Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Rampage.... A big thanks...

I was a little taken back for words when I seen this article... Thanks PikeBike for the write up...

So rad, I hope it shows kids out there not to get off the bike just yet if you are not going to be a pro athlete, this big world still needs you....

Pink Bike article about Monkey Likes Shiny



                                                                Enjoy
                                                                  JT

Sunday, October 5, 2014

My life is in 5th gear.... WFO... hold on....


 I don't even really know what to say and how thankful for the great people in my life that are making sure everything is happening and lending a hand!  I have been having the time of my life building for the greater good and enjoying everyday of life to the fullest.

I want to share the last months in photos because I could talk all day about whats happening in my life but we will save that for another day.. so here it goes.

Welcome to the new home of Monkey Likes Shiny
I teamed up with Carl Bass the CEO of Autodesk to build and share one of the most badass concept development shops on the west coast!
I can't believe I get to share a shop with such a rad dude, plus hes a very skilled craftsman and a great business man that runs Autodesk the amazing company that's changing the future of builders alike by stepping deeply in to the manufacturing side of things with powerful computer software.
First it took a lot of cleaning....
10,000 square feet of craziness in the heart of the Bay area.
Alexis, Gabe, Betz, Johnathan and I wire wheeling the walls clean to ready for paint!
 
The move started and behind the wheel leading the show was none other then 20 year old Gabe.
Hes been with me 4 years and hes taking over!
He drives the forklift and I strap up the machines, we work well together moving.
While all the madness of moving was happening I kept on building and moving. It was a race to finish jobs on machines so they could be loaded.
I was doing some second operations milling work on an aerospace flight part using the Autodesk Fusion 360. I have been able to work with the Autodesk development crew since the start of the machining program and I have been stoked to see my improvement get added all the time.
Christian even made a swing thru to help finish up concept projects for a software company.
He helped putting the finishing touches on prototype wiring before they had to be shipped.
As soon as that order went out we broke this room down and hauled it out.  
Without my crew of friends I don't know where I would be.
Jesse, Matt, Alexis, Liam, Austin, Gabe, Steve, Carl, Betz, Al, Anthony  and the many more...

My dog Mr. Poe isn't so stoked on the madness....
 
As machines started to arrive the pressure started to turn up to make sure the layout I planned was perfect.
This is a little 1991 Mori Seki SL-0h CNC lathe, the smallest Mori lathe ever made. It can run 24 hours a day and make near perfect parts, I got it for the Gabe and Austin to learn CNC on.
Louise is not only my best friend but an amazing painter that turned a concept we had in to an amazing colorful wall all freehand in 1 day, you will see below why she is so amazing.
 
Everyday we hauled more over..
 
Fuck it... why wouldn't I do a burnout in front of my old shop...
its like a dog marking its territory

Louise Chen also painted my wall in my old shop with the Bees if you remember from older post.
I called her and told her... I want Airplanes and Flower!!!
I said lets make it a Boeing 787 and I want it amazing...
With that she made magic
MLS02 was born....

As soon as some of the machines were put in the new building we did temp power to them and started making parts to keep the customers happy. Gabe running parts for Boosted Skateboards.
 
To all the pretty ladies out there... Hes Single and can be booked for dates! Call him!

17 year old Austin has joined the MLS team a few months ago.
If he isn't at High School learning, at the science museum, at MythBusters TV show then you will find him at my shop building madness with all of us. Hes got a bright future ahead as a very skilled prototype machinist as long as he cuts that rats nest off his head.

I flew out to Chicago and Detroit to see some amazing history being made.
The first 3d Printed drivable car happened before my eyes in this Cincinnati machine behind me.
So amazing... So much for clay... the future is NOW!!
You will see more action from Cincinnati at our shop in the next months as our big sheet metal press brake shows up.
 
I was so stoked to get to drink beers with the crew from Deckel DMG and Porsche beside the 919 that raced at Le Mans. Such an amazing piece of engineering.

