How to 3d print the apocalypse
"A series of unfortunate events"
We were saying: the calm before the storm.
It's easy to recognize a veteran from a novice, because they are able to anticipate the events, especially the bad ones, thanks to their experience. Of course, the smarter guys can succeed even without years of training, but I accepted a long time ago the fact that I don't have that kind of talent. Experience is a teacher that at first tests you and then explains to you the lesson.
My beloved grandfather, for example, was an exceptional cook. He started to work in a restaurant when he was 11, and he used to tell me an anecdote of his first steps inside the kitchen. One day, when he asked to his master how to know when the oil is ready for frying, he answered him: "Put a finger in the pot and test by yourself".
My grandfather, from which I evidently inherited my naivety, put immediately his finger inside the oil, and obviously he burned himself.
That day, my grandfather learned an important lesson: his master was an asshole.
- No: in Italy spaghetti&meatballs is not a thing -
However, I'm sure that he learned also not to put a finger in a boiling oil, again.
That episode left him a permanent scar on his finger, that I'm sure it helped him to remember to stay always focused, in a kitchen. In my case, however, Saint Experience didn't bless me with a scar but instead she (I imagine her as a woman, of course) left me tons and tons of fail-casts, currently crammed in a chest. In fact, they are my scars, my cursed portrait of Dorian Gray: it's time to descend in the second act of this personal tragedy.
ACT II: a dramatic stichomythìa
In the greek tragedy, "stichomythìa" was a part where actors conversed using brief lines composed by single verses. Its purpose was to increase the pathos on scene, and usually during this part the tragedy reached its greatest dramatic intensity.
How I know that?
It's because I went to a Classic high school (Liceo Classico), and I spent my youth studying ancient greek and latin. They told me I would never use that studies, in my everyday life, and here I am, 12 years after, explaining the concept of "stichomythìa" while talking about my misfortunes as a miniatures manufacturer.
Take this, you scientific guys and your "uh I use math everyday!".
- Don't blame me: after all, I had a theatrical background -
But let's get back to the point: after the naive ouverture, I was suddenly catapulted into a tight, pressing series of dramatic events that escalated quickly.
The eye of the tempest opened.
My "dramatic stichomythìa" began.
The campaign was over, we funded 50k€ and we started to sculpt all the unlocked features: 10 new characters and over 20 stretch goals.
We scheduled the delivery for January 2018, we ended the campaign on late April, 2017. There was enough time to accomplish our mission, despite the amount of work added during those wild days of funding.
My two sculptors and friends, Valerio and Davide, had a great responsibility and let me publicly say that they just were perfect: while they sculpted the first 15 characters in over a year, they made the new 10 ones, plus all the stretch goals, in 6 months!
In late September, all the main features were sculpted and ready to be produced, a little miracle and I will never be grateful enough to them for their extra efforts.
Unfortunately, as a proper dwarf knows "the strength of a chainmail is that of its weakest ring", and despite Valerio and Davide proved to be forged in the halls of Valhalla, I discovered that my chainmail had an unexpected big hole, right on my back.
And a big troll was just behind me.
And it thought I was really pretty.
The gigantic truck that ran my project down had a name: Carelessness. It's funny because this word has "car" inside.
You know, even if I'm naive and relatively virgin in the business world, it doesn't mean that I'm not able to distinguish a normal setback (almost unavoidable, in a complex production) from an alarming one: when you order a beef steak, and it come to you overcooked, it's a normal mistake. Annoying, probably, but not something you have to be worried about. But when you order a steak, and they present you a rotten one, washed in lemon to cover its flavor, even the most naive individual on earth realizes that something bad is happening.
In my case, the first ring of the chainmail that fell down concerned the 3d prints of the new characters.
It's normal, even if frustrating, to receive sometimes 3d prints with minor issues: it's a very delicate and complex job, and I want only perfect results (you know, when you destroy your finances to have the highest standard possible, you expect...the highest standard possible), so even a minor issue could ruin a whole 3d master.
During the post-campaign production, however, I received, well...these:
There was a freaking hand merged to the Adventurer's knee.
They placed all the 3d supports on the Patriarch's face.
Then, some weird samurai probably tested his brand new katana on the Adventurer's cooking pan.
They obviously were aware of these craps, but they tried the same to sell them to me, accepting to waste a lot of my time.
I wasn't shocked by the issues themselves, but rather about their obviousness!
I felt betrayed by my dearest, more trustworthy and well paid collaborator...and I hadn't even the high ground!
- me, while reading back the 3d prints payment invoices -
This first setback was a knife to the heart for me, because I realized that the whole schedule would have slowed down, and the original plan just fell into pieces.
Just like Anakin did.
But I couldn't know that these issues were only the beginning of a high peak of organic material.
- an allegorical imagine of me, facing the first months of 2018 -
My grandmother used to say that "money brings money, lices bring lices and troubles bring bigger troubles". She wasn't wrong, at all.
As if my 3d-print-guy started the ball rolling, like an industrious dung beetle, my other collaborator, the resin-guy, was also in big troubles in that time. But I would have discovered it only after several months, when, as we say here in Italy, the frittata (omelette) was already done.
>continue in the next episode.