3D printing with The Great Fredini

Fred Kahl - The Great Fredini with his Rostock and Printerbot 3d printers in his Brooklyn NY workshop (David Neff/David Neff - davepix.com)


I dropped in on Fred a few weekends ago, and talked shop a few hours before he pulled out the sequined tux for a few photographs.  If I had thought of it sooner we could have pulled the Stanford bunny out of the hat but print time for a big one could easily be a day.  Having first encountered “The Great Fredini” as a performer at Coney Island’s Burlesque shows, his enthusiasm toward 3d printing seemed out of place.  Fred is the longtime Creative Director at an interactive/gaming company Funny Garbage, with a history of putting sharp objects in his head, Brooklyn resident, living just a little closer to an undeclared Superfund Site than I.  Maybe it makes a little more sense to me now.  I was introduced to Fred by a friend Keith who works for 3d Systems. He and Keith collaborated on the trophies for last summer’s Mermaid Parade.  It turns out, Fred, has become quite the 3d printing enthusiast as you can see here, working on a scaled reproduction of Coney Island’s famed Luna Park.  On the Rostock to camera left is one of Fred’s scanned people.  Off to the right is his first machine, a Printrbot.  The recent launch of his new pet project, Coney Island Scan-A-Rama portrait studio is a really fun project using some stuff from the hardware store and a hacked Kinect Controller.  See his blog for more info, go get scanned!  Alice and I are scheduling our scan in the next week or two…. follow up to come.  Knowing Fred what I have seen people under his spell perform, we should be seeing some interesting works!

Wondering what that strange Rostock thing is?  quick explanation, it’s part of an open source project to build 3d printers at low cost out of common materials.  The Rostock is an original approach in the way it moves the print head on x,y and z axes.  I’d hate to see the math behind it but it’s truly entrancing to see one in operation much as most of the machines on the market.


Interested in more images of the Early Adopters of 3d Printing photo series… the project began here.



Fred Kahl - The Great Fredini with his Rostock and Printerbot 3d printers in his Brooklyn NY workshop (David Neff/David Neff - davepix.com)Fred Kahl - The Great Fredini with his Rostock and Printerbot 3d printers in his Brooklyn NY workshop (David Neff/David Neff - davepix.com)Fred Kahl - The Great Fredini with his Rostock and Printerbot 3d printers in his Brooklyn NY workshop (David Neff/David Neff - davepix.com)








Lunch with Breakfast

 The Breakfast Club Power 105.1fm

The Breakfast Club, Angela Yee, Charlamagne The God, DJ Envy
The Breakfast Club, Angela Yee, Charlamagne The God, DJ Envy in NYC
Sometime last month, and kept under wraps until the client had a chance to release images, I had an assignment to photograph Power 105.1’s The Breakfast Club.  If you follow my work, note, this is not a bunch of guys in suits.  The image to the left is an outtake, they were going for lighter smiley shots.  After four hours with the club, the image to the left I can relate to more.  Between wardrobe sets we took the club out in the lobby and picked up a few extras with backgrounds.  Bonus rounds!  Images are just filtering into the web… http://www.power1051fm.com/pages/onair/tbc-weekends.html  If anyone catches a billboard out there, send me a snapshot and a location, I’d love to see it.  So what did we feed The Breakfast Club?  Bubby’s!    I love Bubby’s, reminds me of Bubby.  Davepix.com, more than guys in suits!

The Breakfast Club, Charlamagne The God
Charlamagne The God


The Breakfast Club, DJ Envy
DJ Envy










The Breakfast Club, Angela Yee, Charlamagne The God, DJ Envy

Thanks to Hosea for making the call,  Thanks to my crew Sophie, Sophia, Yasu, Maegan and Simon.






Ride behind me… Say Cheese! Saturday Morning Die Hards…. POV with a new view!


Another NYCC ride, when it should be 15° out and snowing, here in NYC this January we got 44°F instead.  Left behind the tights, balaclava and winter gloves, instead went for leg warmers, beanie and lighter gloves, none of that you will see in the video, at least not me.  Thanks again to the Harry & Co. for getting me out of bed 7am to tie on 80 mi and cross the state line four times.

