Coffee Any-5-4-3-2-1?

I was at Starbucks recently. With my hands, I can’t hold a hot coffee easily. Sensitive skin. So I use one of those cardboard sleeves. Every time. What a waste.

So I thought “Hey, I have a 3D printer. I should print a solution to this waste problem. I should make a sleeve that fits a standard coffee paper cup.”

And so I did. I realized, hey, I have just finished this amazing model of the new Thunderbird 1 from the new TV series Thunderbirds Are Go, and part of that model would work really well as a coffee holder:


So I took just one small portion of this model and adapted it to fit a standard coffee cup by basically tapering it to the exact angle of the cup. (This took a few test prints and iterations.) The great thing is that inside the surface, a 3D printer prints a hollow lattice work, which is a natural insulation from the hot cup.


I posted the result on facebook on the Fanderson page. The response was more than I expected. I expected a few “Oh, that’s kinda cool”, and even a few “Doesn’t belong here.”

What I got instead were people trying to buy it, and someone even said “This is exactly why I come here.”

Then one guy said “Hey, let me know when you do Thunderbird 4.”

That gave me an idea. I could do all 5 new Thunderbirds! I already had Thunderbird 3 modeled:


So I made a cup based on 3, then did 2, 4 and 5 based on images of each ship as taken from the intro to the new show:


And here they all are:


TB5 takes the elements of the golden cylinder, broken up by superstructure lattice, with a horizontal 5 inside a black element:tag-coffee-sleeves-tb5

Thunderbird 4 uses the prominent red stripes, with a bit of body plating, and engine cowl:tag-coffee-sleeves-tb4

Thunderbird 3 uses the black ring at the top, and the engine flanges at bottom, and a black inlay seen on the original:tag-coffee-sleeves-tb3

Thunderbird 2 uses the distinct yellow striping, and obvious engines, but also the circular shoulder hinges that lower the retro jets on the ship:tag-coffee-sleeves-tb2

Thunderbird 1 uses the honeycombing (even on the number) seen in the original:tag-coffee-sleeves-tb1

Turbine’s Original Logo


I started working at Turbine almost 19 years ago. May 15, 1996. When it came time to come up with a logo, Mike Sheidow drew this in Photoshop, which became our logo:


I modeled the “machine” in Lightwave for some quick video segments for our game, “Asheron’s Call”. Ian Wilmoth (I think) refined the model some for the final videos, and that model became the second version of the logo:


A few weeks ago I found my Lightwave model and got it converted to FBX files and worked on it. I was able to print this, making the fan spin.

Now I have to go back and remodel it to reflect the extra detail that this version didn’t have.


Just For Fun (and smart ecology) – Thunderbird1 Coffee Sleeve

Usually when I get a coffee in a paper cup I have to use two cups. The cup is usually too hot for me to hold. Most coffee houses now fix this by supplying a corrugated cardboard sleeve which makes holding the hot cup bearable.

I decided to stop wasting extra cups and extra sleeves and print one of my own. (Yes, you can buy them too, but where’s the fun in that?)

So I adapted one element of the new Thunderbird 1 (from the new TV series “Thunderbirds Are Go”, based on the original 1965 series “Thunderbirds”) as you can see here, and make a Coffee Sleeve based on Thunderbird 1:

tag-coffee-cuff-01 tag-coffee-cuff-02

What’s great about this is that inside the mass of the sleeve (what would be solid if this were an injection-molded part) is a lattice of support material, not a solid plastic interior. So that lattice works as a insulating material, with air to prevent the transmission of the heat to the hand. It’s like magic.

You can see the honeycombing and the number “1” which are taken directly from my recent 3D model of Thunderbird 1 seen here:


Which is taken from the ship in the show:


Here is an image of the honeycombing as seen on a physical model WETA/ITV is displaying at shows and their offices all over the world: