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.
Introducing the DioWarriors Update, a new Alexa Skill for the Amazon Echo. It is a news flash briefing. We hope to use the skill to help keep you informed of the various topics concerning toy photography, action figures, and photo novels (diostories). Topics will be kept short and to the point.
What sort of information might we include in a flash briefing? News topics of relevance to the Action Figure collector community. We may also do the occasional shout out to DioWarriors fans.
Right now, though, we don't have a name for the skill. "DioWarriors" doesn't get pronounced properly without special SSML (Speech Synthesis Markup Language) codes being added to the text. Using SSML codes in the body of text is okay, but for the name of the skill... well, it won't look good. If you have a suggestion for a name let us know.
Latest News blog thingy.