We're funded!! But please don't stop -- you better believe we have a short list of equipment that we can purchase or build based on any extra funding. We'll be sure to keep you in the loop through Kickstarter updates and Pax Modern's blog.
**International backers: We've added international shipping prices on our updates page. Thanks!
We’re Jeff and Teegan, and we started Pax Modern because we saw a need for small batch manufacturing and prototyping at accessible rates. We want to empower designers, small business, and DIYers to deliver their ideas to the public and translate their innovations into reality.
We also like really great design -- Jeff’s background is in Industrial Design -- and we think it’s a shame that so many awesome products are floating out there without an outlet to the public. We want to remedy that.
Because we’re starting this endeavor from the ground up, part of our business model is to be as hands-on as possible. That’s why we’re building a laser cutter from scratch with open source hardware. Sophisticated equipment is far from cheap (let alone maintenance costs and general upkeep), but by building the equipment ourselves, it lowers the cost for us and lowers the cost for the production of great product.
Our laser cutter is nearly complete. We have the frame, wiring, motors, and programming in place. We just need the laser tube to get up and running. That’s why we need you. For our rewards, we’re offering first dibs on laser cut 100% wool felt home accessories designed by some pretty amazing designers.
If you’re interested, we have a lot of details if you keep scrolling down – FAQs on us, the laser cutter, and the kickstarter project, product shots of the rewards, links to tons of pictures, and some shout outs you probably don’t want to miss.
We’re excited about this project, we’re excited about YOU, and we can’t wait to get up and running!
Jeff and Teegan Nordhues
Design styles left to right: Top: cloud coaster designed by Pax Modern, branches coaster designed by Melissa and Jonathan, honeycomb coaster designed by Jill, conversation coaster, designed by Melissa and Jonathan. Middle: branches trivet designed by Melissa and Jonathan, honeycomb trivet designed by Jill. Left side: cloud placemat designed by Pax Modern, honeycomb placemat designed by Jill. Right side: Honeycomb table runner designed by Jill.
Approx. dimensions: felt = 3mm thickness /coasters = 3.5" x 3.5" / trivets = 7" x 7" / placemats = 14.5" Dia. / honeycomb table runner = 47" x 13" / custom felt art = 2305 sq inches or less.
Colors choices left to right: Yellow, Orange, Magenta, Green, Blue, Gray, Black/Brown
Have questions? Here are a few FAQ's.
What’s a laser cutter?
A laser cutter is a precision cutting machine. It cuts materials with a focused laser beam, and is programmed to run by computer. It can cut everything from plastic to ¼” wood to cardboard, cork, and natural fiber materials. The beauty of a laser cutter is that it can effectively cut intricate designs and details that many other production methods can’t accomplish outside of expensive set up and tooling costs.
Hooking up the computer and running the laser cutter for the very first time:
Why build one?
Moolah. And expertise. Have you seen how much laser cutters cost these days? Especially laser cutters with a 2’ x 4’ bed? Since our aim is to manufacture in small batches, we wanted to keep costs low. Buying materials and assembling and programming ourselves allows us to do that. And, since we know exactly what our laser is made of, we can take care of maintenance and trouble shooting ourselves. In addition, we will be able to push the boundaries of the materials and designs that we can produce. See the build in action on our Flickr page.
What does it mean to be built with open source hardware?
Open source is the idea that knowledge should be accessible by everyone at no cost. Fortunately, a couple of really cool people decided to collect all the knowledge and hardware necessary to build laser cutters and make it available to the public; they're based out of Brooklyn, and go by the moniker Lasersaur. At the moment Lasersaur requires a small fee to get in on their project since they’re not quite finished, but they plan to make it totally free and open by late this year once all of the laser cutting plans are refined.
What’s special about felt?
For this first run of products we’ve decided to focus on 100% German wool felt. We really love this material because the quality and color saturation is so luxurious, and still so functional – moisture resistant, heat and stain resistant, and color fast. It’s also completely natural and recyclable.
Who are your designers?
Jonathan Myers – a multimedia designer and all around awesome guy. He and Melissa are married and based in Colorado. http://jnthnmyrs.com/
Melissa Carmon – an artist and illustrator who honed her craft at Rhode Island School of Design before getting a degree in philosophy. She and Jonathan are married and based in Colorado. http://melissacarmon.com/
Jill Allyn Peterson – a designer and photographer based out of Brooklyn. She is a graduate from the San Francisco Art Institute and Rhode Island School of Design. http://www.jillallyn.com/
See more about them at www.paxmodern.com/designers.
Why should I care about new designers?
Many new designers graduate and find jobs in a corporate environment. They give all their time, talent and energy to a large company for small pay and very little recognition for their great ideas. We’re thankful for these designers since they give us the products we love from many brands we trust, but we’d like to offer an alternative where their ideas are respected and recognition is given, so they can design amazing stuff for us without the burnout that typically comes from creating without much reward. Reward for you? Innovative product at an accessible price.
What’s your goal with Kickstarter?
$6000 will fund a 100 watt laser, power supply, and water chiller, as well as allow us to build an exhaust system. With this we can easily cut material up to 1/4” in thickness. But if we raise double that, we can move into a larger space and start to build a second laser cutter that would be geared towards cutting up to 6 mm mild steel. Pretty sweet!
What makes Pax Modern special?
What sets us apart is background. Jeff has a bachelor's degree in Industrial Design from the Art Institute of Colorado and a masters in Industrial Design from the Rhode Island School of Design. Both schools emphasized the maker/manufacturing end of designing. He also spent many years designing high end furniture and managing the manufacturing logistics. So he not only knows the process of designing product, but he's also familiar with the materials, tools, equipment and product engineering in intimate detail. Most manufacturing companies are strong on the equipment and engineering side of production, which makes it difficult for non-engineers to communicate and effectively execute a design from start to finish. Essentially, we understand that designers want to push limits and try new things with machines. They want to modify the equipment in order to get their desired end result – it’s not about fitting in or conforming. So whether you're a DIYer, a designer or an engineer, we can speak your language and work with you in order to achieve your desired results.
And, although some wouldn’t see it as special, we’re located less than 100 miles from the center of the US. For us, this means we have lower overhead than major cities and are only a half a country away from either coast.
What’s next for Pax Modern?
An online store! More designers! This is just the beginning of products for Pax Modern. This first line of accessories will be available for purchase Fall 2012. We’ve also started to develop a line of home and office accessories with a couple of other designers, and we plan to release a line of small accent furniture in the first quarter of 2013. And, not to mention, if we reach our bigger goals through Kickstarter, we’ll start adding other equipment that will give us the option to manufacture with other processes and materials.
How does Kickstarter work?
Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing sort of deal. We have until August 11th at midnight to raise our target amount, and if we reach it, we get it. If we don’t, we don’t get a dime.
To boil it down –
- 1. You decide if you want to support us.
- 2. You choose your reward and enter in your info. Your card will NOT get charged until the project is over.
- 3. We all spread the word and then wait until our Kickstarter deadline approaches.
- 4. If we get funded, your card gets charged and you tell us the details of your reward request. If we don’t get funded, you don’t pay a cent.
- 5. We finish building the laser cutter and send you your brand new, totally unique home accessory built by yours truly.
Laser cutters and dinosaurs? Lasersaur is the genius behind our laser cutter. They’re an open source laser cutting project out of Brooklyn. They hope to release to the public late this year.
Red Orchid Productions. We had such a blast filming our video with them. They’re efficient, professional and really good at what they do.
David Lano. Wordpress guru. Got a website design in mind? He can make it happen. Just take a peek at our site for the proof.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
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