What's happening now at Because We Can

Come see us at Autodesk University 2011. Because we're keynote speakers!

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We're very proud to announce that our own Jeffrey McGrew will be giving one of the keynote presentations at this year's Autodesk University.

With over 9,000 people attending, this is very exciting news indeed! We'll be briefly sharing the story of Because We Can and some of the work we've done. Buy a robot and change the world!

We're also giving a more formal hour long presentation on 'The Five Myths of Digital Fabrication'. We'll cover the five most common mistakes (and how to avoid them) that we see people make when they first get into making things via Digital Fabrication.

We'll also be doing a bonus talk, more informal, in The Lounge about how we made the tails for the Serpent Twins (that we made a recent Instrucable for).

We hope to see you in Vegas!

SoCal Office Building

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We are renovating a historic building in Southern California to be an office building and machine shop. It is a big fun project! And we are finalizing the design concepts now.

Here is the facade of the building, a cleaned up and renovated version of the current existing historical building. To the right is the building's parking lot and on the left is the enclosed patio and then machine shop.

Office Facade

The machine shop facade echos the office building in shape, but then plays with different materials. We are making the designs here very solar conscious, which is why we have the slats in front of the windows. Due to the intense sun down there, we feel it is necessary to optimize shade with the exterior treatments so the interior cooling of the buildings can be at a minimum.

Machine Shop Facade

Here the conference room looks out onto the patio, which is shaded with greenery and stretched fabric shades. We are designing the whole interior, patio and much of the furniture for this project... so stay tuned for more updates on that!

Conference Room

Instructable on the Serpent Twins Tails

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Our good friends over at the Instructables asked us if we wouldn't post up how we made the Serpent Twin's tails. So here it is!

Enjoy! It's our first big instructable so we'd love for you to go there and leave us a comment on it.

Also, if you want to see the Serpent Twins in person, there is a big party this weekend at Jon's shop. All are welcome!

East Bay Mini Maker Faire this Sunday!

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Come to East Bay Mini Maker Faire this Sunday!

Use this code and get a discount on tickets: BECAUSEWECAN
You can buy tickets here

Use that code and get 15% off tickets for the event on Sunday, October 16th
at the Park Day School campus + Studio One Art Center in the Temescal district of Oakland

We'll be there!
& hope to see you there!!!


Halloween Open House at BWC!

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This Friday - Oct. 14th - 6PM to 10PM
2500 Kirkham St, Oakland

We are having a Halloween Open House, and all are invited!

WATCH! As a giant robot moves using the powers of E-Lec-TricitY.... and CUTS! everything in it's path!

MARVEL! As EVIL Professor Kitty SHREDS! another office chair!

COME! To West Oakland! and see some ART in progress!!!

It will be horrifying in the best way.
Hope to see you here!


Because We Can
2500 Kirkham St.

Costumes and extra drink welcome!

Neon and Stone Signage

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Our good friends over at Envie Interactive have created an amazing interactive environment that you can (and should!) go play in online. It's called VIE, and it is free to play!

But they came to us to for help creating an environment for themselves in this world.

Distressed Patina Aluminum letters with a nice back shadow display their company name when you first walk through the doors.


And to accompany the signage, a glowing 'V' in the shape of their logo. The 'V' encases an LED flexible tube light that mimics neon, but never gets hot and uses hardly any power. We love that!


It is a dramatic symbol that is seen from the font door in its glowing majesty.


Cryptic slabs of stone with 'ancient' secret messages were created to be found in the game.... and in reality!


It's now as cool a place to work as it is online!

Maker Faire- East Bay style!

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Because We Can showed up on the East Bay Mini Maker Faire site the other day in a cool article about what we will be presenting at the Faire on October 16th.

What's that? You've never heard of East Bay Mini Maker Faire? (or... EBMMF??)
Well this is its second year and it is super fun!
One day only, October 16th, in the Temescal neighborhood of Oakland.
You can find all the deets on it here.

We hope to see you there!
It's a great collection of local Makers. And though it's not as big as the big official MakerFaire, is's certainly big enough to keep your interest for one day. See you there!


The Serpent Twins

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A couple months ago we signed on to help with Form & Reform's project for the Burning Man festival: The Serpent Twins project. After a very busy few months (and one very dusty adventure!) they came together wonderfully.


The final two fully-drivable serpent sculptures not only look amazing, they are filled with color-changing LEDs. Color and video routines can play down their entire length, creating stunning effects. With a full sound system and accelerometer built into each head, the lights can also change and react depending on the movement and sound as they drive along.


One of the main parts we helped out with were the tails.


While the heads were largely handmade, the tails were fully digitally fabricated. It took a combination of software tools to make this happen. The graceful original form was modeled in Revit, bulkheads and bolts then rationalized in Inventor, and the skin unfolded in Rhino. The digital files for the entire thing were sent out for high-definition CNC plasma cutting. The internal frame slotted together, welded, and then the skins were bolted on. The 'carvel' style skinning lends the tails a very viking ship look and construction, while the fasteners and finishing fit into the overall aviation-theme.

L:\BWC Bucket\projects\Serpent Twins\Part Files\Tail\Revit Models\Shops.pdf

The sheet metal skins of the tails are bolted around a bulkhead frame...


And then attached to their own trailer, where we hide the batteries and generator.

IMG_7039 1

We also designed and milled the thick acrylic decorative glowing medallions to adorn the sides of the serpents.

IMG_7023 1

The white Serpent's body is made up of white plastic barrels that glow from within with LEDs. And the black Serpent has black metal barrels with scale designs plasma-cut cut into them, allowing the same LED light-show to glow ominously. We made many templates, jigs, and fixtures via our CNC machine to help support the largely hand-made processes Form & Reform's traditional blacksmithing demands.


Each head is built on small electric car that is super fun and easy to drive, and all the barrels track so perfectly that you can weave in and around people and things in a most snake-like way. But of course, you must be wearing a winged aviator cap to operate these vehicles! As Kyrsten Mate so fashionably displays...


Check out more photos on Flickr!

UPDATE: Now with video! Here's a nice movie showing how wonderfully they move.

Rolling Fold up Art Kiosk

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Just posted to our projects page, the rolling, fold up kiosks we made for Anno Domini Art Gallery in San Jose.

They have debuted at the San Jose first Fridays, and will be a regular there, so go check em out sometime!


Here they are all folded up during the day:


This is the cool wall on the back of Anno Domini, also worth checking out!


And here they are getting shipped!


check out our project page of these for more photos & info!

ArtCar Fest - San Jose Aug 5

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This Friday, join us in downtown San Jose for another ArtCar Fest!

We will be hanging out around the awesome gallery AnnoDomini, and the cool cars will be in the parking lot right next door.

We recently made these giant rolling art kiosks for the gallery, come check em out!


Cool cars like this one from Jon Sarriugarte, Form & Re-Form will be there (yup, that's a car seat in the front).


And definitely this totally awesome one from the artist Philo, co-founder of Envie Interactive.


Here is a good article to read if you need to get inspired to go.

Hopefully we will see you there!
Anno Domini Gallery
366 South First Street San Jose, CA 9511