Once again, the POV camera tagged along for a new view.  This week I designed a mounting bracket to hang onto my seat bag so we get faces instead of backsides.  Don’t mind the debris and water coming off my tire.  I’d considered a fender but that would have meant taking off the seat bag… and a different bracket.  Next time, I’ll just put in for a sunny day in the 70’s?  More likely, next week will be more the same but I’ll go for the helmet mount.  Without further adieu, 2.5 hours of the ride in 3 minutes, starting from Rockland Lake.

20130112 SaturdayMorningDieHards from David Neff on Vimeo.

Saturday Morning Die Hards, the return: Rockland Lake back to Manhattan


    I think I love photography as much for the gadgets as the art.  Playing with open source and free 3d design and manufacturing has enabled me to play engineer and make some simple problem solvers that in the past I might have used standard grip gear for.  Of course there is no substitute for a magic arm, mafer, superclamp or cardinelli when you’re hanging a seven thousand dollar camera on something but when your camera costs just over a hundred, why not hang it on your own prototypes.

    Once again, the technical part.

    • Camera: Swann Freestyle on Full auto (no other choice)
    • Resolution: 8MP
    • Capture rate: 2sec
    • MP4 composed at 720p with Adobe Lightroom4
    • Homemade seat wedge bracket
Neff seatbag bracket for Swann Camera system
bracket for a swann freestyle camera to mount on the seatbag of a racing bike. Extra credit if you put it on a Landshark!



POV Camera trial#2 Saturday Morning Die Hards ride to Bauvelt 2013 Jan 5

Second try at POV camera on bicycle, Photographer David Neff, an avid NYC cyclist shoots a time lapse on the weekly cycle club excursion to share with Dad

  • Saturday Morning Die Hards ride to Bauvelt 2013 Jan 5 from David Neff on Vimeo.

    My father introduced me to cycling, not just by taking off my training wheels, but by showing me his trophy and a newspaper clipping of his thanksgiving prize turkey won at a Philadelphia Criterium back in the early 50’s.  I did my first century ride with my dad when I was 13 but it wasn’t until my late 30’s that I would make them a regular weekend Saturday ride.  The last time I got dad on a bike was three years ago, and unless modern medicine gets a whole lot more scifi, it’s unlikely that we’ll have his bike out for another century.  About every Sunday, I speak with my parents and when I tell dad about my ride, I always wish I could share a bit more of it.  Round one, seems batteries only last for the first 35 or so miles, it’s a start.  This week, tested my first iteration of a handlebar mount fabbed at home on a 3d printer.  If you don’t mind staring at backsides in spandex, not so bad.  Helmet mount is a little better but not quite as comfortable.  Maybe next time.  Also in the works, maybe shooting a seat mount.  Ride behind me?  Say cheese!



    • Camera: Swann Freestyle on Full auto (no other choice)
    • Resolution: 8MP
    • Capture rate: 3sec
    • MP4 composed at 720p with Adobe Lightroom4
    • Handlebar mount… 
Version D Swann handlebar mount
Version D Swann handlebar mount
This is the first prototype for the mount, with 65 miles on it, I have a few mods in mind and will print out another maybe tomorrow.  The part I fabricated is the silver clamp on the bars, it integrates with the proprietary mount that comes with the Swann Freestyle camera system.

My Calling Card (another one for the checklist)

to address my business card or go address free?

The question of the day, and perhaps I should be sending this by my long lost designer Brandon Scharr, but I thought I’d give it a shot…   Is there any reason for me to have a street address on my card these days?  I do almost all my transactions on the web and only occasionally send out a hard drive via FedEx loaded with high res files so it really comes down to design.  Can the card stand on it’s own without an address (and slightly larger type than I have used for the past fifteen or so years to adjust for aging.)  Ten years ago, I dropped having a fax number on the card, it took the text down from four lines to three.  Does anyone have an opinion? Feel free to let me know.



to have address or not to have address
to have address or not to have address
Perhaps there should be more background here, maybe you know, maybe you don’t and soon likely I’ll have more in depth ramblings.  In summary, I spent the past two years on a hiatus from my freelance to help out a friend with his startup, Makerbot Industries LLC.  After a year of hard work growing the company as General Manager, I moved into the marketing department to let the new investor installed management take over the place.  Maybe not so voluntarily but somehow I guess I was rewarded.  A year later after building their library of images for collateral I am back out on my own again.   Ahhhh, what a relief.





