Funded! This project was successfully funded on February 3, 2012.

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A beautifully-crafted table encapsulates electronics and robotics, allowing images to be magically sculpted in a layer of sand.

Mesmerizing, Functional Art

Imagine a Japanese Zen Garden built into a beautifully-crafted, glass-topped table. The body of the table encapsulates electronics and robotics, that sculpt geometric patterns and images into a field of microscopic silicone beads beneath a glass top. The effect is mesmerizing and magical; it is truly Zen-like to watch ever-changing patterns and images appear in the sand.

The project is based on an idea I sketched in a notebook back in 1997.  Since then I've tested a multitude of mechanical configurations and experimented with many different sculpting mediums.  In May of this year I decided to get serious about the project, spending my life savings developing a full-sized coffee table prototype, building a smaller desktop sized version, and writing software that directs the table to sculpt interesting things.

We Need Your Support

The design and execution of the first functioning tables is complete.  Now, we’re taking it to the next step and seeking support to turn this invention into a successful business – bringing Zen Table to the public and giving everyone a chance to enjoy this mesmerizing invention.

By contributing to this project, you are eligible for some fun and creative rewards, and you get to help (and watch) a new business ignite, from its initial spark into something tangible.  Your support will create jobs for people crafting and selling a unique product – one in which we believe wholeheartedly.  

Protecting the Environment

Besides creating opportunities, we are developing and building Zen Table in an environmentally conscious way – we care deeply about the environment and we are sourcing all production materials from sustainable supply channels, we can make a difference in the future of our planet.

Construction will use organically grown FSC certified moso bamboo, which is durable, strong, beautiful, and above all - renewable.

There is still some work to be done tightening up the software that directs the table’s robotics and controls what and how a pattern is sculpted, particularly on the desktop-size version.  Currently, the desktop-size sculpting is not as smooth as the perfect lines and arcs created by the full-size version.  The software specific to the miniature version needs development time and love to achieve the same perfect sculpting quality seen on the large tables.

Full Sized Coffee Table Version

  • Measures 56" x 39" x 19.5"
  • Constructed from organically grown FSC certified renewable bamboo, which is available in several different styles
  • Select from a wide range of stains or varnishes
  • The glass top is extremely strong tempered glass, 5/16" thick, as is similar to the high-strength glass used in store windows
  • Comes with an SD card containing programs for sculpting patterns into the sand
  • A dimmer switch controls the brightness of the built-in lighting
  • An optional 3G modem can be built into your table to receive new programs for sculpting via the cellphone network, along with a service plan subscription that will push new designs to the table as they are created
  • Control the table from your smartphone.  With the 3G modem option installed, you can download the iPhone/Android app which we are currently developing and play a compendium of classic games, or send commands via text message to your tables dedicated phone number
  • Connect a USB cable to your table, if desired, to send commands directly to the table from your computer, rather than programs being automatically loaded in sequence from the SD card

Desktop Version

  • Measures 13" x 9.5" x 2 1/2"
  • Constructed from organically grown FSC certified renewable bamboo
  • Comes with an SD card containing programs for sculpting patterns into the sand
  • Available as a kit or a ready-built unit
  • Either enjoy as a piece of relaxing art, or for its science/educational value as a builder/experimenter
  • A USB cable can be connected to the table, that will allow commands from your computer to be sent directly to the table, rather than sculpting programs being loaded in sequence from the SD card, learn about CNC, robotics, or experiment with different sculpting mediums
  • Comes with a universal switched mode power adapter  (the wires and croc-clips seen on the image above are specific to the prototype’s power supply)
  • Includes software that converts bitmap images into sculpting programs which run on the table

Our Goal

We want to build a sustainable business, creating exclusive and unique pieces of functional art to continually amaze and delight anyone who sees it.

Zen Table will also work great in hotel lobbies, conference rooms, doctor office waiting rooms, restaurants, bars, theme parks or destination resorts.  The technology and software can scale to virtually any size, and it can sculpt your logo or name in a unique way.

But Wait, There's More!

Engage your guests, customers, friends, or simply relax and watch as patterns and images are sculpted in a way that has never been seen before. It is hard to look away as Zen Table sculpts complex geometric patterns, company logos, a family crest, favorite team logo, or meditative designs.

