How might one use the Helioforge?

To give you a better idea of how one might use the Helioforge, we have provided five example scenarios below for your consideration.

Usage story: Restoring a home’s dignity.

Inexpensive property and an exciting community of artisans have drawn Eugene to settle in Detroit. He purchases an ancient three story Queen Anne Victorian for about what the taxes are on a similar property in other cities. He falls in love with the house, but cannot find all the elaborate cast metal accessories that were used throughout the house. Faced with prospect of either stripping the house of its essential character or spending thousands to have an antique dealer replace the trim elements, Eugene is stuck. Fortunately, Eugene finds a third option. Using the pieces of the trim accessories he does have, he simply presses them into the clay bed of his Helioforge MK I and uses scrap metals to cast new copies of the lost pieces. A couple hours on a hot summer day and the soul of proud home was restored.

Usage story: A farm sustained.

Mazy owns a small farm in Northern New Mexico. The farm is not a commercial venture, but the tools that she has are essential to the process of producing the feed for the horses and livestock kept on the farm. Whenever a hard to replace metal tool breaks, she takes the broken pieces and creates a mold of them as though they were still whole. The next hot day she places the broken pieces in her Helioforge’s crucible and within an hour casts a new copy of the broken tools. Using the same tools that were on the farm when she inherited it and recycling might not matter to everyone, but Mazy is happy that she can keep her wallet closed and her farm traditional.

Usage story: Mass produced durable goods from 3D printed prototypes.

Marcin is an industrial designer. He makes machines out of polymers and metals. Marcin has a 3D printer which prints in polymers. By using his 3D printer to print a polymer prototype and placing that original into the clay bed of his Helioforge MK I, he is able to use a variation of the lost wax method of casting to form metal parts. Later, he realizes that it is faster to use his Helioforge to make many polymer copies of a 3D printed prototype than printing each one using his printer. By sharing his experience with the Helioforge community, he enriches the lives of many other Helioforge owners.

Usage story: Helping your neighbor.

Fredrica’s neighbor had a Helioforge sitting in his backyard. When she enquired about it, he promptly offered to build her a duplicate. She could hardly believe her ears when he told her to save her glass refuse for the next few days and that he would replicate the optics using that glass. Fredrica watched her neighbor during the process and found herself inspired. Later she fused some old broken stained glass with her own Helioforge to make some decorations which she used to decorate her house and garden.

Usage story: Accessible manufacturing for the developing world.

Bob was on a mission to improve the lives of people who live on a remote tropical island. Using a Helioforge Screed Scribe and a locally gathered clay, glass, and a borrowed glass kiln he produces a single Helioforge MK I system. Over the next year the system is replicated, using the original, dozens of times and the original optics get improved using a Grinder/Polisher design downloaded from Helioforge.org. Within five years the islanders are producing their own tools, from hand tools for their gardens to pug mills for clay and even hydrogen cracking systems which turn seawater and sunlight into a fuel to power their homes and their fishing boats. The islanders develop unique hydrogen fuel outboard motor which can be built using Helioforge tools and share it on the website so that people all over the world benefit from their local knowhow.

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