LED Displays and Napkin Holders

I was recently approached by Werner Co to build some custom tabletop and napkin holder displays for a PR event at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. They were hosting a private party after the STAFDA show and needed some brand awareness at the party. Since the environment would be rather dark, it was decided that we would illuminate the displays. However, we couldn’t build anything that needed to be plugged into an outlet, so it would have to be powered by battery. The event would last approximately 4-6 hours, so the batteries would have to last the duration of the event. Initially, I contemplated creating each tabletop display base out of wood, but after crunching some numbers, I decided it was best to cast them using resin. That would require building a flawless form for the base so that each base would be identical.All the acrylic panels would have company branding etched into them, so I needed to decide whether they would be cut with CNC or etched using sandblast techniques. I opted for sandblast since I was on a tight deadline.

CNC Photos

I’ve been playing with a new technique that I accidentally stumbled on while playing with Adobe Photoshop a couple weeks ago. I was actually working on some graphics for my “real” job one afternoon and needed to reproduce somewhat of a “halftone” pattern. After a while, my mind started to wander and I started thinking about how I could use this very distinct graphic style in some of my other projects. It wasn’t long before I was toying around with the idea of carving photos using this technique with CNC. A lot of the editing is done in Photoshop and then imported into my CNC software. Take a look at my first couple attempts at using this new technique. I’m still trying to perfect the technique, as the same settings in Photoshop are NOT used for each image.The average cutting time for a 14″x14″ graphic is approximately 4-5 hours of cutting time.The images are best viewed from a distance.

The Shadowbox Project

This is a project that I am currently in the process of designing. I was asked to design a custom display that would showcase a pin and keychain collection. The client currently has an Arc Display, shown in this gallery, and wanted the pin/keychain display to compliment the Arc Display. The shadowbox display that currently houses the collection was purchased from a craft store. Check out the gallery below for the original shadowbox, concept drawings, and renderings for this project.

Home Center Merchandisers & Displays

At the time of this project, Dremel Power Tools, a division of Bosch Power Tools, was achieving great success with the launch of their newest tool, the Multi-Max. This tool performed such operations as cutting, sanding, and scraping by using oscillation, a very fast vibration. It didn’t have spinning or reciprocating movements, so it was impressive to most people. This type of tool was currently on the market and produced by another manufacturer, but its starting price of $300 made it an unreasonable purchase to the average consumer. So Dremel came out with this tool for $99. However, the price tag alone was not going to sell the tool. This was the kind of tool that needed to get into the hands of the consumer, in order for it to sell. I was asked to develop several designs of in-store demonstration merchandisers to be used at The Home Depot. The merchandisers would not only serve as a demo station, but they would also stock the tools and accessories. These merchandisers were going to be used as examples for the sales staff to build right there in the store, so the materials included needed to be available in the store.

Apple Retail Store Cabinet

Back in 2008, an Apple retail store was looking to organize some items used by their creative team in the store. These items included digital keyboards, microphones, webcams, iPods, etc. (The creative team is responsible for teaching customers how to use Apple’s creative software; GarageBand, Final Cut, etc.; basically any applications dealing with music and video.)  I wasn’t given a direction other than the cabinet “needed to have big drawers and it had to be white.” I had a timeline of about 4 days to complete the cabinet.

Dremel NASC Projects

Every year, Dremel holds a North American Sales Conference near their headquarters in Chicago, Illinois. Sales representatives from all over the country fly in for a week to review new products. They also participate in hands-on building exercises where they get to use current products as well as products of the future. I’ve been fortunate to have been given the opportunity to not only develop the building projects for the exercise, but also build sample projects to be used as inspiration. In all of the projects, I built 3D models of my ideas before construction. I then submitted the 3D renderings for final approval. The images are then used by Dremel’s marketing team and sent out via email to all the sales representatives as a means to generate excitement for the project in the weeks prior to the conference. The goal of the projects is to use a variety of Dremel tools and accessories to build the project. The sales representatives are usually put into teams of 15-20 people and have an elaborate selection of materials that each team can select from in which to build the project. The following gallery includes images of the final project as well as computer renderings that I created. Enjoy!

 

Auto Art & Design Projects

Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve always had a fascination for cars, particularly the high-end italian type! I’m an avid Formula One racing fan and die cast car collector. I started collecting in college and it wasn’t long before I had amassed quite the collection for myself. I was running out of room to display them and I came up with the idea to build a special display case to showcase the cars. It wasn’t long before other collectors, enthusiasts, and owners started contacting me about creating displays for their collections. However, it didn’t stop there. Soon I was being asked to create replica items and single cars displays, and other miscellaneous items. Building these custom items is nice change of pace for me after spending most of my time in front of the computer. Enjoy!

Signs Made Easy with CNC

I was recently asked by Rockler Woodworking to give in-store demonstrations of their CNC Shark machines. Currently, there’s a big push by many manufacturers to get benchtop CNC machines into workshops around the world. CNC machines and 3D printers are all around us today, showcasing their ease of use and endless possibilities. Entry level CNC machines, such as the ones sold at Rockler, are enticing to a lot of potential buyers because of their size and affordability. As a demonstrator, I wanted to come up with a couple simple things that viewers and potential buyers could easily relate to, in regards to an easy first-time project. For a lot of people, they see things everyday that they like and wonder how it’s done. While making these wall signs is fairly simplistic to me, I know that there are others who may perceive them to be complicated. Part of my job as a demonstrator is to demonstrate the ease of use of one of their CNC Shark machine models. Now, while part of the using the CNC is manipulating the CNC itself, the other part relies intensively on the individual. For users who are otherwise computer illiterate, learning to use one of these machines can be a daunting task. The basic software packages provided with these machines is what I focus on primarily. We leave the advanced stuff for after-store hours! Anyways, take a look below at some of the samples created while focusing on basic techniques achieved using the basic software package. Enjoy!

Child Stools

Here’s a collection of child stools that I’ve made for friends and family. The stools are made with solid red oak and the painted seat pieces are made from solid poplar. Each stool part has it’s own jig that I created to make multiple pieces at a time. They were all designed on the computer and cut with CNC. Wood blanks with specific measurements are placed into the jig and are then cut on a router table. The addition of painted graphics always shows a nice contrast against the natural beauty of red oak. Take a look at the gallery below. Enjoy!

Naperville Bank And Trust Kiosks and Wall Display

I recently had the pleasure of working with my dad on a project for the Naperville Bank & Trust in Naperville. The bank purchased the historic 1939 Post Office building to be used as their new downtown location. We were asked to work on a couple projects for them that would incorporate original items found in the post office during its time of operation.

The first project was to dismantle a series of old, brass post office box doors and create a wall display that would be placed inside the wall of the presidents office, while still visible to the rest of the bank. Removing the doors seemed like a simple task at first, but ended up being rather complex because of how they were originally manufactured. Since the post office box keys were nowhere to be found, we had to remove the doors Continue reading “Naperville Bank And Trust Kiosks and Wall Display”