Branch Lamp designed by LGA Architectural Partners

We blogged about Toronto’s urban forests in a previous post about working with the city’s Urban Utilization initiative. One of the projects that we sourced the reclaimed wood for is “Branch Lamp”, a DIY lamp kit, designed by our friends at LGA Architectural Partners, and laser cut at Hot Pop Factory.

Toronto Lumber Yard Reclaimed Wood

Laser Cut Wood Sheet and Lamp Shade Panels

In the words of the designers:

“Each of the lamp’s unique fins are created by digitally carving away at a tree branch before they are perforated with offset, staggered openings. The light passing through these openings evoke the delicate, filtering effect of the tree’s canopy and foliage.”

laser cutting maple wood lamp panel

Laser Cut Wood Lamp Closeup

Wood is a versatile and economical material to work with, when laser cut, it can be transformed into signage, decor, stationary, jewelry and very unique gifts. Find out more about the materials we stock and how to laser cut it on our laser services page. Need more inspiration for wooden projects? Check out the Hot Pop Factory Instagram feed!

Banner image via: LGA Architectural Partners

laser cut acrylic close up

It hasn’t been very long since our design school student days . That inspirational week after the assignment drops and the final week of all-nighters before the deadline feels just like yesterday. We know what it’s like to prepare for your final review and we are here to help you with your presentation model. Buy your materials at the shop and get it cut lightning fast.

In partnership with our neighbours across Grange Park, OCAD University, Hot Pop is offering a student and alumni promotion for 10% your next laser cut or 3D printing project. Check out the details on the Alumini Perks and Student Offers page.

Kings of India Wooden Coasters

Our friends at Humble Raja immortalized India’s great kings in a deck of playing cards so kick ass, you’ll want to frame them as art! Just because their Kickstarter campaign just ended raising 175% of their goal with $36,800, they are still taking pre-orders on their website.

As a part of their campaign, we had the pleasure of helping the founders produce a set of 4 coasters that corresponded to each of the dynasties featured in their deck. Intricate patterns in Indian motifs are a piece of cake for laser cutting. In fact, this kind of detail would in impossible for achieve with any other process.

Want to see more fancily cut projects? Check out the Hot Pop Instagram feed!

Hot Pop Factory Maker Festival Pecha Kucha

Summer is in full swing and it’s a great time to get inspired and start that project you’ve been putting off all year. What better way to reinvigorate your creativity than attending Maker Festival!

The free event kicks off on July 25th with a week long series of satellite events across the city. On July 28th, our co-founder Biying Miao will be speaking about “what it takes to make” at the 33rd volume of Pecha Kucha Toronto, the Maker Fest Edition. It’s always a great time, get your advance tickets before they’re gone!

The week of maker events culminates with the main extravaganza on August 1st at the Toronto Reference Library. We will be exhibiting large and small scale laser cut and engraved projects made at Hot Pop Factory as well as a 3D puzzle making station. Works will include both our designs and client showcases.

We will also be conducting a contest to win 3 “Make Your Idea” prizes to use $50 of Hot Pop 3D printing and laser services. The free event is anticipating 10,000 attendees, come by and say hi!

Laser Cut Art Color Printed Close Up

All of our work comes from an obsession with the mixing of digital tools and physical products. We’re excited by how personalized data gets updated by the second, and how creativity can be explored within virtual reality and materialized through 3D printing. In comparison however, we find the form our physical world still trailing decades behind the digital, remaining relatively static and unchanged.

This is why our latest experiment Blush Wale was invented – to explore new ways of generating physical forms that evoke the insane dynamism of our digital lives. And so begins the making-of story that  embraces both digital to analog. The piece is the first of a series of experiments that involve digitally designed objects that is then assembled by hand, aimed to create a meaningful connection between the user and the physical product.

Laser Cut Sculpture Art Full

“the making-of story behind the creation of an otherworldly sculpture that behaves like a futuristic multi-dimensional chameleon”

Laser Cut Sculpture Art in Water

Photo by: Gabriel Li

How we achieved the distinctive look in 48 hours:

1. Custom-built software that generated the amorphous 3D form and precisely divided the volume into equally spaced 2D sections. 76 unique profiles were computationally generated and cut from ordinary sheets of plywood at the Hot Pop Factory laser cutting Toronto shop in 5 hours.

Laser Cut Sculpture Art Wireframe Rendering

Laser Cut Sculpture Art Drawings

“76 unique profiles were computationally generated and cut from ordinary sheets of plywood at the Hot Pop Factory laser cutting Toronto shop in 5 hours”

 

Laser Cutter Cutting Wood

2. 52 unique shades of color extrapolated from 2 eye-popping gradients were precisely mapped onto the surfaces of each section, and then transferred onto 42 sheets raw plywood via UV-cured digital printing.

Laser Cut Plywood Kit of Parts

3. The rainbow-spliced waffle structure was constructed in 3 hours by slotting all the pieces together as a kit of parts. When displayed, the vibrant bi-directional surfaces slowly shifts its hue in a precise gradient as the viewer walks around it – from crimson red to sky blue, citrus yellow to ivy green.