A title chosen for impact though likely unrelated in any way to what I hope you were thinking.  Remember, I’m trying to sell a photographer, they’re saving the world…

I did a gig a few days ago, not like my usual kind of photoshoot.*  I was hired to photograph the Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority for The Israel Project. It was amazing to be surrounded by such an intellectual and accomplished group of people as they discussed ideas sure to be in the headlines of coming months.

Salam Fayyed, Prime Minister of the Palestinean Authority and TIP President Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi in a Roy Lichenstein scene. Great space, just a strange backdrop for such a serious discussion.
The photoshoot took place in the amazingly well appointed 10 million dollar penthouse apartment of… well, I’ll just say Raoul Panache?**  I would feel like it was an invasion of privacy to post this and the accompanying images if there weren’t already image online so here goes.

I’m looking for an apartment in NYC, something no normal person would ever wish to endure.  By normal, I’ll define that as a  person near median national income levels and moderately sane?  Not only are the art pieces in the place probably worth much more than the apartment buildings I am looking to buy into, they wouldn’t fit on any of the the walls.  Should I trying to collect smaller art pieces?  Okay already, I’ll share the photos.

Mel Ramos – Candy, Victor Vasarely to the left… and something familiar to the right
* Note I say “photoshoot” and not “shoot” on this one, I had to practice for my ineveitable encounter with US Secret Service where I was sure to be asked why my assistant and I had just arrived with several cases of strange equipment.  I would not ever suggest casual use of the word “shoot” with Secret Service.  They tend to be literal and are not known for having a sense of humor.  Also to be avoided, expressions like, “you da bomb!, You’re Killing me or show me your guns.”

** I made it up in an attempt to not piss of some really wealthy and powerful people that could make my life miserable if they wanted but probably wouldn’t because they were really nice and are saving the world while I take pictures to pay my rent.

And the winner is…

We’re Robot Finalists!

The NY Regional FIRST Robotic competition happened last weekend, and somewhere between amazed and elated, we found ourselves frantically preparing to compete in the Championship Round!  With a robot originally designed with low goals, literally, we competed for high scores!  The uniqueness of our design, its reliability, simple functionality, speed, and maneuverability were enough to get chosen to compete in an alliance for the finals.  I’m still amazed.  When I began working with the team, the participants had hoped that other teams would have no luck going for the high goals and would not score well.  Our machine was well-designed to get respectable point scores in the low goal.   We were surprised with the level of engineering demonstrated by some of the machines.  On the other hand, there was a lack of engineering on some, or maybe you would say a lack of sportsmanship on the part of one team that didn’t score any points, but successfully tipped over our machine– an incident deemed accidental by the referees.  See the replay, and you won’t agree.   All in all, a frantic and fun day.  It was great to work with the kids, see them compete, and even better to see them with ear-to-ear smiles holding the second place trophy at the end of the day.   Anyone at all interested in the FIRST program, feel free to contact me.  Mentoring a team is a rewarding experience!

FIRST Robotics with Washington Irving HS


FIRST Robotics students working on FTC entries
Anyone who knows me well eventually discovers my inner nerd– the nerd that spent a year in an engineering program before the passion for pictures pulled me away from my calculator.  I never had a pocket protector; I drove a Camaro.  The urge to play with electronics happens once in a while, like when I built solar panels and power adapters for Me and Abby to power phones, iPod, camera and lighting while cycling for a month off the grid in eastern Canada.  [Hmm… that’s a post I should recover from a while ago.]

I spent this evening working with students at Washington Irving High School in Manhattan, helping them build and tweak a robot for the FIRST Robotics FTC competition.  The team is well-equipped with kits and underwhelmed with the number of participants (2).  … and the beautiful workshop classroom that has been looted of tools.  (Yay! Drill press.  Boo. No chuck key.  Pliers, anyone?)  We will succeed!  We are the underdogs!! (Ah, Saints!)  Anyone want to sponsor the team?  We could use some tee shirts with nice logos, tools, and hot meals delivered for late-night tinkering.  No reasonable offers refused.  More to come!  I’ll link to the school’s program site soon, with Dave’s special images.