I was shocked to load up the new Autodesk Fusion 360 and to my surprise was the leg that Bill and I designed for Catherin who was injured in war is the load screen putting MLS on the map for madness. Some amazing hydraulic mastermining inside that little ankle... damping, rebound and travel adjustments all with the turn of knobs !!! 
 
A pallet showed up - Surprise !!!
Wilton Tools - makers of the USA built Bullet Vise and other great tools like C clamps and F clamps for welding, decided I needed some fresh tools to make the madness happen. So stoked to be working with them and the R&D team to make more amazing products in the future.
 
Photo shootin with the High Speed track bike.
This bike has been a project between my brother and I for a while now, every time I start working on it I get the idea to make it crazier and crazier. I got the front steering all machined out of titanium you will see in my older blog post.  
 
Then the beast showed up from Omax Waterjet up in Kent,WA !!
Lawson rigging making the move happen safely.
 
The 6 axis Omax is in !
The crew from Omax is as excited about the madness as I am.
This bad boy can cut almost 10 inches thick aluminum using 50,000psi of water pressure and sand.
Now we just gotta wait for it got get set up.

Fresh in from Baileigh tools is a tube roller and bender to make some tubing madness!

I am hooked on Easy Cheese again...
I love it as much as Mt. Dew....
 
When Red Bull heard that we were working hard... they made sure we were well refreshed with cold drinks.
 
Gabe working on parts for the Childrens Hospital and Austin working on parts for the Exploratorium Science center in San Francisco. A good shot of the Boeing 787 on the wall that Louise painted.

While all this madness was happening I had to go to Italy to work on stuff for Red Bull.
Because they treaded me like gold while I was there I freestyle built them a chair using all the left over steel from building the BMX starting gate pictured below.
I could get use to this Italy thing.... Coffee and Pizza everyday...
 


Having Greg Minnaar for a next door neighbor is complete comedy...
Gabe and Greg trying to weld together...
Gabe running the torch and Greg feeding in filler to the weld.


Keys to the city...
The two place I love in San Francisco with some of the most amazing people and amazing tools and skills.


Every few weeks I mentor groups of High School kids around to local machine shops to show them where their parts come from and how the journey of simple things can be complex.
Here they are learning about Dremel tools that are produced then shipped all around the USA.
So amazing the people that open their shops to the next generations, I want to help in any way I can and I don't mind being the messenger.

Testing some of the Autodesk's Fusion 360 stuff for machining.
I am virtually Machining the small black plastic part to see if its going to cut the part correctly.

I have been traveling non stop...
Europe a few times this year...
Detroit..
Chicago...
The list keeps going
I haven't even had much time to enjoy time with my lady and my little Scout truck.
We had to take it out for a cruz a while back.

Thanks everyone for allowing me to eat donuts everyday, make amazing projects and meet rad people... I hope it continues and everyone can be inspired to build madness themselves.
 
Enjoy
JT

Friday, July 25, 2014

Road Trippin with the 3Drv crew....

The last year has been epic and I am finally starting to feel like the San Francisco bay area is where I belong...

Between building crazy inventions for Google to the small inventors that cover this area, its the perfect place for me to not worry about my looks, what I drive and all the other bs and focus on my work, inventing, teaching and staying happy.



I was fortunate enough to be chosen as a stopping point on a road tour traveling across the USA finding the top invators using 3D software to make reality happen. I felt extra cool knowing that they were making a stop at my shop after they made a shop at NASA Ames....

TJ McCue,his wife and Son have been traveling the USA in a sweet Jayco Rv all custom decaled up with cool logos and stuff and all kinds of crazy tools inside like Faro scanners to document the trip in words and 3d images.
 
The main reason they stopped at my shop was to talk about how I make stuff and the process of turning my brain loose on crazy wild concept projects.
 
As some of you have met me and some just notice from reading the blog... I love to talk and especially talk about my passion which is metal working and designing, so what better person to describe my passion for metal working to then an acclaimed tech writer from Forbes Magazine who is in my shop and all ears about what and how I make it happen !
 
