Seth Hardy

is creating open source hardware

Select a membership level

$1
per board design
I guess you could call it technical support?

This is tough. Reading through other people's pages, I'm not sure what to put here.

I'm not a visual artist, so you probably won't appreciate the images I could email you. They're just schematics. Booooooring.

Releasing a day or two early just feels fake and gimmicky.

I guess what I have to offer is that I'll help you take the thing I've made and use it for the project that you want to do. Don't know which LEDs to use? Wondering what else you can do with an accelerometer? Unsure if you can control your toilet with a solid state relay? Just ask, and I'll do my best to work with you and come up with a way to do the thing you want to do.
$5
per board design
Premium dangerous technical support.

Like above, but also regarding flamethrowers. (Actually flame effects, flamethrowers are illegal.)
$30
per board design
Hardware of the month club.

I'll ship you one (or more) of the final prototype bare boards from each design. These are fully working boards (minus parts), but likely won't be in the same color as the final release. Green is a lot cheaper, I hope you like green.

5

patrons

$122

per board design

About

I create interactive installation art that involves light, whether with fire or with LEDs. 

For example, in 2012 I created Super Street Fire: a live-action reimagining of Street Fighter 2, set in a ring of 32 flame effects controlled by wireless motion-sensing gloves. As part of this project, I designed, tested, and assembled electronics for the gloves and the control systems for the fire and LED lights. 



Why am I interested in designing custom hardware for these projects?

Fire art installations require control systems designed with safety in mind.

While this is definitely a niche area, I'm not the only person out there making large-scale interactive fire art. LED control systems can often be substituted to get the job done, but don't have the additional safety features built-in.

But really, these installations are about the participant interaction. 

This often requires creating custom hardware to repurpose existing devices, or designing new interaction systems which aren’t exactly off-the-shelf. Sometimes, creating new things really is the easiest way to do it.

Don't care about control systems for 20' blasts of fire? Other systems that have come out of my work on these projects include an interface to NeuroSky EEG headsets, DMX512 theatrical lighting control on the cheap using LED strip lighting, and the wireless motion sensor. 

All of my current hardware releases can be found on my GitHub page.

So, why do I need your support?

The simple answer is: hardware prototyping and design costs money. The CAD tool I use is free, but every board design costs money to fabricate and assemble. Boards often need multiple revisions, and parts are frequently not reusable. A board that costs $3 individually to produce may require multiple production runs at a 10 board minimum per run; add parts costs and shipping and it may be a few hundred dollars per design. This doesn't include the cost of assembly tools and testing equipment.

While the larger art installations are funded through art grants and other fundraising efforts, hardware design is an ongoing process that often inspires new projects. The cost of working on new hardware is there whether or not installation funding comes through; grants may pay for completed control systems for art installations, but not the R&D costs for designing them.

Any funding received here will go 100% to working on these projects.

And what can I give you in return?

I am a supporter of open source hardware. I want to share the work I do with anyone who is interested in building and creating more awesome things. The hardware I design is available for free for anyone who wants to use it in their own projects, and I am happy to work with other artists or groups to modify and customize individual designs for their applications.

And finally, a disclaimer: while many of my projects are used for ridiculous projects like oversized Skee Ball lanes that shoot fire, not everything here will involve fire. (Just most of it. Probably.) I know what I am doing in the area of fire art; the installations I work on have been displayed at public city events, are compliant with NFPA 160 and have been inspected (and approved) by safety organizations including local fire departments and the TSSA. While I won’t say "don’t do this at home" (please do this at home), be careful when working with fire.
Goals
$122 of $250 per board design
At this level, I can stop scheduling board prototyping runs around day job paychecks.

This might not seem like much, but it will cut out tons of downtime between prototyping runs. This will lead to boards being ready much, much faster.
1 of 2

Recent posts by Seth Hardy

How it works

Get started in 2 minutes

Choose a membership
Sign up
Add a payment method
Get benefits