Quite simply, Singularity 2 is the flattest, blackest & mattest object that you can actually own.
It utilises an inorganic nano-array to trap almost all visible light, simulating the light absorbing properties of a black hole.
There are four versions and three sizes to choose from, two come with lucite acrylic protective cases and two come without.
In creating Singularity 2, we've taken on the challenge of refining our design & manufacturing process to deliver a black that is superior in every way our first version. Most importantly, it's amazingly black when viewed from any angle of incidence, including at shallow angles as seen below.
In addition to a new matte protective coating which eliminates all shallow angle glare and ensures that your Singularity will stay intact during transit, the new version has a stiffened backing to eliminate surface rippling and a 10% thicker surface coating to remove the possibility of the substrate texture showing through.
Unless you've seen Vantablack at one of Anish Kapoors exhibitions, Singularity 2 will without doubt be the blackest thing you've seen. Sadly however, Vantablack is not available to the public, so we wanted to create a superblack that is actually accessible to collectors, artists & curious members of the public. Since we can't actually access Vantablack to do a proper visual comparison (we've tried), here's how Singularity 2 measures up (in terms of relative blackness) to other very black substances, including the World's blackest black paint!
The surface of each Singularity is constructed from an inorganic nano-array which absorbs almost all of the light that hits it. These arrays stem from a class of materials that have important spaceflight applications, particularly for the study of remote objects in the universe. Their job is collect and trap background light to prevent it from reflecting off surfaces and interfering with ancient light from the early universe that scientists want to measure. It is this almost complete lack of reflection that creates a black unlike anything seen in normal day to day life.
To the naked eye Singularity 2 may appear to be as black as something could be, however the only places in the universe where true black actually exists are black holes.
"It is said that fact is sometimes stranger than fiction, and nowhere is this more true than in the case of black holes. Black holes are stranger than anything dreamt up by science fiction writers." - Stephen W. Hawking.
These consist of regions of space where matter has collapsed completely in on itself and a huge amount of mass is concentrated in an incredibly small area. The gravitational pull of these regions is so great that nothing can escape – not even light.
Beginning with the Singularity 1, the aim was to create an affordable, accessible display that showed off one of the world's blackest coatings & created the impression of a deep, endless void. A black so rich that the only thing comparable would be staring into the abyssal depths of a black hole.
The development and delivery of Singularity 1 represented a huge step forward for our work & we overcame some significant challenges to do it. With our modest goal of £2500, we expected to make a small number of Singularities, but when hundreds of backers signed up we had to rapidly scale up production to cope with the demand.
The first Singularities way outperformed the world's blackest paint & were measurably blacker than anything you could find in regular life, but there were some respects in which we needed to improve our design & manufacturing process:
So we took all of the feedback we got from our backers on board & threw ourselves into developing Singularity 2.
There were two key things we knew we needed to do better, here's what they were & here's how we've addressed them to create Singularity 2.
The batch produced Singularity nano-arrays did not adhere to the metal substrate as well as our prototypes did. Following this & over concerns that many Singularities would get damaged in the mail, we applied a thin protective coating to keep them intact. Whilst this retained superblack performance at most angles including when viewed head on, this protective coating caused a gloss effect at low angles of incidence.
This was the biggest challenge for us and a number of measures have been taken to address this. Firstly, the adhesion potential of the substrate has been improved by increasing the number & depth of tiny ridges on the surface. Secondly, the coating has now been thickened to ensure that none of this additional texturing will cause the backing to show through. Lastly, a new matte protective coating has been developed to replace the version used previously. The results are better than we ever could have hoped it's the matte coated version that we've featured across this page.
The gloss effect caused by the protective coating was further exacerbated in some cases by surface rippling which was caused by the substrate backings being a little too thin & deforming slightly when being fixed inside the cases.
This problem was an unanticipated oversight on our part. We'd missed it because the issue only affected a portion of Singularities and at the time we hadn't yet produced the Singularities at scale. This has now been fixed for Singularity 2 by increasing the thickness of the substrates to ensure that they do not bend out of shape whilst being fitted into the display cases.
As seen on:
Risks and challenges
As detailed above, there were real challenges to overcome in producing Singularity 1. However, throughout the development of Singularity 2, we've been working to overcome these challenges & deliver the blackest black we've ever created. Here are the four major steps we've taken to ensure that Singularity 2 delivers that superblack performance.
1. We've increased the thickness of our substrate to prevent surface rippling.
2. We've increased the thickness of the Singularity micro-structure to ensure that there is no discernible backing texture.
3. We've improved the texture of our substrate to encourage adhesion and decrease fragility.
4. We've developed a new matte protective coating (from scratch!) to ensure your Singularities can be mailed safely, without causing unwanted reflections at any angle.
Taking these four steps into account we believe we've addressed all of the issues we discovered through producing our first (much larger than expected) batch of Singularities. We're really happy with our Singularity 2 test batch, we're ready for scaled up production & we'd love to get going!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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