To add to the cool part of them stopping by, I use almost every product that they were sponsored by...
 
From working with Autodesk Fusion and Inventor
 
Scanning and reverse engineering with Faro 3d scanning tools and arms
 
3D printing all the time on Stratasys at Autodesk Pier 9
 
to the hopped up Nividia 760 computer graphics card to run Autodesk Inventor
 
They have a pretty good line up of sponsors to really make it happen in the 3d and prototype world
 
The day showed up on May 2nd for the RV to pull in to the MLS skunkworks shop....
But guess what...
You can't find the skunkworks shop...
Its a secret so they got lost and that's just the way we like it.
After about 5 minutes on the phone about how to get here they finally arrived.
 
I was having fun talking with TJ's 11 year old son about stuff that I build and the coolest part is he is documenting the trip as well and you can check it out here Mini 3Drv tour
That's Josh and myself with some of the MLS concept bikes

TJ documented with photos, video and writing as we toured my shop. I don't really want to tell you much about it because I think he does a good job telling about it so just check this out.



here is the link to the article TJ wrote -
           A stop at the MLS workshop with the 3Drv crew



cool clip about sheet metal



clip about some of the machines in the shop


It was neat to see that the RV was near my home town of New Ulm,MN when the article was published about my shop in Oakland,CA ... destiny
 
 Enjoy the article
&
thanks again to all the people that made this trip happen its
 
Awesome to see how amazing the USA and its people are !!!
 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

if you think your in control... your going to slow....

Over the last weeks my life has been shifting in to 5 gear... or maybe I was already in 5th gear and now for some reason I am just noticing it?

Between bouncing off the walls working on projects for Google X, Oakley, Make magazine, getting ready to go to Italy for Red Bull and one of the main things happening to me -  MOVING TO A NEW SHOP IN BERKELEY !!!!

I will have more info about all this madness when I take a breath of air in less then a month.... I mean as an example of my life lately - its like 4 am right now and I am waiting for the CNC to finish cutting so I can take a quick nap while it runs the next parts, this is becoming more normal the more I do prototyping work, I feel like I haven't slept in years because theres too much stuff to do.

Peace and quite at 4am... well maybe... the streets of Oakland always have some odd activity going on 24/7, you hear some noises that kinda resemble a animal but it is clearly a human making those noises, I think you can figure out the rest.


One of the cool projects I forgot about that I did last month because I kicked it out so fast was these trophies for Red Bull Ride N' Style a bicycle race event they were putting on in San Francisco, the call came in to make something quick, cheap and cool looking so I fired up the computer and put my brain in to Sheet metal mode, by the time I finished that call I had a concept modeled up and emailed to Clayton at Red Bull.



Some times I get in to Autodesk Inventor and go crazy with the sheet metal...
Don't ask how my brain lays stuff out or anything like that....
I had Ryan over at SeaportStainless.com cut it up about an hour later after I had modeled it and it was on to bending up this puzzle
 
I love sheet metal, did I say that?

That next day... 
I decided to cut up one of the Velocity prototype rims Matt had sent me long time ago because really it was my only 700c rim laying around... I may regret that later 
 

First place with some San Francisco Action happening in the back and a mini chain in the front

Custom bent sheet metal Hub!
My mad skills with the 24k gold spray pain has hit an all time High - insert joke here


Check out that cross profile for the tech nerds !
 
 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Bringing the Monkeys to Uncle Toms...

If your not following Toms YouTube channel.... Do it now...

Tom Lipton's Ox Tool YouTube Channel

You will be come a better machinist, fabricator or engineer attending Uncle Tom's YouTube University classes !

His tips and trips are gold !

How do I know Tom Lipton?

I started working for a company a few years ago that was developed and started by Tom and another guy Bob Switek in the San Francisco bay area.

 The company was really started in the early 1990s after Bob the mechanical engineer teamed up with Tom to develop an R&D machinery company for various industries with most of it being in the vegetable industry.

Some of the wild machinery was patented as well, like a machine that cut broccoli, really a first of its kind in the broccoli production world, some of these machines still run and are being built today.

