Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Escape before Rampage....

As many know now from all the posts and watching Instagram that I have basically turned in to a shop that produces trophies.... Not really what I was expecting but kinda fun at the same time... Its kinda like building a little museum exhibit and theres two ways to put it....

I am either a over payed artist or a under paid designer/prototyper..... I will let you make the pick....

Either way it has been a good year and don't think I only built trophies, this year was all full of madness for the medical prototype world, new bicycle product designs for the "major" brands, a new patent for myself, some aerospace work, science museum fun and a hell of a lot of trophies....

The one thing that always bums me out about the blog is its really not a place where I can show some of the stuff that happens in my shop, secrets, secrets and more secrets and I never get the show them or talk about them. I just feel bad sometimes only getting to post stuff that I know I can post which is trophies. Don't worry because this next year you can expect some really rad stuff to come along that blows minds, if theres one thing I can say that the trophies have helped with, its been it has pushed me test the limits of my machines, test my thinking and do it in a even faster rate then I have before.

I got the call a few months ago that I would be the dude to make the Red Bull Rampage trophies but about a day before I got the word I had booked tickets to join Greg Minnaar in Europe with his lady for the finish of the world cup downhill series, so I knew I wanted to do both and I would just have to hammer on it as soon as I returned from Germany.

Before I left I had to make sure what I was going to build so I started brainstorming....

I will only show you the one concept, because I might have to use the others next year, but this was the quick photo I sent over to Todd telling him this is what I am thinking... Giant cranks and a chainring... He kinda approved, I will leave it at that....

With that info I packed my bags for Germany, knowing when I returned I would have just days to finish it. That kind of scared me so I knew I had to call in the big guns...

Master mind designer - My brother Jason Tiedeken. I knew he would be able to take the concept to a whole new level and make some really sick awards.  I just let him go crazy and make what ever, knowing he wouldn't let me down in the style department.

Working at a science museum is the love of my life and don't think its like cheating on your love by going and checking out other museums around the world, thats what makes yours better !

What better place to go then the world famous Deutsches museum , by far one of the greatest musuems in the world when it comes to science and technology. Its floor after floor of everything mechanical with half of the stuff cut in half so you really know whats going on. This musuem is the KING of cutting stuff in half and showing you the workings, everything were talking, from cameras to kitchen faucets to complete engines they do it and they do it right... I will give you a little taste of the madness.

I walk in and have a melt down over this little Traub A25 screw machine....
I love these things, I just sold mine before the trip to pay for some of the trip...
Maybe it was a sign or something about keeping it but out of the whole museum I kept on coming back to this little Traub machine, it was working making little Munich Olympic towers for the guests out of brass... soooo cool to see kids loving these machines, it made my day.. 
It made me realize watching the instructor/guide, I am not alone as a teacher in a odd way,  when kids hang over the rail and talk to me while I am on the lathe in the museum machine shop... I may be talking to the next inventor of the lathe and changes industry... Who knows... Never doubt
As you walk around the museum you see its really well laid out, starting from one end in a time era.
This floor was all about making fabrics, starting in the 1700s working by hand then as you walk down the hall way you start to go in to todays modern CNC machines with crazy paterns. One of the coolest things they do is take the motors off and make you crank the machines in replacement of the motor, these machines can work at any speed making fabric so cranking by hand works exactly the same just really really slow, but it gives kids and guests a chance to really see what kind of crazy madness is going on to make these complex mills work. 
How about a cut in half airbag steering wheel?
Or camera lens?
or water heaters..?
Radial Engines from an airplane? 
forged titanium fighter Jet wing backbones..? 
How about a cut apart AirBus 300 series with GE turbines?
The German kids were loving this turbine..
Think it was all the sharp parts and the colors that really draw them in.
for all you Steampunk kids out there...
You want to know about steam engines and turbines..
This is the place! Everything is here !
I don't even know how to start about this one...
Its a complete working mini brick factory !!!!
Its all PLC controlled automation and just pumps out mini brick all day for an unknown reason but its amazing!!!! Kids stuck to the glass on this one...
One more shot of the Traub making parts in the visitor shop, all the machines run and they show you how they work!
I stayed with some good crew over in Munich. 
Clemens, who worked for Deckel Maho CNC and now is on his own making crazy CNC silicon cutting and laser etching machines was the one of the cool dudes that let me crash at his place.
The other super rad dude was Lorenz who also worked with Clemens on crazy CNC stuff but now works in Aerospace designing Satellites in Munich. Really cool to hang with these guys and realize that Germany is just like the USA and good machinists are hard to find anywhere....
I left Munich and headed to Austria to hang out with Greg and the rest of the Santa Cruz kids at the world cup mountain bike race. 

During some of the practice runs on Friday Greg grabbed a root in a super tight section and hyper-extended his knee which put him out for the weekend. 

