Only a few years ago, 3D printing was just an idea, a future-esque possibility that seemed like it would be years before the technology finally caught up to the conceptualization. Now it’s being used across retail, science and automotive industries, just to name a few.
Even integrators work with 3D printers in verticals like k-12 and higher education. But the tech world has never seen a use for 3D printing quite like this one.
Funproductive, Inc., is launching a new line of dog biscuits shaped like the heads of presidential candidates in the 2016 race using the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter. CEO and sole employee/comic visionary Jack Knott used 3D modeling software, 3D printers and silicon baking molds to create the treats, humorously called Boneheads 2016.
The project pokes fun at the candidates, while also underlining the importance of “wholesome ingredients” in pet food. The Kickstarter video, below, opens with the line, “Emails, bridges, Bush bros and Koch bros,” pointing to the ups, downs, scandals and hilarity of the early presidential campaign race. It draws a comparison to the toxic preservatives and compounds found in America’s leading pet food brands, asking, “Fed up, America?”
Treats come in five 3D-printed shapes: Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz. The 3D printing process was the hardest part, explains Knott, who had no prior experience with the technology.
“I had to use 3D modeling software to create models of each candidate’s head, with only pictures to go off of,” says Knott. “Most 3D printed heads you’ll see were modeled with a real head and a scanner, but since I didn’t have access to the candidates’ heads to scan, it was more of a manual process. I had to find people who could 3D print the models for me, then I had to tweak them, and do the printing process again. It was pretty time consuming, but I really enjoyed doing it.”
Knott says the idea for Boneheads 2016 came to him one night while watching a presidential candidate debate.
“Watching the last debate, the clear thought that hit me over and over was that ‘these guys are boneheads,'” says Knott. “Then I see my dog in the corner, chewing on a ball of ice made from an ice-tray mold in my freezer. I thought he’d love the ice even more if it was shaped like a bone, then I looked back at the debate on TV—lightbulb. I wanted to see my dog eat Donald Trump’s face.”
But the project has a serious side too. Knott hopes to get the word out about the state of the pet food industry, where “toxic chemicals, non-specific animal tissue compositions and other harmful ingredients” are commonplace. Boneheads, Knott says, are made with simple ingredients, like whole wheat and coconut flour, eggs, and peanut butter.
“Through learning about how to make dog treats, and learning more about the pet food industry, you could begin to see a striking resemblance to today’s political landscape,” adds Knott. “There’s a whole lot of filler—not a lot of real substance. ‘Statements of fact’ lay right on the line between truths and lies, misdirection about which facts actually matter, creative marketing, double speak. You do not want to know the difference between what chicken and ‘Chicken Flavored’ means in dog treats.”
This unexpected use of 3D printing has allowed for a lighthearted project with intentional political and social commentary, and an added benefit for our four-legged friends.
There might be a lot of boneheads in politics, says Knott, but these Boneheads are different. “These Boneheads have integrity.”