Laser Cut Sculpture Art Color Printed Close Up Green

Laser Cut Sculpture Art Color Printed Close Up Blue

“simultaneously real and virtual, solid and void, static and changeable”

 

Laser Cut Sculpture Art on Dock 01
Photo by: Gabriel Li

We were really happy with the results, the final piece inhabited both the 2D and 3D world as this multi-dimensional object from the future, possessing qualities that made it appear simultaneously real and virtual, solid and void, static and changeable. Our next step is to design functional housewares and furniture using the same process.

Laser Cut Sculpture Art on Table

Blush Wale was exhibited at MADE Design, Makerfaire Toronto, and on June 11, it will be making an appearance at 3DXL – a large-scale 3D printing experience.

– Biying

 

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Leather and wood are two of our favorite materials to work with. There’s something both luxurious and comforting about them which makes them an amazing medium to experiment with.  One of our amazing clients, Mark Simmons, uses these materials in his collection of artisanal goods called Lumbürr & Co. He combined laser cutting and engraving to create branded labels, straps, handles and smaller trinkets in this product line. 

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Images Credit: © Mark Simmons

Got an idea? Tell us about it!

VAWK Laser Cut Leather Belt

 

We love working with fashion designers and laser cut textiles. The results are always stunning and begging the question, how  was that made?! Well, with the power of laser cutting, intricate patterns that can not be cut by hand becomes a piece of cake! Sharp corners, delicate curves and fine details are no more difficult to achieve on a laser than cutting boring old squares. This gorgeous belt by VAWK was designed by Sunny Fung for the Shangri-la Hotel in Toronto.

VAWK Laser Cut Belt

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Laser-Cut-Leather

 

Got an idea? Tell us about it!

maple-leaf-forever-reclaimed

Toronto’s urban forests are a real gem. Consisting of around 10.2 million trees, almost 30% of the city is adorned by a thicket of beautiful green. We recently learned that every year, nearly 200,000 trees in the City of Toronto die of natural causes, get removed for safety reasons or fall from storms.

In fact, a record number came down during the 2013 ice storm. Including the legendary Maple Leaf Forever Tree.

DAVID COOPER / TORONTO STAR
Photo by DAVID COOPER / TORONTO STAR

Opportunistically, The City of Toronto has salvaged this fantastic resource for re-use in a number of collaborative projects. We of course jumped at the opportunity to become a part of the initiative. Look out for more projects coming down the pipeline.

maple-leaf-forever-reclaimed-closeup

maple-leaf-forever-reclaimed-Tobermory-Heritage-SIte

Read more about the hundred’s of wonderful projects coming out of this effort and how you can take advantage, visit the Urban Utilization website.

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It’s just around the corner! INLAND’s Canadian fashion marketplace is kicking off at 99 Sudbury this weekend in Toronto – and we are thrilled to be a part of it!

Only a few short months ago we met with Founder and Creative Director Sarah Power (aptly named!) to talk about what cool ways Hot Pop Factory could bolster INLAND’s Indiegogo campaign and support Canadian-made and -designed fashion, and boy did we come up with some fun ideas like the laser cut, wooden desk art above.

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However, our favourite piece of Hot Pop-designed swag was the 3D-printed bow ties. Exclusive to the Indiegogo launch, they captured the imagination of just about everyone we knew and were a hit with every fashion-conscious person we met.

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These bow ties are no longer available, but the spirit of fashion is a live and well this weekend at INLAND. Come hang out at 99 Sudbury, support local designers, and say hi!

 Check out INLAND’s great event website here.

First day at Hack'n'Talk

We spent our Canada Day long weekend with some amazing teams of fast-thinking, innovative entrepreneurs, researchers, designers, and developers at the Hack’n’Talk at FashionZone, Ryerson University’s incubator for fashion-focused companies and entrepreneurs.

It wasn’t a surprise to see our friends at HackerNest there – having organized countless hackathons all around the world, they are the gurus of geek. But instead of doing a more rigid style of hackathon, Hack’n’Talk used the problem-solving format of a hackathon and combined it with fun, hands-on workshops and inspirational talks. It was like a bootcamp for innovation. And we were one of the fearless generals leading the charge.

3D printed design

Wearable tech is a big topic, but the “talk” part of the Hack’n’Talk helped break it down for the participants. Biying gave a talk about some of our creative projects, and we were lucky enough to be presenting with the inestimable Tom Emrich from We Are Wearables, among other talented folks.

But then it was time for the hackers to get their hands dirty. There were workshops built around coding (with Ray Kao of People & Code), product design (with the lovely Anna Zissou of Cynefin), and prototyping that gave the attendees new skills to work with. Cue Hot Pop. We can’t get enough of prototypes!

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We love working with creative visionaries to make their ideas reality, and at Hack’n’Talk we had the chance to teach an intensive version of our 3D printing workshops, educating the participants on the freedoms and constraints of working within 3D modelling programs and showing them the endless creative applications of laser cutting.

Laser cut wood

Our students took this knowledge to heart and created some amazing prototypes for their projects. Trial and error at the 3D printers and creative laser cutting in downtown Toronto at our Queen and Spadina studio made them focus their ingenuity and resulted in some great final products.

3D printed bracelet prototype

We had a blast working with these creative adventurers, and if you have the chance, definitely keep an eye on these cool, young companies. We’re sure you’ll see more of them!