Book of the Week: Steampunk Gear, Gadgets and Gizmos
This week’s selection is “Steampunk Gear, Gadgets and Gizmos” by Thomas Willeford.
Willeford’s book is a bit of an unusual choice for us this week, as it does not directly deal with 3D printing per se. Rather, it talks about a genre and how to take part in a traditional manner. Nevertheless, I believe this could be of interest to many Fabbaloo readers.
Steampunk is a genre that originated as an offshoot of science fiction, where designs inspired by 19th century aesthetics somehow make their way into modern scenes. Of course while many of the proposed objects are improbable and entirely impossible in practical and functional ways, they certainly look very cool.
That coolness has ported the steampunk philosophy from the world of fiction to the world of design. Today we find many people interested in the genre and go to great lengths to create highly inspiring creations involving not only costumes but imaginary devices and weaponry.
How do people make these creations? There are a number of traditional techniques, and that is what this book is all about. Willeford explains in some detail the process of developing a steampunk-enabled item, including the tools required to do so, and the techniques involved, which sometimes involve haunting flea markets to locate repurposable objects.
Willeford provides multiple case studies for specific steampunk projects that allow the reader to relatively easily create objects such as:
Aetheric ray deflector solid brass goggles
Calibrated indicator gauges
Ferromagnetic self-scribing automated encyclopedia
High voltage electro-static cannon
Tesla-pod chrono-static insulating field generator
Altitude mask with integrated respiratory augmentation
Armoured pith helmet
Mark I superior replacement arm with integrated Gatling gun attachment
You get the idea.
3D Printing Steampunk
My thought here is that if one were turned on to the steampunk design genre, it would be very possible to create countless components using 3D modeling and 3D printing to essentially supercharge the steampunk creation process.
While traditional steampunkers are relegated to using leftover items, a 3D print-enabled steampunker could effectively create anything imaginable.
That’s a power everyone should have.