Check out Zen Table sculpting some designs and patterns, including an outtake where my phone accidentally takes an 8 foot nose-dive right into the middle of the glass on the full sized prototype (both survived the impact)!

After sticking my phone to the ceiling with tape to get some HD footage, I did not realize the tape was letting go until the phone fell 8 feet right into the middle of the glass table top.  Zen Table and iPhone are both sturdy!  Around 20 seconds into the clip, you can see my dogs look up at the phone, then come try to warn me of the impending disaster.

NEW VIDEO:  I know this one isn't very Zen like, but it is one of my favorites.  I sped up the video part way in:

Thank you for taking the time to check out my project and for your support!

Simon Hallam.

FAQ

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125
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$35,537
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  • Pledge $1 or more
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    40 backers

    Your name "with thanks" on the Zen Table website.

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    6 backers

    A personalized "I helped make Zen Table" pop-up thank you card, and your name on the thank you page on our website.

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  • Pledge $25 or more
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    17 backers

    A numbered and labeled vial of the specially formulated sculpting sand used in the prototype, plus the personalized thank you pop-up card and your name on our website thank you page.

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    12 backers

    An 8.5" x 11" (unframed) print showing your name sculpted by the full-sized Zen Table into a personalized thank you message, plus a vial of the original sculpting sand used in the prototype, plus the personalized thank you pop-up card and your name on our website thank you page.

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    2 backers

    A part from the development of the full-sized prototype, and documentation telling the story behind the part and how it was used. Plus, the personalized thank you pop-up card and your name on our website thank you page.

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    2 backers

    A personalized video showing the full-sized Zen Table prototype sculpt your name and a thank you message. You will get a copy in the mail on DVD, your own dedicated page on our website, where you can play your video via computer/tablet/smartphone, and a link so that you can download your video in MP4 format. Plus a labeled vial of the sand sculpting material, and the personalized thank you pop-up card and your name on our website thank you page.

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  • Pledge $250 or more
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    1 backer

    All of the rewards described above: A personalized video showing the full-sized Zen Table prototype sculpt your name and a thank you message. You will get a copy in the mail on DVD, your own dedicated page on our website, where you can play your video via computer/tablet/smartphone, and a link so that you can download your video in MP4 format. The 8.5" x 11" print. A part from the development of the full-sized prototype, and documentation telling the story behind the part and how it was used. Plus a labeled vial of the sculpting sand, and the personalized thank you pop-up card and your name on our website thank you page.

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  • Pledge $499 or more
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    17 backers

    A complete kit of all the parts needed to build your own desktop version of a Zen Table. Includes a bag of the specially formulated sculpting sand material, software which converts bitmap images into sculpting programs, and an SD card containing a program of relaxing images and patterns to be sculpted. Shipping is extra, and will be calculated based upon your desired shipping location.

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  • Pledge $749 or more
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    7 backers

    A fully assembled and tested desktop version Zen Table. Comes complete with an SD card containing many relaxing patterns and images which the table will sculpt into the included sculpting sand, and software which converts bitmap images into sculpting programs. Shipping is extra, and will be calculated based upon your desired shipping location.

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  • Pledge $999 or more
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    2 backers

    A fully assembled and tested desktop version Zen Table, the same as above, but includes your name and other personalized thank you messages which the table will sculpt into the sculpting sand. Shipping is extra, and will be calculated based upon your desired shipping location.

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  • Pledge $4,999 or more
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    2 backers

    A full-sized beautifully crafted Zen Coffee Table, continuously sculpting relaxing images and patterns. Constructed from organically grown FSC certified renewable bamboo that you select, and finished in your choice from a selection of stains and varnishes to match your existing furniture. Shipping is extra, and will be calculated based upon your desired shipping location.

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  • Pledge $7,499 or more
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    1 backer

    A full-sized beautifully crafted Zen Coffee Table with built in 3G modem, 2 years of network connectivity and regularly auto-updating relaxing patterns and images, plus 4 custom images per year created at your request and pushed directly to your table. Access to the iPhone/Android app currently in development, which allows you to control the table and play a compendium of classic games. Constructed from organically grown FSC certified renewable bamboo that you select, and finished in your choice from a selection of stains and varnishes to match your existing furniture. Shipping is extra, and will be calculated based upon your desired shipping location.

    Estimated delivery:
Funding period

- (30 days)