Hello Black Foxx, thank you for taking the time to chat with us. Tell us a bit about yourself and your work. How did you get into 3D design?
Hi Tom, thanks for the invitation. It means a lot to me. So… what can I say about myself? From the kindergarten I wanted to be a ship builder, but life unfolded in a different way so I’ve got stuck in web programming (and immodestly stating I’m good in it). But several years ago I decided, that I’ve done enough in my life as a web programmer, so I wanted to move on and switched to the field of my passion: maritime engineering. Long story short, I got needed skillset and found a job in the industry. So baseline of my work for past several years is naval engineering. But unlike the conventional approach to this task (like drawing on big sheets of paper and then transferring into reality with the help of templates, cut in place, bend with hammer until it takes the right shape) I wanted to create my ships in 3D workspace from the very beginning to the logical end, when CAM information is released for manufacturing, as detailed as possible, combining 3D design techniques with precision of mechanical 3D engineering and parametric modelling for the later coordinate machining of metal, plastic, wooden and ceramics parts of a very wide scale, as large as ship’s keel and as small as ball in a bearing, and assembling them to build the ship itself. I’ve succeeded in this field and developed not only an approach to the design process, but a complete chain of development and manufacturing from the formulation of the problem to the ship’s launch from the shipyard. My models consist of thousands of 3D parts and each of them is precise enough to be produced from the project file and then installed on a real ship.
For example, look at this one:
The welded hull alone of this yacht has 358 metal parts and every single one contains just enough information to be produced using plasma CNC, coordinate bender or turning CNC machine.
Breathtaking, isn’t it?
So I’ve got wide experience in working with very large and very complex 3D models but in a fully developable and parametric way, which I think is more a science than design.
It was an interesting challenge to model bio-like things in my beloved “developable and parametric way”. So I started experimenting with some bio-like models (don’t know why most of them consist of primary and secondary sexual characteristics 🙂 )
For example I saw a titted mousepad and a nice car gadget (balls hanging from the bumper)that inspired me to create these keychains:
And look at this keychain or this callabah:
My introduction to 3D printing as a prototyping technology was several years ago when I was working on one product design and we had to produce some prototypes. But the parts were so complex that we couldn’t make them using “conventional” technologies, like CNC cutting. So we ordered some prints from Materialise.com for a try. I remember the first time I took a 3D printed part in my hands and said: “Wow! This is the f***ing future!” Later I’ve started using 3D printing to create scaled models (for testing and certification purposes) of my ships projects.
Eventually, I’ve registered a shop on ShapeWays (here’s my link, by the way https://www.shapeways.com/shops/blackfoxx) where I sell these things.
How did you hear about SexShop3D.com and what made you decide to register as a sex toy creator?
One day my friend, industrial designer, got an order for a penis-like wine bottle design and 3D printed prototype. He handled it in a very good way (can’t show pictures because of Non-disclosure agreement, I take these things extremely serious). Looking at his bottle and holding it I thought: “Nice design, good production. But there is something in it that I would have made diferent”. That led me to the challenge: “Can I even model similar things with my approach to the modelling process?” Of course it was not a bottle and it was very far from the model that inspired me, but it was my very first 3D modeled dildo and I liked the way it looked.
I didn’t know what to do with this thing. Of course I printed it. Moreover, I’ve used a smaller version as a reference model during 3D printer tuning, so you can meet this things lying around my home. But I had no idea what to do next. There was no “great plan” behind it. So I forgot about it for some time, until one day I was googling for the silicone spray paint and this article Making Your 3D Printed Sex Toy Safer in 3 Easy Steps caught my eye. So I found SexShop3D and thought: “Hm… maybe someone here will be interested in my dildo model” and here I am! Over time I created more models and published them on SexShop3D.com and I have some more nice and original ideas that I will surely bring to life one day. When you opened the molds category on the shop I realized that I knew a thing or two about it, so I added some molds of my earlier models to the shop and I’m planning on adding some more. 3D printed molds have great potential, even more powerful than 3D printed rubber.
You’ve been designing mainly dildos, sometimes with a very creative touch. I’m thinking about your tentacle-like dildos for example, it’s a famous hentai fetish. Where do they come from? What’s the inspiration behind the toy?
