Animaris Geneticus Parvus #5 by Theo Jansen (via Shapeways)

A couple of weeks ago I saw a YouTube tour of Adam Savage’s home office and amongst all the neat little objects and trinkets he had was the Strandbeest he’d gotten through Shapeways. I’d seen these ‘beests’ on YouTube before, but they were always much MUCH larger. It was neat to see one of them desk sized, so of course I purchased one.

Being the person I am, I often jump to the end before I read all the instructions. Part of this is because a teacher once had a test on April Fools Day, way back in like grade four or five. She said as she handed out this test, be sure to read the whole test carefully before you start. I did not follow these directions, quickly answered the questions, looked up at my peers, some of them looked to be done already. I thought this was impossible, these people aren’t smarter than me, how could they have finished the test so quickly? I got to the last ‘question’ and it’s instructions were… To not answer any of the questions before it. Because of this simple test, I’ve now got the habit of jumping to the end, however I’ve also still got the habit of not listening to the instructions in their entirety. This posed a problem with my Shapeways order.

I only ordered the propeller propulsion kit thinking it was the entire Strandbeest. $40 seemed like quite a good deal for a whole Strandbeest. Not realizing this until I went to brag to a friend about the neat object I’d ordered (nearly a week later) it was far too late to change my order as it had been printed and shipped. Thus I was forced to make a second order for the ACTUAL Strandbeest that the propulsion unit would attach to. That was a little more expensive, more inline with what it probably should have been, $100.

Since Shapeways uses a nylon powder to produce this set, there’s a bunch of excess that just doesn’t get cleaned off (despite their best efforts). The worse places are inside some of the connection points for the propulsion kit. What should have been empty was full of a cocaine looking powder. Brushing this out, and scraping it off in places, my desk was covered in it, I looked like a coke fiend. After doing so however everything went together quite nicely.

The photos…



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  1. Tian says:

    The propeller is cool but I’m more interested in what’s going on in the background… It’s especially well-positioned in the 2nd photo. You’re pretty clever with your subliminal tricks…

  2. Tenkaminari says:

    What’s that white thing blocking our view of the main topic? Got it out!!! (LOL)

    Wow, you managed to build an all-white kit? This would’ve give me headache.

    My teacher used to do the same too, giving out the test saying “read all the question before doing it”, but nearly non of us read it and some questions are telling us to do something really stupid.

    • Aka says:

      There was little construction required actually, I only joined a couple of components. Being 3D printed, it’s just printed mostly together already.

      Teachers, always trying to teach you a lesson. Like it’s their job or something.