Product: BUDWEISER HOCKEY TWITTER TAPE
Year: 2015, 2021
For this project Anomaly had contacted companies all over the world in an attempt to have custom hockey tape printed on demand for Budweiser. No existing machines were found, and no company was willing to build one for any reasonable amount of money. Any of the places that could do any printing required the files to be created ahead of time, which wouldn’t work for this concept.
This project called for printing on demand – tweets from Twitter would get printed on hockey tape in real time. Why? Imagine tweeting a message of support to your favourite NHL hockey player, who then wraps his stick in positive tweets from fans.
I stepped forward and designed, 3D printed, programmed and assembled a machine that could do this. The first prototype was just a proof of concept that could only print small sections of tape. The 3rd prototype was made of metal and capable of unrolling the hockey tape, feeding it through the print head, and then rolling it back up again. While the prototypes used nema 17 motors, the final version required 2 nema 24’s; hockey tape is actually incredibly sticky and required quite a bit of torque to unwrap. Learning how to control an inkjet printhead firing 16 nozzles simultaneously was interesting and also required me to create a custom software program to convert text and images into code the printer could understand.