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Meet a Maker: Hypatia Studio

Hypatia-smiles-1-of-1-216x300Hypatia Studio is a husband-and-wife team of Matt Roesle and Mahi Palanisami. We are both mechanical engineers by training. Mahi has worked in construction and HVAC design, and is interested in documentary radio and film as well as dance. Matt has researched heat transfer and fluid flow, and is interested in all most things nerdy. We’ve known each other for about eight years, have been married for two, and started our 3D printed jewelry business a little over a year ago.

What do you make?

We use 3D printing to make mathematical jewelry and sculpture. Our designs are based on geometrical concepts such as Platonic solids or braids, or are direct embodiments of equations like strange attractors or fractals, or are derived from simulations of physical things like water flow or sound waves. I usually write our own software to make the 3D models of our designs, have them 3D printed using an online printing service, and then do finishing work and assembly.

How did you get started making and why?3D printed_Hypatia Studio_fancy clean platonic solid earrings

I’ve always been interested in building things. I started learning computer programming, in BASIC, at about age 8; and for as long as I can remember I’ve loved to take things apart to see how they work. (Successfully putting them back together came later!)

What’s the most amazing, unusual (craziest) thing anyone has ever done with or told you about what you make? 

Recently we had the opportunity to show some of our jewelry in a fashion show at RAW Denver. The hair artist also took some strange attractor sculptures I had made, and wove them into the models’ hair as fantastic hair pieces. I never would have thought to do that!

What is your adv3D printed_Hypatia studio_Julias scaffoldice to creators looking to do what you do or make what you make?

The most important thing to have is hands-on experience, and the best way to get it is to just start trying to make things. At first the things you make might not work more often than they do work, but if you can figure out what went wrong and learn something from it, you haven’t failed. (Even though it might not feel like it at the time.) Theoretical knowledge, like you get through a college education, is helpful too, but you will get more from college if you have practical and life experience first.

What is your favorite part about the maker movement?

I really like how the maker movement encourages people to just go out and try things. You don’t need formal education, fancy tools, or a big workshop to make really cool things. I also like how the proliferation of hacker spaces and events like the Rocky Mountain STEAMfest emphasize local co3D printed_Hypatia Studio_Silver swoop ringmmunity-building. The local can get lost in this age of national TV networks and the global Internet. Most of us will never be on national TV or in a magazine like MAKE or get 15 seconds of fame by going viral, but we can play an important and lasting role in our own community by helping, teaching and mentoring, and celebrating each other.

Where do you see your making going in the next 3 to 5 years?

Right now we are trying to grow our jewelry business enough to support us as a full-time business. In three to five years, I hope that we will have succeeded in that, and we will be starting to think about and plan our next endeavor – what that will be, I have no idea yet.

What do you wish you could make but don’t know how to (yet)?

I made the 3D p3D printed_Hypatia Studio_choker bronze steelrinter we have at home, and we use it to make prototypes of some of our designs and some larger sculpture pieces. But it can’t really handle small or intricate designs, and I wish I knew how to make the kind of printer that can print small, detailed parts in wax or a more durable plastic like nylon!

Cotery Contest Brings Your Clothing Designs to Life

Are you a Zazzler or a Threadless-er or a Café Press-er? If you are, then you know how limiting it can be to work with ink on a tee shirt. Are you a fashion designer? If so, then you know how hard it is to source materials and market your line, and what a desperate gamble it can be to do these things with no guarantee that sales will be there on the back end.

That’s where The Cotery comes in.

Use the site’s design tool to bring the vision of your awesomeness into the world of electronic “what could be”. Then pre-sell your designs to fashion-forward users browsing for the next big thing. A bit like Kickstarter, if you reach your pre-sale goals, The Cotery kicks your design into production and your orders are magically fulfilled – making your electronic designs a reality. Snap, yo! It’s just that easy. And there are no up-front costs – if the design gets produced, The Cotery takes 10 percent of retail sales (5 percent for premium members).

It’s the brainchild of Boulder startup insider Char Genevier. As a high school student in Pasadena, CA, Char had an afterschool job at a web development company. “They’d literally be calling me during class saying there’s a bug in the software and I’m stepping out of stats class to take calls,” she says. On the side, Char and her boyfriend built an online message board for their school, an image hosting software, and the framework for what would become Char’s first startup, Social Engine, which, like the message board, allows companies and “people who want to be the next Facebook,” Char says, to design, brand, and host their own social networking sites.

Even after successfully bootstrapping Social Engine, Char felt like she working in a bubble in Los Angeles – they applied to the TechStars program, were accepted and moved to Boulder in 2010. There was an exit and the Cotery is Char’s answer to “what’s next?” It’s also the story of a true maker – in addition to being The Cotery’s CEO, Char built the back end.

Stop by the Cotery booth at the Boulder Mini Maker Faire, Jan 31 – Feb 1, 2015 to try it for yourself. Really: Cotery will be on hand to work with you through the process of designing your own clothing. Not only that but Cotery is also offering the opportunity to win a prize package that could help you push this new design into the world in a very real way. Launch a design on the site by February 15 and you could win a Cotery-sponsored package that will take your ability to sell your designs to the next level. Based on the number of presales your design generates, winners in “group” and “individual” categories will get the following:

Grand Prize (Design in Each Category with Most Pre-Sales):

  • One month subscription to Adobe Cloud.
  • Pre-Production Sample of Garment, one per designer in group category
  • Editorial Photoshoot
  • 6 months Premium Membership
  • Profit from winning design if sales goal is met

Second Place (Design in Each Category selected as Editor’s Choice):

  • Pre-Production Sample
  • 3 months Premium Membership
  • Profit from winning design if sales goal is met

 

Calling All Makers!

THE FAIRE IS THIS WEEKEND!

If you are interested in being an exhibitor at the Faire, we may be able to accommodate your activity/exhibit.  To learn more, email Anne Fellini at Anne@MakerBoulder.com.

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About a year ago, we got in touch with the folks at Make Magazine to discuss hosting a little Maker event, maybe in an elementary school gym. We imagined a cardboard building contest, an egg drop, maybe a couple presentations by local technology toy companies. If we lived in Boise or Burlington or Bozeman that’s what it would have been. But that day on the phone, Make Magazine heard the word “Boulder” and lit up like an Arduino board when you click the upload button. They said something like, “Dude, you totally have to host a Faire!” (Except maybe with a little less Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.)

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