Mar 15, 2016
Chances are, if you’ve spent some time around the Ultimaker community, you may have seen some of Jacky's (aka Valcrow) work from Redicubricks.com. Instead of sharing a familiar theme, I’d like to share a story about the bigger picture, about embracing a 3D printing lifestyle and its community.First off, an introduction. I’m Ken, Jacky’s brother and I’m also big into 3D printing. If you’ve seen Jacky’s work, I guarantee that you’ve seen my work as well. More on that later. Long before Redicubricks or even before Jacky received his first package from Ultimaker, we ran a production and animation studio in Toronto called Thoughtform Digital Inc. It’s a small production and post-production house where I head the production team and Jacky leads the motion graphics and animation section.
Every year, we leave a small budget for ourselves to invest into whatever interests us. A small play budget which could be spent on new software, gear or even toys that caught our interest. The point of this was so we can always explore, learn and try new things. What would life be without the excitement of exploration?
In 2013 Jacky spent his allowance on the Ultimaker Original. Never before were we able to translate our digital assets into reality and in such a novel way. Jacky’s 3D design skills from his VFX work quickly adapted to 3D printing principles. Many of Jacky’s popular models were designed and printed on the Ultimaker Original he built, like the Ducati motorcycle, the lightsaber and Atlas mech.In 2013 Jacky spent his allowance on the Ultimaker Original. Never before were we able to translate our digital assets into reality and in such a novel way.
That same year I spent my allowance on a new 4K camera. I was thrilled to have 3D printing content for filming and testing out the new camera. Soon after, Redicubricks was the result of our combined play budgets. Jacky loved creating new 3D prints and I loved to capture and share it.
We’ve always believed that if you surrounded yourself with the right people and the things you want to do that’s how you define what your life would be. We were so excited about 3D printing that we just wanted to create and share it with the world. So we partnered up with the people who got us hooked, Ultimaker. We started off joining them at some Maker Faire and 3D Printshows. While lurking on the forums, I saw some forum members had wanted to attend the shows but couldn’t, so I took it upon myself to make some recap videos. Made a lot of new friends along the way! Check out the Maker Faire recap we did below.
We put our professional production and animation skills to use in a new spot when Ultimaker announced they were coming to North America and at the same time, when the Ultimaker Original+ was launched, we came up with a timelapse concept that we thought was really cool. 3D printing takes time, so it’s really nice to create timelapses for people to quickly see the entire process.
Once the campaign was over, there was no reason not to continue making more content together with Ultimaker. So I developed a new style of timelapses that match the Ultimaker branding. It’s clean, simple and try to keep things moving so you get the idea of time passing but moves fast enough to keep your attention. The timelapse below shows the Wind Turbine that Jacky made for the Ultimaker 2+ launch. It even includes an assembly guide, so that community members can make it themselves.
In the meantime, Jacky honed his skills as a 3D designer who has made special considerations for 3D printing with filaments. Some of his new models made it on to the Ultimaker front page and for other models he was invited to share his 3D design philosophy at Tested for a couple of episodes with Sean and Norm. Jacky does a series of 6 videos with Tested.com showing off his work, and explaining the challenges and nuances of designing for 3D printers like Ultimaker.By this time, we’ve got a lot of people excited about exploring the possibilities of 3D printing. When they asked if there was a store they could visit to see one in action that got us stumped. We could show them all the 3D printing timelapses and tutorials in the world but seeing an Ultimaker print was truly a different experience altogether. Instead of waiting for this to happen why not create exactly what we envisioned? Thus Shop3D.ca was created!
We wanted a place where someone could come in and see the Ultimakers printing live and a place to experiment and create Redicubrick projects. There are sample prints of all of the filaments we’ve tried and inventory of the most common Ultimaker parts on hand. You can stop in without an appointment for a tutorial on printer operation, drop your Ultimaker off for repairs or simply chat with us about 3D printing! An experience we wanted to create fitting with the Ultimaker community focus.
The store is set up so half our space is a dedicated public showroom and the other half a private studio where we produce media. This way our passion for 3D printing and our expertise in media creation are fused together. All in one place where community members, customers, and enthusiasts alike can drop in and join us in the exciting journey of 3D printing. With the help of a wonderfully supportive community surrounding Ultimaker, we feel we’ve truly created a special place that lives and breathes 3D printing.
Looking back, it’s hard to believe that this story began a little over two years ago with the Ultimaker Original arriving at our doorstep. It’s an incredible journey that definitively reflects the spirit of 3D Printing and the fast-moving nature of the industry. The possibilities are boundless so take your 3D Printer and learn, create and grow your business and your hobby to the way you envisioned it to be.