The first quarter of 2011 is behind us, and I have fallen waaaayyyy behind updating this blog. Ah well, let’s catch up a little this morning, shall we?
Our rental inventory has been earning its keep this year. I’m not sure if the lower rental prices have fueled interest, but there has been higher rental activity this quarter than any previous quarter. It’s been a nice mix of returning customers and some new theatres and scene shops. Here’s the quick list:
Adrian Davidson at Stage Machines called me up a few weeks ago and asked if I could provide a custom control box for a simple lift/trap door machine that Stage Machines was building for a church in Florida. The spec called for a simple push button pendant to open & close the trap door and raise & lower the lift and engage & disengage the lift locking mechanism. In other words, press the DOWN button and the lift should lower and once it was fully lowered the trap door should close. Press the UP button and the trap door should open and the lift should raise. This is a piece of cake using our stock SpikeMark software and Stagehand controllers, but the church didn’t want an entire cues system. The church wanted two buttons. So we whipped up a custom control panel based around a PLC. Those of you who know me know that I typically avoid PLC’s like the plague, however I felt like this was the perfect tool for the task at hand. It was a quick turnaround and the result was perfect. I’d like to write up a more in depth article about the process, but for now here’s a shot of the mostly-finished product in Stage Machine’s shop:
Oh my, oh my, I am still working on the new web site. The other morning I awoke in panic, “It is MAY, and that new site still isn’t up.” Production work got busy, and the site had to move to the backburner for a little while. Ian has moved on to other projects, Catherine is working on some great graphics, and I’m churning out product shots and database code.
Wait…what? What product shots you ask? Ah, you see, we’re not going to use the old photos on the new site. We are switching over to computer renderings. The renderings are highly realistic and have the advantage of uniform camera angle, color temperature, and lighting. I questioned the notion at first, but after producing a few examples I am convinced this is the way to go. Take a look at this sample to see for yourself:
I’m producing the renderings in Solidworks, which is the software I use for product design & fabrication drawings.
That’s all folks, see you next week… or maybe next quarter if I can’t keep up