forth. But with so many computer props being printed we thought what a better way to display the Christmas theme with this month's production run in a small corner of a computer lab in a Cobra base.
Fortunately we can print however many props we need. What you see in this diorama are the excess props -- the ones we use for our own diorama's, and not the ones already printed for selling in the DW Store. Our personal stash. Really, in truth we are preparing for a presence at next year's Joe Con in Colorado. So we've been printing extras which has add to our busy printing schedule. But more about that later.
The props for this scene are the following: Computer Terminal, Computer Table, Radio Chair, Computer Rack Components, Desktop LCD Monitor, barrel (ver 2), Greek vase, water bottles, and the Zombie Lab diorama that appeared at the 2014 Joe Con.
It is no doubt that 3D Printers are changing the way industries do things. This is evident with DioWarriors as we mostly use 3D Printers for nearly all of our production. Since a lot of the things we do are small props we really don't need many large printers. We do have them, but the bulk of our prints tend to be small stuff. So we've been looking around for small 3D Printers.
Recently I came across a small "micro" 3D Printer called the "Micro 3D Printer" or simply M3D. It's a tiny one, lightweight, capable of printing PLA and ABS plastics at 50 microns (the smaller the microns the better) and above, for a very attractive price: $349.
It's a bare bones system at that low price, but the company's checkout process enables add-on options and other things, including longer warranty and extra parts. They also have a number of filaments to select from their store.
The small size makes it convenient to take it to a convention and demo the DioWarriors props being printed right there on the table. It's small enough to use as a prop itself, I suppose -- build a diorama around it.
All-in-all the M3D is a low cost printer to experiment with and DioWarriors can use it to add to our production. Or at the least this little printer can be used for the prototyping stage.
If you are curious, have a look:
It's only been one month that the DioWarriors Store has gone live. It was crazy!
November, in the US, is a time of the Thanksgiving Holidays where it is customary to remember things that one is grateful for. It is obvious to say that at DioWarriors we are extremely grateful to our customers and fans who have stuck with us over the years and finally been able to order directly from us. We introduced ourselves in 2014 during the GI Joe Convention in Dallas, Texas. We had just a single table we loaded up with 3D Printed props -- all prototypes -- and two dioramas. It was our first convention that we wanted to test the waters, to see how well 3D printed items might be received. And it was a fantastic reception.
The following year we did a series of prototypes and posted the photos online. We also pushed the capabilities of our printers to their limits and changed the prop designs to make them more efficient. There were a lot of experimentation with various plastics. We formed this web-store and became familiar with it.
Everything took time. But we made sure every step we took progressed towards our goal to make quality 3D Printed props. What we didn't want to do is get carried away with our own euphoria of what we could do. We had to be sure. And when we were sure that's when we decided to go live with the DW Store.
And so here we are. One month later and spending sleepless nights printing throughout the week. We still do new designs, but much of our design time is spent improving the prototypes that we showed during the past year, incorporating better designs and techniques, getting them ready for 3D Printing. The rest of the time is the printing.
It's like being back in college with deadlines. But it's fun, and we enjoy it. For an opening month, November was indeed a month to be thankful for. Thank you all for your support and your encouragement. Goodbye November. Hello December!
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