String of Pisces ♓ | Kinetic Art Lamp (Canceled)
Turn a string into a mesmerizing show of color, art, and science!
String of Pisces ♓ | Kinetic Art Lamp (Canceled)
Turn a string into a mesmerizing show of color, art, and science!
The String of Pisces ♓, a Standing Wave Kinetic Lamp
In western astrology, the story of Pisces involves 2 fish (Venus and Cupid) that tie each other with a string to swim away from the mythological monster Typhon. I represent this story in my kinetic sculpture that uses a single nylon string bound between 2 motors creating beautiful standing waves. Illuminated with programmed LEDs, a medley of colorful forms and shapes can be seen dancing endlessly between the 2 fish-shaped structures.
My first Kickstarter project was the Aquarius Fountain Lamp ♒ and I’m excited to continue the zodiac theme with the String of Pisces ♓. Over the past year, I’ve worked through countless iterations, prototypes, and tweaks to get it to a fully functional state. My hope through Kickstarter is to get it funded and into the hands of people all over the world to enjoy and appreciate the wonderful possibilities that art & science can create.
I’ve programmed in 10 different color patterns with each one vividly unique from the others. Patterns such as “Northern Lights” create a custom show of colors to evoke a calming presence of dancing aurorae borealis in your own home. While a pattern such as “Carnival” are designed to bring you back to your childhood visits to the circus, a past-time that is slowly going away in this modern age. Not all patterns are shown on this page and are also subject to change depending on backer feedback.
The fish structures and the base shown on this campaign are white and black respectively for maximum contrast. Though, the colors aren't set in stone and can still change depending on backer feedback. The fish structures and base could very well be all black, or all white, or a combination.
The lamp also generates a gentle draft current for circulating air around a small room. A faint hum (similar to a small fan) surrounds the lamp as the string rotates 50-90 times per second creating a white-noise and ASMR-like ambiance.
At 16x6x6 inches, I’ve designed it such that it fits in a variety of settings that can normally fit a traditional lamp. There are no need for bulb changes as it uses energy efficient custom LEDs. The only replacements are the 2 motors that should last a few years (at a cost of roughly a lightbulb).
With the 2 aluminum dials, users can change color patterns and motor speeds. Users can also gently touch the rotating string disturbing the natural ebb and flow resulting in vastly different forms and shapes. The combination of selectable color patterns, variable motor speeds, and human touch allow for a different mesmerizing visual experience every time.
The specifications are as follows (but do note they are subject to change over the lifetime of the campaign and manufacturing, but not by much):
- ABS High Polish Glossed Frame and base (Injection molded)
- Nylon Mason Line String
- 2x DC Motors
- 50x APA102C (or SK9822) RGB LEDs
- Dimensions of 16in x 6in x 6in
- 10 Built-in color patterns (more possible depending on stretch goals)
- 12V 2A Wall Adapter (US/UK/EU/AU)
- Choice of all-white, all-black, or a mix of both for the lamp
As seen above, there WILL be different color options for the lamp (both the base and the fish). Backers can choose between white or black for either the base and/or the fish at no additional cost.
For any additional details, refer to our FAQ page which should answer some common questions.
DESIGN & MOTIVATION
When my first campaign, Aquarius, was created, I had already set up a plan on launching 11 more products (each one based off a Western Zodiac symbol). My son was born on February 22 2018 and I wanted to dedicate my next creation to him, which based on his birthday, is Pisces. I was reminded of a childhood toy which demonstrated the standing waves concept with a piece of string which stood still when being vibrated at specific frequencies. However, the gadget isn't available anymore (and also not home-decor friendly) and can be considered quite dated by today's standards. If anyone is curious, here's a look at the toy that inspired this (you might still be able to get one on eBay for about 100-200 USD if you're lucky):
Creating a product that just vibrates a string did not seem like appealing, so I had the idea of combining what I learned about stroboscopic effects from Aquarius into Pisces. In doing so, new visual forms/shapes/patterns were created that could never be possible before.
In addition to the design, I'm also motivated by the integration of the creative arts into the traditional STEM fields. I believe that this marriage opens up a whole new world of products that can combine both function and art. I hope to see more products (by me and others) that promote this relationship openly to further advance the idea that STEM and Art go hand-in-hand.
HOW WILL FUNDING BE USED?
The prototype shown in the campaign photos and videos was FDM 3D printed using ABS plastic. The coding was all done in-house (much of it was recycled from the Aquarius code). The PCB design was all done in-house though it was not used in the prototype (the prototype used a protoboard which allows for flexibility and quick fixes). If the campaign succeeds, I will formally request manufacturing of the PCB design for use in the final product using an overseas company, PCBWay. The base and frame will also be injection molded in ABS plastic using the highest polishing grade possible (currently via ProtoLabs but may change depending on the economics).
My packaging manufacturing partner is Shanghai Forests Packaging Group which I've had experience working with in the past for Aquarius.
I anticipate that the funds raised will be allocated as follows (in Canadian dollars) assuming a minimum order quantity of 250:
- $25K for injection molding
- $5K for packaging
- $5K for Kickstarter platform fees
- $4K for electronics
- $1K for miscellaneous supplies (packing paper, manuals, bubble wrap, glue, screws, etc.)
- = $45K
This leaves roughly $10K as a buffer in case things go wrong (and assuming a quantity of 250). I hope that we overshoot the minimum funding goal as any support above that extends the safety net.
