Announcing Project Vii Posted on 11 Jan 16:17
Announcing Project Vii
The goal of Project Vii is to reach beyond the normal and bring into reality something new, fun, and exciting. With this project we look to innovate on and challenge accepted ideas of what currently is so we can broaden the scope of what can be. Welcome to outside of normal and Project Vii.
The Project Vii kens are anything but traditional. Instead of being lathe turned they get built up, one micro-thin layer at a time, through the means of rapid manufacturing. These kens are made of a type of highly durable nylon that gets super-heated and fused together by finely calibrated lasers. Another nifty thing to note is that this process of additive manufacturing is super waste-efficient. Unused support nylon powder gets reused in the next batch. Imagine if you could turn your wood shavings back into a solid new block of hardwood, chuck it back on the lathe, and get another quality ken from it? Pretty rad stuff. And 3D printing the kens also means that each one is a single solid part. No more cup slips.
Designing them to be 3D printed rather than turned let us also angle the cups. The flared cups set the ken almost right on top of the tama during a lunar landing. We also reduced the shape down to the simplest essentials such as rings for the cups, a spike (still need those), and came up with two sarado (crosspiece) variations to tie it all together.
The Project Vii "Cadet" kendama is based on the original shape from its early UW Industrial Design project phase. Many of you web-savvy, super-awesome ken folk out there discovered it and emailed Daniel, the designer, directly. Your constant messages and enthusiasm made sure this project went to production. Hats off to you all. It can be gripped almost right up next to the spike because its open-bottomed sarado. The Cadet's "V" shaped center with the rings attached at the tops gives it the look of a dama space cadet ready to go on-mission.
The Project Vii "Portal" design is a variation on the Cadet that closes off the bottom edge of the sarado. It's typically 3 grams lighter up top compared to the Cadet, but just as durable. We called it the Portal because if you turn it sideways you can look right through one "cup" and out the other side. Both the Cadet and the Portal wear our "SSS" emblem and "Vii" insignia.
The first intro-batch is a super-limited pre-order. Only twenty-seven Project Vii kendama will leave the base. But we ask that you only attempt to pre-order for just one Cadet and one Portal at most per household.
This first wave will come boxed up with a numbered certificate and spare string and bead. We plan on releasing additional colors and variations gradually as we rocket along into the new year, so don't get too bummed if you can't ride the first wave. This is our very first batch of kendama and we're beyond excited to finally let these little guys loose on the world.