What's happening now at Because We Can

The Interval- at Long Now

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We are very pleased to show off some sneak peek photos of a new space we were the Architects and Designers for. It is equal parts library, bar, museum, and cafe, and it has been named The Interval at Long Now.

We are still in the finishing stages. And we are still fabricating some of the more intricate built in pieces. But we can give you a photo tour of what the space is looking like so far...

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We take care to make the design of every space meet the needs of the client. In this case, bookshelves up to the ceiling provide a much needed separation for The Long Now's mezzanine office's and the public space below. The bookshelves hold a collection of books that The Long Now has been acquiring since its existence. Our design even helped spur another project that The Long Now has since started; a project to select 3,500 books that could help sustain or rebuild civilization, called the Manual for Civilization.

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We exposed the floor from the industrial carpeting covering it, and revealed the original floor of the 1930's metal shop this space use to be. We had the floor cleaned and polished, bringing out the original character of the slab.

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Complimenting the floor is a limestone bar top that we encased in resin, bringing out the beautiful raw details of this stone. And providing a durable surface for the bar and cafe patrons.

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Above the bar The Interval's bottle club program is stored in a 'bottle keep' tradition. We worked with The Long Now to conceptualize how the bottles would be stored are retrieved for the patrons. Settling on the ceiling storage, we designed and fabricated these ceiling mounted bottle holders, where the bottles will be light from above, creating a twinkling, glowing effect.

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A small room in, the back of the space, has the best view. So we put in comfy seating for those long important conversations. For the tables in this room and throughout the space we sourced local Northern CA walnut slabs.

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In the front of the space a table for larger groups, or communal seating. We've turned one of The Long Now's prototype pieces from their museum into a table. "–a museum piece that you can also rest your drink on."

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You can learn more about the space and The Interval at Long Now from their blogpost

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Maker Connections and Maker Faire

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Our Maker Connections video is now online for all to see! This is a new show that Make Media is doing where we showed off our work shop to 3rd grade classes around the country, remotely. It was really fun introducing the kids to the concepts of digital fabrication and getting to hear all of their questions. Hooray for exposing young minds!

Also in Maker news... We'll be at Maker Faire today, showing off our Serpent Twins project. Come seek us out! We'll be in the back parking lot where there is fire!

Our BlueSprout project, the Oakland-based business accelerator and industrial coworking space, got a write-up in the East Bay Express

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We are huge fans of Oakland, and so we are very excited to share with you the BlueSprout project we've been working so hard on. It just got a great write-up in the East Bay Express.

Go Oakland!

We're speaking at MakerCon

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We're honored to be included in the first Makercon next week. We're very excited to be giving a talk on Building Codes & Makerspaces: What you need to know to Hack that Space.

We'll be talking about all we've learned first hand in helping BlueSprout, the new Oakland-based hardware / business accelerator and industrial coworking space, get off the ground. There are a great deal of pragmatic and code issues that must be sorted to get to work (legally).

Later in the week, we'll also be at the Maker Faire, riding with the Serpent Twins. We'd love to see you next week!

Bay Area Digital Fabrication Club starting up!

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We're getting a local Digital Fabrication Club off the ground! Click here to join the Meetup.

It's an informal meetup to compare notes, enjoy some pizza and beer, and to help support each other's work. The group will cover the whole range of digital fabrication from subtractive (CNC) to additive (3D printing) to manipulative (Kuka arms!).

First meeting is this Thursday, April 17th. It's going to be at BlueSprout, the Oakland-based hardware, industry, and small business accelerator we've been helping start.

If you love digital fabrication as much as we do, we'd love to see you there!

Gearing up for Maker Faire!

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In case you aren't doing anything today or tonight, here is a fun challenge that Maker Faire is putting on! MAKE is partnering with SketchUp for a really unique challenge to design an Information Kiosk for Maker Faire to be CNC cut and built on-site. You can check out all the details here: http://makezine.com/maker-faire-design-challenge/. The deadline for designs is midnight tonight- April 14th. So hurry up and get crackin! Make-SketchUp_Hdr_v3

Resin inlay for Zoo's table tops

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One of our recent exciting resin pours was for these table tops for our Hattiesburg Zoo project.

We wanted to do some inlay into the designs we created for these table tops. So, we began by taking our designs and carving them into the wood on Frank, our trusty CNC machine. Then filling the carved pockets with pigmented resin.

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While those were being created, we finished making the bases we'd designed for these unique, one of a kind table tops.
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After sanding the cured resin down to the wood, we finished the tops with a clear coat.

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Once dry, these reversible table centers were placed in their final home.

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Each of the 6 tables has a different pattern, and go with the interior of the space we designed.

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These are just one small part of a larger project we are doing for the Hattiesburg Zoo in MS.

The final design for the interior room will look like this!

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Gears and more gears!

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We have been working steadily on the design and fabrication for the interior & exterior building of the Tortoise exhibit area for the Hattiesbug Zoo in MS. The latest completed pieces are the interactive gears going all around the complex.

This larger interactive gear piece goes on the outside wall of the main tortoise house, for kids and adults to play with.

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See a video of this piece in action...

Made of polypro, exterior grade woods and stainless steel hardware, this piece is made to survive the Mississippi weather and children alike.
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Smaller gears are in a cluster next to it, as a sign hangs above, as shown in this early drawing.

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The 'gear cluster' final designs look like this:

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Below is a photo of a 'gear cluster' completed, made of polypro, exterior grade woods and stainless steel.
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See a video of the gears in action...

The interior of the main presentation room will look like this, with another interactive gear wall under the flat screens in the back.

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Here is the final design for the interior interactive gear wall
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And here is the final fabrication of that piece getting its last bits put in place at our shop
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Steering wheels in three sections of the interactive wall allow for the spinning of the gears
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See a video of this interactive gear wall...

Next up we are working on this small building pictured below, which will be the holding pen and watering hole for the Tortoises.
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Very soon, that building will look like this!
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In production for the Hattiesburg Zoo

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We are in full production right now for a project that finished design phase last fall. Our design of the Galapagos Tortoise enclosure and adjoining "Discovery" Area for the Hattiesburg Zoo in Mississippi is coming to life!

Here Joel, from the BWC fabrication shop, puts together the final pieces for the exterior interactive gear wall.
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For scale, BWC Designer Be stands next to the main attraction of the exterior interactive gear wall. The whole thing will be painted and then final assembly and rotation testing will take place before it is shipped out.
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More gears for an interior interactive wall that will be in the main even space.
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This rendering of the exterior hallways of the zoo building shows the design for the window frames and arches that span the walkway.
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Here is the design for the window frames and spanning arches for the inside of the main events room.
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The final exterior arch. Each arch has a center medallion that is specific to that arch.
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The medallions are all different animals set on a gear scene.
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The final assembly will happen onsite, with stainless hardware and slotting made for the various widths of the walkway.
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The window and door frames are also made of durable exterior materials. The stainless hardware of the arches matches the stainless details and hardware on the window and door frames. Pictured here is the smallest window frame, fully assembled.
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The decorative carving details added to the brackets once again define our company, which I guess we could have named 'Why not', but settled instead on 'Because We Can'.
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See us at Autodesk University 2013

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Proud & honored to say that we'll be both presenting and attending at this year's Autodesk University. You can catch us on Tuesday at the panel we've organized, What Fabricators Want, or at our talk later that same day on using Project Dynamo and 123D Make together for fast digital fabrication.

We'll also be at the CASE Hackathon and generally out and about (cough Frankie's Tiki Room cough). Follow us @becausewecan where we'll be posting updates.

Hope to see you there for a great week of learning and networking.

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