One of the best benefits I get from my work for the 3D printing marketplace Threeding is that I meet a lot of lovely people. It usually happens online via Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter but every now and then I have chance to put names to faces. That was the case with Ann Marie Shillito, CEO of Anarkik3D. Last year Ann Marrie contacted me with some questions about her personal trip to Bansko, Bulgaria. My husband Tony and I sent her a lot of good tips about the area and we manage to stop by to meet personally Ann Marie and her husband. This is how we became friends. Several days ago Ann Marie told me about the latest crowdfunding project launched by her company Anarkik3D, so I invited her for a short interview to tell us more about it.
Albena, Threeding.com: Hello Ann Marie and thank you for accepting my invitation for this interview. Before we talk about your latest project, please tell our readers more about you and Anarik3D.
Ann Marie, Anarkik3D: I am CEO and founder of Anarkik3D, a software company which has developed remarkable haptic 3D modelling software that uses a 3D haptic device to replace the 2D mouse. The advantage the device brings to 3D modelling is haptics, 3D virtual touch and feel (for manipulating objects) and movement in 3 dimensions enabling users to tap into how they naturally interact in the real world.
We champion 3D digital tools for artists, applied artists and designer makers in that the software functions provided are specifically selected for their needs. The interface is non-complex and does not overwhelm, making it is easy and quick to get into being creative and to develop one’s own style and aesthetic. Our approach distinguishes us from standard CAD programmes, designed not for artists but for industrial designers.
I trained as a designer maker and jeweller and started using digital technologies (laser cutting in 1990) and 3D printing (1997/8) and the knowledge gained gives me unique understanding of how digital technology can transform small businesses. In 2007 Anarkik3D spun out of research I led as a Research Fellow at Edinburgh College of Art and University of Edinburgh (1999 – 2006). Version 1 of our 3D modelling package was released in 2010. Version 2 of ‘Anarkik3D Design’ (the brand name for our haptic software 3D modelling system) won Best Consumer Software Award at the 2013 3DPrintShow Global Awards and was a finalist in 2014. Version three was released in June 2015.
With no steep expensive learning curve and low cost haptic device it is very accessible and development of the software is about keeping the package relevant to how designer makers think and work.
Stefan Witte, from a creative and education agency in the Netherlands, “liked it specially because of the simplicity and the restrictions, because of that, you are more prepared to explore the whole programme and go to the far end to get out every possible thing. You have to be more creative to get out what you want. Better than when you have a complex programme with so many possibilities of which you use only a small part and cannot remember how you did things last time.” (July 2015)
This also suits other creative practitioners and is ideal for schools, for all ages, and for children in the arts and crafts subject areas to access 3D printing.
As a professional jeweller I now only use our 3D modelling software to design jewellery for 3D printing in various materials. Unfortunately for me running companies leaves too little time to really get into serious design projects! But I have written a book!
The book “Digital Crafts – Industrial Technologies for Applied Artists and Designer Makers”, published in November 2013, is regarded as a seminal work, informing and encouraging designer makers and applied artists to apply their knowledge (explicit and tacit) to digital technologies and use these ‘tools’ to extend their work and their practice.
Albena, Threeding.com: What is the crowdfunding project for?
Ann Marie, Anarkik3D: The crowdfunding project is to ‘kickstart’ Anarkik Creations so this new company can get going and do the following:
Promote and market the amazing jewellery designed and made by jewellers using Anarkik3D Design
make this amazing jewellery available to the broader market
build a community of like-minded individuals who like our concept and will give us vital feedback about the products we create and offer, the pricing levels, and other services that we can give.
Anarkik Creations is about innovative, distinctive 3D printed jewellery and accessories, which express your personality and enable you stand out from the crowd. The reason is that the work of the designers using our 3D modelling software has a very different aesthetic to that of CAD designed work. We are starting with 3 jewellers, Elizabeth Armour, Birgit Laken and Genna Delaney, and their work is amazingly gorgeous. I like to include myself as the 4th designer!
Our aim is to encourage wonderful people like you, Albena, to confidently wear the sort of statement jewellery that the company is commissioning and promoting. We want to demonstrate the value and fun of wearing unique, contemporary jewellery that enhances the wearer’s presence because by wearing a piece with artistic and design integrity the wearer come across as a person with self-assurance, confident with their own style and with making a strong statement about themselves.
Albena, Threeding.com: How much you are trying to raise
Ann Marie, Anarkik3D: Our target is £20000. This is to do the following:
set up an ecommerce website site and one which will create an online community place for funky individuals who like to make a statement and not blend in.
pay our designers for the stock they have already produced for this project
get stock produced: 3 printed and finished
hopefully raise match funding to take on an intern to apply their skills in management and marketing.
We are also using the project to do market research.
Albena, Threeding.com: What will the contributors get?
Ann Marie, Anarkik3D: For this campaign our reward list for pledges is extensive and for each and every pledge we invite the contributor to join our AnarkikAngel community and receive emails for updates and special offers. We have rewards ranging from bespoke one off jewellery, limited edition jewellery in series (different sizes, colour and materials), through to a 3D printer. In between we have a file of a design for a tealight holder to 3D print or get 3D printed, copies of my book signed and with a personal message, taster class trying our haptic system and finding out more about 3D technologies and how to access them, workshops to learn 3D modelling for 3D printing, our haptic software and the bundle of software and haptic device.
We have also included our crowdfunding mascot, wee Ana Kee, a tiny angel 3D printed in colour who will sit and watch over you. Here is the link to her Pinterest Board as she and her clones do like to travel: https://uk.pinterest.com/anarkik3d/ana-kee-and-her-travels/
The selected reward pieces from our designers, both limited editions and one-offs, reflect their differing styles. What is special about Anarkik Creations’ artists and designers is that they not only use Anarkik3D’s haptic 3D modelling package to produce designs that are organic, and unlike anything produced using computer design programmes, their designs are then 3D printed and finished by hand to individualise them. For example, traditional jewellery skills are used to add the silver, pearls and stones that are included in the designs. There is no mass production or over production either.
Please do have a look at our crowdfunding site and see the exciting and unusual rewards we have for pledges. http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/anarkikcreations (presentation also on SlideShare: http://www.slideshare.net/AnnMarieShillito/anarkik-creations-crowdfunding-campaign-marchapril-2016)
Albena, Threeding.com: How long can people contribute?
Ann Marie, Anarkik3D: The project closes at 7pm GMT on the 18th April, not long, so we certainly have a lot more work to do to reach our target. We have opted for keeping what we raise. Wish us luck in this endeavour.
Thank you, Albena, very much for giving me the opportunity to describe our company, Anarkik3D and our crowdfunding project for Anarkik Creations.
Albena, Threeding.com: I thank you for this interview and I wish you good luck with the crowdfunding project.
For those interested, please go to Crowdfunder and contribute.