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Space Tank’s view of success in 2016

By Holger Dielenberg
We’ve had an amazing year accelerating creative business! Looking back over 2016, I realize Space Tank has helped so many amazing makers achieve their goals that it’s worth sharing some of their success stories.

All of the creative business people who use Space Tank are either resident tenants or they access our machinery and technology via casual workshop passes. The huge variety of makers that use our Makerspace is impressive. Space Tank supports niche manufacturers, innovators, artisans, creative technologists and product developers. In fact – we will support anybody who wants to make almost anything and we help them build a business around it.

And here’s the kicker – Ninety percent of creative businesses who use Space Tank make it. They succeed and they hit their goals fast.

Our success rate is a very positive contrast to the tough circumstances that creative business people face when they go it alone.

I am very proud of the amazing makers who use Space Tank and am incredibly inspired by their courage, talent and sheer tenacity. So without further ado, here are some of the best:

Aidan MacKinnon
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Aidan built his bespoke culinary knife business from scratch over the last two years and the speed at which he has learnt and built his business is staggering! Just this month Cut Throat Knives represented at the Big Design Market in Melbourne and sold 70% of their stock on the Friday and by Sunday afternoon had just two knives left for sale.

Cut Throat now have a six month waiting list for their beautiful knives and Aidan is experiencing so much demand that he has employed a second bladesmith and taking on a second studio at Space Tank. Aidan has big plans for next year as he ramps up production to meet growing international demand for his range of knives as well as offering knife making courses locally.

Dani Storm
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Dani’s fascination with the future of form and function has propelled her exploration of human-machine dynamics in the home to create PYXO: an autonomous, responsive, robotic coffee table that earned her a Master’s in Industrial Design and the Bel Geddes Innovation Award from the Rhode Island School of Design. Inspired to bridge the gap between people, tech and furniture, Dani founded Design by Storm, and has since been developing the PYXO concept into a line of stunningly beautiful, deceptively simple, smart furniture.

Dani is now utilising Space Tank’s advanced workshop equipment and collaborative opportunities to design the future of furniture: Technologically augmented. Seamless. Experimental. Refined. Provocative. Engaging. Unique.

Dan Macnish
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To help raise awareness on the effects of carbon output, Electronics engineer, Dan Mc Nish trialed an innovative experiment using plants as living billboards to convey information about air quality, traffic congestion, water storage levels and other data sourced from live statistics.

We are conditioned to get snapshots of information from billboards so they are a perfect choice to display data via a plants health. Instead of evoking a consumer response, Dan uses plants as billboards to trigger empathetic engagement from the public and hopefully help motivate them to be a more responsible consumer.

The Living Billboard was presented at the 2016 Media Lab Melbourne exhibition, Urban Reneural.

Luke Neil
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Luke hung up his chippies hammer and came to Space Tank five months ago to pursue his dream of making custom cabinetry and shelving from reclaimed materials. Luke’s fun style is finding buyers because it’s playful, sustainable and locally made. He has already racked up 10 successful commissions for clients in Melbourne and Sydney since starting at Space Tank and is exhibited in regional areas.

Luke is now using Space Tank full time and as his business grows, he will add digital modelling to incorporate custom 3D printed design elements. Luke aims to broaden his scope from residential commissions to include, cafe, restaurant and retail fitouts.

Benjamin Schultz
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Ben started Bastion Cycles at Space Tank and from the beginning, it was clear that their high end performance bike was going to be a winner. Ben and his partners blur the line between engineering design, performance and art.

In Dec 2015 Bastion Cycles won the Design100 Gold prize for their high end carbon fibre and 3D printed titanium bicycles. Shortly after that, they received a business grant from Melbourne City Council which assisted them in expanding into their own larger premises in Kensington.

Bastion now employ two full time staff and one casual worker and have sold over 25 bikes to Australian and international clients. They are well on their way to reaching their sales target of 60 performance bikes in their first year and are aiming for 100+ in the second. Bastion also provide industrial design and engineering students with internship opportunities to work on process production software and design development like clay modelling and 3D printed prototyping.

This is local creative innovation at its best.

Rain Gidley
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Throughout 2016 Rain Gidley Studios has continued carving out a place in the market for custom and freelance sculpting and production services.

Rain Gidley Studios has broadened the scope of what is being offered by the studio to encompass the creation of prototypes for corporate clients to manufacture and take to market. As well as a specialist mould making which provides services to both the creative and industrial sectors.

Rain Gidley Studios has developed its market share and reach from initially only servicing the Craft Beer industry to working with a range of clients from Industrial manufacturing, Fashion, Design, Production Ceramics, Arts and Culture, Film and Corporate Clients. As the year flew by its nice to step back and reflect on what was actually achieved…. It’s been a big year!

Denis Bainbridge
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Denis has achieved a flaming success with the laser cutter at Space Tank this year! 3rd Stone Designs laser cuts maps from acrylic and timber into works of art. In his first year of business, Denis has been able to go from zero to over fifty Melbourne clients – and demand is increasing! He’s now taking commissions from interstate clients and orders from as far away as Canada and Russia.

Being introduced to Space Tank’s collaborative community of expertise and having affordable DIY access to technology has accelerated the growth of 3rd Stone Designs way beyond what Denis originally projected. Business is moving so fast, he is now planning to grow his offering. Including, public and disability way finding, corporate building directories, lighting design and infinity mirrors. When Denis expands his online presence, we expect him to be swamped with orders from all over the world.

Dan Barker
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Dan started Monkey Gone To Heaven, his commissions based furniture business at Space Tank and after eighteen months he was swamped with orders. With a nod to Danish design and a love of Australian hardwoods, Dan is building a loyal following of furniture admirers – so much so that he has now expanded to a larger woodworking shop to fulfill increasing demand for his custom work.

Dan has increased his range from furniture commissions to full café fit outs, high end retail shelving, point of sale bench counters and boardroom solutions.

Rhiana Charlton
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Rhiana completed a mammoth design commission at Space Tank to build 150+ Xmas merchandising stands to be delivered to FCUK French Connection stores Australia wide.

Rhiana and her team of three used nearly all of Space Tanks fabrication areas including the wood workshop, metal works bay, spray booth and fabrication tables. They worked like Trojans to complete the task and successfully delivered on time! Go Rhiana!

Paul Wood
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Paul is a renowned Melbourne artist working with ceramics. Paul used technology at Space Tank to make true to scale porcelain slip casts of his own head for an upcoming show at This Is No Fantasy Gallery in Gertrude Street Fitzroy. Paul chose a 3D scanning and 3D printing solution because it was the only way to achieve repeatable and perfect 10% scaled up replicas of his head.

As Paul was introduced to Space Tank’s community of skilled artisans and innovators, he was able to utilize the services of Rain Gidley Studios to produce an accurate 13 part negative mold to make perfect slip cast duplications. As the porcelain dries, it shrinks back to original human size and maintains exact likeness to the subject. Utilizing 3D technology and Rain’s casting expertise allowed Paul to produce otherwise unachievable results and demonstrates the value of collaboration and merging traditional practice with technology.

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