Funded! This project was successfully funded on October 9, 2013.

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Primer is an electronic kinetic sculpture that generates prime numbers.

I’m an artist in Los Angeles and I primarily make kinetic sculpture (you can see more of my work here). A while ago I picked up a bunch of used electromechanical counters which I was going to use in a piece that I just never got around to making. But instead of unloading them on eBay, I decided to design a piece using a single counter, and then produce it as a series to offer to all of you. This is what I came up with. 

Primer, 3/4 view
Primer, 3/4 view

I call it Primer because it generates prime numbers. Just press the button and it counts up to the next one. Prime numbers are the only numbers it’s ever going to display.

Primer’s made out of aluminum and plastic, and rests on a painted MDF base. Each Primer is handmade by me, with the help of a CNC milling machine and various other tools. Even the printed circuit boards are assembled and tested by me.

Primer, rear
Primer, rear

As I said, the counters are used, but they’re in excellent working condition. They all have minor scuffs on them, but really nothing major, and they still look, work, and sound great. This also means that your Primer won’t be starting at zero (which isn’t a prime number anyway), but some prime number between zero and a million. No two will be identical, but they’ll all be signed, dated, and numbered by me on the bottom of the base.  Each Primer will also include an international, "wall-wart" power supply.

Primer, side
Primer, side

Primer’ll be a great addition to any office or cubicle, and it’s also the perfect gift for the mathematician or engineer in your life, or anyone who just likes pushing a button and seeing something happen.

Primer, front
Primer, front

As you can see from the video, Primer’s not just a sketch or even a prototype. It’s ready for production. I just need 25 orders to hit the breakpoint to bring the price down. 

I’ve only got 60 of these counters, so when they’re gone, they’re gone. What are you waiting for?

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

There's no technological risk with this project since Primer's already been thoroughly designed and tested. All the parts have been sourced, and the production process debugged. There's nothing I'm doing with Primer that I haven't done dozens of times before ... except making 60 of something. I usually make things in editions of just one or two, so this sort of "mass production" is new to me. The only risk that presents is it might take me a little longer to make these than I've estimated, but I've tried to be conservative. I plan on making them in batches of 10, and sending them out in the order in which people pledge (assuming Kickstarter provides that info). The December delivery assumes the project is launched by the start of September and closes by the start of October. That would provide me the funds by the mid-October. The longest-leadtime items are the printed circuit boards, which take about two weeks, but I can work on other things while waiting for them.

FAQ

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  • Pledge $10 or more
    You selected

    5 backers All gone!

    I'll add your name to the bottom of every Primer sold, followed by, "was too cheap to pay for one of these of his [or 'her,' as appropriate] own."

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $20 or more
    You selected

    5 backers All gone!

    I'll add the name of your choice to the bottom of every Primer sold, followed by, "was too cheap to pay for one of these of his [or 'her,' as appropriate] own."

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $120 or more
    You selected

    60 backers All gone!

    $120 gets you your very own, signed, dated, and numbered Primer, including a 50/60 Hz, 110/220VAC power supply.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $1,120 or more
    You selected

    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    Name your prime number. With this award you'll not only receive a Primer, but naming rights to the prime number of your choice between 1,000 and 1,000,000. Particularly fond of 8641? Cough up $1,120 and it's yours. You'll receive a certificate from the International Number Naming Authority declaring that, henceforth, all future references to 8641 shall be replaced with, say, "Gus." With this award you'll really score points with that special someone, because nothing says, "I love you," like a personally named prime number. (Only good for 5 years. Does not apply to Fibonacci Primes. This award does not exist.)

    Estimated delivery:
Funding period

- (30 days)