We knew there were 100kGarages Fabbers out there doing very groovy things and now we have some more proof! Let us introduce Dan Thomson and his business, Visionary Effects, based out of Pittsburgh, PA. Fabber and designer Dan Thomson gives life to robotic creatures, animatronic creations as well as invites human engagement with interactive machines.
How did Dan come to a place of such dynamic innovations? According to Dan, “My background is kind of a mashup.” First starting and then leaving a 4-year design school, Dan went to work creating special effects for the entertainment industry after completing a 16-month technical degree. While he has been “building things (his) whole life,” his juices truly started flowing when he was then employed at an invention prototype company, honing his design and fabrication skills. After this exposure, Dan says, he “was hooked!”
Recent projects include a prototype exhibit for The Carnegie Museum of Natural History, 3D-machined interactive kiosks and a “wearable animatronic head” that “conveyed full facial expression.”
Inspiration strikes Dan in both serendipitous and purposeful ways. Simple everyday life brings ideas and visions for designs as does routine searches on various blogs and websites. During his searches, Dan discovers he can “pour over all the incredibly awesome projects people are doing on a day to day basis”.
Dan explains that his “true passion is animatronic and robotic design and fabrication.” He wants to continue having challenging design and fabrication experiences by experimenting with new materials and exploring new industries within which to apply his knowledge. To Dan, “the fun of digital design and fabrication is pushing the envelope and approaching each project in a new and different light.”