Good for partying, but bad for racing

He ended up finishing 3rd overall in points and because of the epic win in South Africa, he kept his World Champ rainbow jersey. It ended up being a torn ACL which just the other day got taken care of but it doesn't sound like much fun right now for him.

I went back to Germany after World Cups and decieded I wanted to go to Stuttgart, home of Porsche and Benz to see what this city is all about. 
Like normal I fell in love with it... its like a modern fancy Detroit with lots of fast cars everywhere. 
My mission was to tour as much stuff as possible and just wonder until I got in trouble.
I some how got in to a very special place for a personal tour, I was so happy to get a tour...
All you have to do is walk around the building and jump the fence and bang on the window....

I love making stuff and this is one of those places in the world where making stuff is very important and doing it right is more important. Behind me is a big Schuler Automovtive 300 ton Stamping Press, one of the badass machines that almost all automaker relies on and they are not made far from Stuttgart. 
These big machines are one of the hearts of Detroit, the Schuler has been one of the big players for a long time in the sheet metal stamping business. If you have one in your shop that is a dead giveaway your a big player...
I ended up at Porsche the next morning... Searching for something other then a car...
I kinda had a feeling I might meet a lovely girl that was a cnc machinist and wisk her away to the USA.... Ha Ha, well Porsche did a good job at convincing me I would find her because they posted this photo of a model on a CNC lathe and had me so stoked I had to go get a personal tour of the full factory to find her...
Well..... At least I got a really special tour of the whole Porsche factory from Chris my buddy at Porsche....
I think it was well deserved tour because I traveled 5,000 miles to find this girl or some machinist chick, this Germany trip started with this photo and a dare from a friend to find her...

After a 14 hour stop in Amsterdam that I don't remember I was back in the USA!
I Love the good old USA.. !

While I was gone my brother had got most of the drawings done of all the trophies and I was really happy with them... time to make them!
The concept was done and the idea of colored crank arms
I scored this super huge chunk of Aluminium from a Navy Ship that was be fixed, it was left overs from building a motor mount so I figured it would be perfect. 
Gabe loading it on the K&T mill to cut it in to small blocks to run on the CNC. 
With small bite size blocks of the aluminum, I put the Bridgeport CNC to work cutting the crankarms while I moved on to getting other parts ready. 
Plus I scored a bunch of green lab coats in Germany that I love to wear.
Side one of the monster 250+mm cranks

Side 2 all cut off and ready to go to MetalCo anodizing

Once I got all the cranks done I was on to the bases made out of California Walnut.
My brother had made all the solidworks files for everything so I was able to do HSM works CAM toolpaths on everything so I could just hammer them out on the CNC and they would all be the same. 

BAM ! 
Red Bull Rampage Trophies 
Thanks to MetalCo anodize for doing the silver in a few hours, we did a silver ano with the tool paths showing, I wanted to leave them raw but when you photograph it the sliver looks so nice because it doesn't reflect. 
I always have Mr. Minnaar come over and make sure the trophies look good.
He has held more trophies then I will ever so his opinion counts. 

Viewers Choice 

First place - each trophy has colors for their places like bronze and silver. 

Welcome to Vegas!

My homies at Hertz rental cars throw it down for me with this sweet Mazda for 22 dollars fully insured... Good to have friends that read the blog and realize I like to smoke the tires in just about anything... I will keep the photos off the blog... Dares gone wrong...

I crashed out with the Rampage builders in the Rampage HQ house in Virgin, UT and woke in the morning to a fleet of 4 wheelers that would take us to the top.
Welcome to Zion National Park - Beautiful 
The fleet of machines that the builders uses to rip around and build everything for the event. 

Getting to see people jump the 72 foot gap blew my mind... 
Would you jump this at 8 am?

This is one of the other mega jumps they built..
So huge to no where you could even see unless you were half way off the jump
Mr Steve Blick from Oakley talking to the Camera crew of NBC about the crazy Oakley Sender jump we were sitting on... any person crazy enough to jump off it deserves a trophy

I had to cut it short on my trip and I only got to see the qualifying 
The phone was ringing off the hook for me to start the next project and my machines were still warm from this job so I jumped a flight that night and flew back to Oakland. 

Todd Barber of H5 Events - the man that makes Rampage happen on the left 
Kelly McGarry holding his 2 trophies on the right, Second place and Viewers Choice
This is his run below that earned him these bad boys... Well deserved !

This is what kind of run you have to hit in order to get the viewers choice award !

Thanks to my brother Jason ( Metal Morphosis Engineering) for helping me get these bad boys done on the design and Gabe like normal who stays up extra late to put things together.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


Sometimes I forget I am pretty lucky guy....

Just take a step back sometime and see what you have...

You may be surprised to find something you didn't notice before, 
thats been there the whole time...