Rustic CAD

Developments in computer aided design “CAD” and computer aided manufacture “CAM”  are still driven at a technical level by infrastructure and asset management based applications. Projects like The Bay Lights in San Francisco also demonstrate how the emergence of a maker culture – users working with CAD and CAM outside of the traditional factory setup – is transforming once specialist solutions and expanding horizons in terms of application.  It is easy to disregard the impact such developments have on populations outside of built up urban areas until you cross paths with a CAD designed trophy deer in its natural and rural habitat.  

Back Alley Metals, Montana

Back Alley Metals, Montana



The Bay Lights

As a designer, Gian Pablo Villamil replicated a 4 inch piece of suspension cable from the Bay Bridge using 123D Catch derived meshes and 3D printing. The plastic facsimile produced using a MakerBot 3D Printer informed the design of a clip that made the project possible – preventing wear on the wires that supplied power to 25,000 LED lights.




A total of 50,000 clips were produced in order to make the project work. Each was used to keep wires in place across 1.8 miles of bridge at every 12 inches of cable. Using real world data provided a simple solution to an otherwise complex problem.

    Time-lapse scene of Calgary from the Sky 360

    View all the sites of Calgary without leaving your seat at the Sky 360 Restaurant and Lounge . On average a full rotation cycle takes between 45 – 60 minutes. Originally called the Husky Tower after the oil company that helped fund its construction, the Calgary Tower stands at 191 meters. 



      The Internet of Something?

      The Internet of Everything from Cisco is the latest repackaging of the Internet of Things, with “Every” added to “Thing” based on the US economy and infrastructure. First used by Kevin Ashton, the Internet of Things stemmed from Bruno Latour’s idea of a Parliament of Things in We Have Never Been Modern. In an Internet of Things, humans and objects are independent agents in the distribution and communication of knowledge. In other words, people interpret, synthesize and communicate their perceptions of the world through technologies like smartphone, tablets or a connected community of sensors in this instance.


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        Shrinking the Digital Divide…One Drink at a Time

        Examined by reporter Nick Baker in a three part documentary for BBC Worldwide, the internet cafe is now in decline in most western countries. It is, however, thriving in the developing world, where it is helping to shrink what is known as the digital divide. A term used to describe the division of global knowledge and wealth based on access to computers and other forms of information technology “IT”. Internet cafes continue to evolve and survive beyond their San Francisco based origins. Known as SFnet in the City by the Bay, the internet cafe connected a network of coffeehouses via a terminal based system.

        From internet cafe to cybercafe

        The internet cafe emerged from the coffeehouses of San Francisco in 1991. Refined in Berkeley by Wayne Gregori, SFnet was a text based terminal system connecting people through a 33-MHz 486 microprocessor introduced by Intel. Internet cafes subsequently got refined and rebranded as cybercafes by artist Ivan Pope in 1994. This London based venture was the next logical step – enabling customers to experience full internet access and video gaming with their coffee. Cybercafes turned into actual meeting places for gamers, which still continued after online gaming in the home became popular.


        Gamer cafes

        In developing countries the internet cafe still places an emphasis on internet access and the connectivity it brings. It still follows aspects of the business model presented in the CNN report for SFnet, which predated the video game scene now prevalent in western society. For the latter, cafes like 8bit Cafe in Japan and Loading in London have become the inspiration for drinking establishments all over the world.