Michael A. Parker attended the NYC Maker Faire this fall in Queens, NY (just as he has in years past), not imagining that he’d end up walking away as the winner of a Handibot Smart Power Tool to have in his studio. Parker says, “I was surprised and thrilled to have won the Facebook contest, and am really excited to add it to my collection of digital fabrication tools and get to work!”
Parker had seen the Handibot once before when ShopBot Tools brought it to the 2013 NY Maker Faire, and was intrigued with it then. “I have worked quite a lot with (additive) 3D printers, and not very much to date with CNC subtractive printing. As a designer I see a lot of possibilities as well as limitations to both approaches, and I think I’m most intrigued to find ways to make use of both within my projects.”
Parker earned his Master’s degree in Digital Imaging and Design from New York University. He considers himself to be a 3D generalist, with a focus on hard surface and organic modeling. “My main software packages are MAYA, ZBrush, Adobe CS & Final Cut Pro. I’m proficient in C4D, Mudbox, Nuke & MS Office,” notes Parker.
Michael is also a 3D game designer.”I’ve worked with Hide&Seek and Kill Screen, and was invited to create a game for the Playstation Mobile Game Jam at the inaugural IndieCade East in 2013.”
Michael was part of the team that created VoxiePong, which was created for the Voxiebox, the world’s first 3D gaming system. VoxiePong was Nominated for Best Visuals at the Global Game Jam 2014, NYU Game Center site; the largest Global Game Jam site in North America.
Putting Handibot to work.
“I’m doing some work now for iMakr, which invests in all kinds of promising 3D printing-related ventures. The project is to create a full-body 3D scanning system, such that you’d 3D print a full size human image and print it in full color.” One of the things Michael will be using his Handibot for is to cut out a human-sized circular platform of plywood to enable the 3D body scanning process.
The “Mini Me” project?
Michael has “tried the experiment” on himself as we works out small prototypes for the “3D printed person” project. Below you’ll see Michael with a color 3D print of himself, that started with a full body scan of the artist.
Getting into subtractive.
Michael notes that he’s well aware of the limited practicality and durability of 3D printed objects, at least at present, and is ready to jump into subtractive work to be able to make products he’s designing. “I’m working on a design for a bicycle frame to be made from bamboo plywood. It’s a very strong material, with higher tensile strength than steel. Also, the cellular structure of the bamboo is such that it has natural ‘give’ — if it’s hit, it will bend rather than break, and it naturally absorbs shock, reducing the need for other shock absorption systems. And of course, I like that it is a renewable material.”
Michael has also worked on boats for many years, and likes the idea of having a Handibot and 3D printer on board for making repairs at sea on-demand. “There is SO much potential for this tool, I am just super grateful and excited to start working with it,” he says.
In addition to his design work, Michael is an experienced teacher, and works with an organization called Heaf to help change the lives of underserved young people beginning in middle school and continuing in college and beyond through a youth development approach that includes rigorous year-round academic enrichment, social and cultural exposure and constant individual attention. “I like being able to expose kids to the potential of 3D design and digital fabrication. Showing young people that they can create, design and make an impact on their surroundings is a very powerful tool for their confidence and growth.”