 The two teamed up and built a really neat prototype company called California Vegetable Machinery, CVM for short, later the name just became CVM as more of the R&D work went toward Clorox and the tech world, the vegetable part would take a back seat.

The company is still around today and doing very well, with a very skilled team. Tom happed to be offered a job by the USA Gov. R&D Labs located in Berkeley and decided to leave CMV, that's about when I got hired in 2010 or so, just missed working with Tom by a few months. ( I was at CVM for a bit over 2 years and learned so much, vital to what I do and how I do work today)

But it was pretty fresh scar that Tom had quit when I started at CVM, so I needed to meet this Tom guy, so I tracked him down and we have been buddies since then. Its cool, not a lot of really precision mined fabricators out there willing to bounce ideas off with the experience.

Tom makes visits to my shop all the time but every so often its good to pay him a visit and so the Monkeys ( Gabe and Austin ) from my shop and I happed to call him and see if he was up for some tool trading.

it was also cool to show them Toms shop and see what projects hes up too, heres the video below
 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

My Hollywood Days....

I found some of my old flash drives the other day and was getting a good reminder of the good old days when I was working for CVM / Clorox R&D building all kinds of crazy laboratory prototypes.


Kinda funny to see these old videos... well it makes it easy to remember where you came from and the fact that I still stand in front of a press brake all the time means I still got a strong love for it...



Bending sheet metal is my love.... Welding it together is my love and making shiny parts is my love....

Monkey Like Shiny was born from that love...

Enjoy some blast from the past...

 




Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Rockin Chairs !!!!!

People always wonder what I do to make money to stay alive because everyone thinks all I do is build crazy projects for myself all day.... Then I explain I don't really make any money and am poor because I am addicted to what I do and spend all the money on cutters and more material to build more stuff...

Then they understand and offer to foot the bill for dinner...

End of story....


But when it comes down to what gets me that little bits of money to move to the next personal project here is a good example of concept to reality and working with designers and engineers to make it happen.

I teamed up with Lukas of Shibuleru Designs out of San Francisco about a new type of outdoor chair he had designed. He had the design and drawings pretty much fully locked down but it was on to me to do a lot of the little tweaks in the prototype and to do all the parts to allow it to be broken down to fit in a box and lay flat.

Just a really cool example of putting the cherry on top working with the designer/engineer to make a product just a little bit more rad but not straying from the original design plus it kept me alive and building another month....

Turned out super rad and glad to be part of the building....

Bent up the first set of parts without the arm rests.
If Gabe is going to take my job then hes gotta to learn...
Plus I like taking photos..
Hes welding in the connector pieces
On to the K&T mill to put the holes in for the arm rest bars...
This is the first prototype so its all learning for everyone at this point...
Lukas showed up once we had the first prototype welded up with the prototype cloth.
Its kinda fun when you get to this point in the concept to see all the things come together...
Its always a guess if you got the number right and the feel correct....
This time... we were soooo close but some adjustments to the geometry would prove the perfect fix.

I started the next group of adjusted geometry chairs that would also break down for shipping to Italy
 
Lukas finished up all the arm rest design and then I realized he only wanted them on the inside of the frame ( as you can see in the photo they are on both sides of the arm rest) so I had to cut off the one side of the laser cut sheet metal arm rest... no worries, small details...

The bolt together design is really neat...
It is a total of 5 steel pieces per chair and the fabric, then shipping all flat in a box designed for bicycle frames makes it really easy for everyone.
This is a close up of my welding, root pass with steel rod and Bronze over for the big radius.
I put a long bolt in it to show the hardware location all hidden under.


SOOOOO COOL
Love the black!

Close up of the bolted together pieces..
can't even tell...
Also a close up of the aluminum pieces SeaPort Laser Service cut and Metalco Anodized in a flash for us. Looks great.

The yellow was really neat!
Took me a bit to really like the color but I was sold with the fabric on it.



Quick drawing of how the seats work with the fabric.
 
Enjoy!!!
heres the link again