WHO WE ARE
Northern Circuits Inc. is a 100% Canadian corporation founded in 2017 by Stephen Co, a computer engineer by trade but a lifelong maker by heart. I've designed and verified ASICs (Application Specific Integration Circuits) for hardware companies for over 10 years and continue to do so till this day. Outside of that, I dabble with woodworking, metalworking, CAD, microcontroller programming, and more (anything to do with the maker scene). My first Kickstarter project, Aquarius Fountain Lamp ♒, won MakerFestival 2018's Best In Show award.
I have company social media pages on both Facebook and Instagram. Feel free to Follow/Like either of my pages to keep up to date with all my projects!
I expect early deliveries to begin in January/February 2020 in several "waves". As I assemble/test every single one in-house, I are limited by the number that I ship out per day. This is preferable over shipping everything in one big batch as it delays the earlier backers in receiving their reward.
This is the proposed timeline schedule which I will try my best to stick to:
- September 2019: Campaign ends, awaiting fund disbursement
- October 2019: Electronics purchase (overseas), package design and purchase (overseas), final injection molding review and purchase, finalize PCB design and purchase, user guide design and purchase, begin 3D printing non-injection molded parts
- November 2019: User guide arrival, PCB arrival
- December 2019: Packaging arrival, mold arrival
- January 2020: Assembly and test begins, initial shipments begin towards end of month
- February 2020: Continuation. Aquarius combo orders begin shipping.
- March 2020: Spillover (in case of more than expected orders)
Note that the timetable above is budgeted for roughly 300 units, any more than that *may* show *some* delay for later backers. We will be gauging this closely and may take on additional hands in the *very rare* chance we get significantly over-funded (500% or more).
The very limited Early Bird rewards are $40 CAD off from regular Kickstarter pricing. Regular Kickstarter pricing is also $30 CAD off from retail pricing so be sure to share this campaign on social media so others can join in!
I offer a combined Aquarius and Pisces reward which will save significantly on shipping by combining the costs. This offer will also be available post-campaign (but without the $30 CAD Pisces discount). So if you wish to own both, do so here and save :)
If you were a previous Aquarius customer, you can share a picture or video of your lamp on social media and tag it with #aquariuslamp or #aquariusfountain to receive a $10 CAD rebate upon Pisces reward delivery. The rebate will be in the form of PayPal and will be sent after confirming the social media posting. All it takes is less than a minute of work to share your post to receive $10 CAD, easy!
Exclusive to Kickstarter ONLY, I also offer a limited quantity special edition of Pisces where backers design their own color pattern (based on a description) so that it will be unique from all the rest! Refer to the FAQ for information on rules/restrictions on the color patterns possible. This will NOT be available post-campaign!
Lastly, if backers wish to purchase a set of replacement motors, they can add an additional $6 CAD to their pledge. It will come with 2 motors, string, and connectors. These will also be available on my website after the campaign ends for the same cost.
There are a few stretch goals I've setup with no expectations for them to hit realistically, but who knows ;)
- $60K: Every Pisces lamp will be signed and numbered on the bottom for that extra-exclusive Kickstarter feeling and one additional backer created pattern!
- $70K: TWO additional backer created patterns!
- $80K: ONE additional backer created pattern! That's 4 EXTRA color patterns if this goal is met ☺
- $999K: WiFi support (upgraded from Atmel328P to an ESP8266 microcontroller board) and sound reactive capabilities so that the string and lights move to music! Because why not? Crazier goals have happened before unexpectedly! Note that if this goal were to (somehow) be reached, a small delay may be incurred due to additional testing/work required.
BREAK KICKSTARTER EVENT!
As part of the BREAK KICKSTARTER event, I will randomly choose 1 backer (who pledges at least the Early Bird String of Pisces tier) to design their own custom light pattern featured in ALL Pisces Lamps that are delivered!
The winning backer can choose to code up the pattern themselves or have us create it for them (based on a feasible description). All credits to the winning backer will be given in pamphlets and their work will be immortalized in every Pisces Lamp!
Note that more backers may be chosen depending if stretch goals are met.
I'm not a large company by any means which means I won't be weighed down by any corporate red tape. I hope I can build a personable relationship with all my backers through constant communication, transparency, and responsiveness. To have my backers experience the hypnotic, mesmerizing, visual sensations of Pisces is my goal and I will do my best to achieve that just as I did with my Aquarius backers.
Here are some media links for my previous Aquarius campaign if you're interested:
- @PhysicsFun: https://www.instagram.com/p/BvzF4INDkjZ/
- El Hormiguero: https://vimeo.com/274617404
- YouTube - Chris Ramsay: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kskfMuTmUUA&t=130s
- YouTube - IAA015: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x259WW-QEl4
- Discovery Channel (Prototype feature): https://vimeo.com/249462820
- MakerFestival Best In Show Award: http://makerfestival.ca/maker/northern-circuits/
Support us today and help bring the String of Pisces ♓ to life!
#stringofpisces #kickstarter #aquariuslamp #standingwaves #stroboscopiceffect #kineticart #art #stem #steam #science #crowdfunding #leds #lamp #lights #fish #pisces #aquarius #zodiac
Risks and challenges
With 1 successful project under our belt already, we believe we have what it takes to duplicate that success. With that being said, nothing is ever absolute. There may be risks in various supply chains (especially overseas ones) that may disrupt the delivery date. There may be risks in the form of personal events/emergencies that may disrupt the delivery date (knock on wood!).
In any event, we remain committed to communicating any roadblocks well ahead of time instead of surprising our supporters at the last minute with what would sound like excuses. Communication is the lifeblood of Kickstarter campaigns and as such, we will never compromise on that.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (31 days)