Journal march10
Finalizing the object construction.

Two weeks ago, I was having trouble figuring out what to do with the prototype, and I forgot about the gears completely - returning to a previous version of the files. The older model turned out to be the better model. I decided to account for the small rotation range problem by lowering the overall scale of the entire thing. That way, there would be enough room to wrap a strip of printed pixels. I re-cut the wood rollers to make them very short. I then sat patiently threading the paper strips through the machine, taping them together and pinning them to the rollers.

There was another threat that the gear prototype held, and that was the problem of traction on a roller that spins in several rotations. Previously, I had been pinning the paper to the roller. But if it spins more than 180 degrees, I would end up designing some kind of tooth and sprocket system for the paper - hence making my paper look like a strip of kodak film. This extra work was not desirable to me, and I chose not to fight this battle- for, time is limited.

I have now entered a sort of "mass production" phase, where I am investigating the feasibility of making 5-10 of these objects. After my meeting with Steve Heller, I aim to install these at AIGA (whether or not that actually happens) but it still gives me a great context to fit my design into. This new object has been squared off more, in order to prepare it for the upcoming prototype - which is an enclosed box, hiding all the machinery.

Timing the cycle.
It takes me 24 hours to have the plexi parts cut. It takes me 15 minutes to walk to the NYU Book Store from ITP and purchase 12 servo motors ($117). It takes me six hours to sit down and assemble the prototype and attach it to a circuit (maybe with one snack break). Knowing this, I think building 5 letters is definitely possible! Especially because this older version of the prototype has no weird behavior that requires individual tweaking.

Why is doing more than one letter really important to Josh?

- people will get a very clear visual on that fact that this thing is a signage project. I will be able to spell things out in a physical, non-emulated way.

- I can produce an object, but I am not very experienced at RE-producing an object. During this semester, I have been building a third typeface for my collection of three. Hopefully, all three will display together, but this latest one will actually be designed for duplication. The duplication-ization has been the biggest challenge in my engineering so far. However, it is pretty much over - and all I have to do is make a routine so I can build-build-build, without really thinking (so I can use my brain to think about my paper).

By now, a pile of shimmering scrapped laser cut parts sit in my inventory. I also dug up the very first typeface prototype I made in 2002, and brought it to school. The circuit still runs - and I was already demonstrating it to friends.

It became clear to me during my talk with Steve that I should be producing that "advertisement" packet asap. So now, I will begin with a Lifestyle illustration, mimicing the fashion styles of Marcos Chin (illustrator of the beautiful lavalife ads that we see in the subway). My typeface will be situated into some very idealistic scenarios. This should be fun!