Most of my models for SexShop3D.com are developed as a distraction from the main work. You know, when your head is filled with heavy thoughts like: “How to move this ship’s fucking-center-of-mass towards the floatation point as close as possible without using 10 tons of ballast?” At the same time your hands are doing something entirely different from your thoughts and then you look at the result and say: “Wow! It looks like a dildo! Again! I know a place where it will be in demand.”
As for the tentacle, that’s a funny story. One day I bought some smoked tentacles of cuttlefish at a local store (very tasty, by the way, and just imagine a fish that consists almost entirely of meat without bones nor any other inclusions!). While eating them I was looking at the structure and I thought it’s very interesting. All this suction caps in such regular rows along the tentacle, complex design yet functional. This thing really inspired me, like “I want to know more about it”. So I’ve spent some time looking at octopus and squid tentacles on the internet trying to figure out how they are built, how they work… and naturally ended up looking at hentai! Not for the first time in my life, but first time as a 3D designer.
There was a challenge for me, as a 3D modeler, to design a tentacle-like sex toy. Such a complex and regular structure, and still it had to be functional as a sex toy. Maybe hentai authors are completely free of physics laws and anatomy restrictions but we are not. I Think I’ve completed this challenge sparkly and even added a double version later.
And finally, how do you see the future of this concept? Will 3D printing of our own pleasure products change the sex toy industry?
This is a complex question. I think 3D printing will change many aspects of our lives and a great deal of different industries, but the technological base isn’t mature enough yet. We are now at the very beginning of this long and no doubt interesting way to a completely new industrial concept that used to be called “distributed production”. The first signs are already there, but very much yet to be done.
We already have a wide range of 3D printable materials for our home 3D printers and a much wider range with online services, including rubbers, metals and food-safe ceramics and even wood! As a prototyping method it already is the best and maybe the only right option. Not every engineer understands that for now, but they can be pretty stubborn, so they’ll come along soon enough.
We can (and we do!) not only print prototypes but functional parts (my car has some and they are not decorative – it just wouldn’t run without them) but the price tag is still high. Most people can’t 3D model by themselves and the tools are still far from “press this button to create your very own whatever you need“. So to get something really customized one have to hire a designer/engineer, that affects cumulative price tag predictably.
I like to think of today’s 3D printing industry as of photography in the early 20th century. When you needed to get a picture of something or someone you had to hire a photographer who had a great deal of complex equipment (by the way, very hard to operate, without all those modern fancy features like optical stabilizers, autofocus, backlight compensation and integrated face-beauty software), a photo lab, all the needed reactives and adequate skills. You had to pay a significant amount of money and then wait for the pictures to be produced. But look at photography today. You take your phone, you press the button – and that’s pretty much it! You share a photo with your friends or print it if you want in one click. Don’t think I downplay the photography as an artform or as a science, I’m talking about everyday application of the technology, the one that almost everyone has in his pocket. The path of 3D printing is alike it.
We already have workable technology, but for now it needs specific equipment and qualified personnel to operate, and it costs significantly higher than “conventional” manufacturing methods. It’s already applicable and it’s working, but the “golden age” is still ahead of us. It’s a game changing tech, like office printers changed the way we handle documents, like CNC changed industrial engineering, like the loom changed textile industry. It will change, without exception, all technical industries, lots of design industries and even medicine and healthcare.
As for the sex toy industry itself, there is great potential in this field that isn’t even seen by some industry insiders. I’m talking about 3D scanning combined with 3D printing tech. I think we all know the “clone a willy” thing or “FleshLight”. Just imagine how tey can be improved, using 3D scanners and printers. No words need to be said, just turn on your imagination.
Look how cheap and easy-to-operate cameras changed the porn industry. Look how affordable high-speed internet changed the adult entertainment market. I think you can boldly extrapolate this experience on 3D printing of sex toys. Believe me, It’s a safe bet, because the main idea behind 3D printing is “there is no one-size-fits-all” and it’s perfectly matching the sex toy industry destination.
Many thanks to Anton for taking some time to talk to SexShop3D and giving us an insight into his world. His background and thoughts on 3D printing are really interesting and I hope you enjoyed reading the interview.