ShapeCrete Mix and Website Launched!
POSTED BY FU-TUNG CHENG, Creator of ShapeCrete:
It happened. We launched. Product and Website on the same day (twins!) SHAPECRETE, and shapecrete.com. Thanks to our product (a.k.a. "delivery room") partner, Sakrete, we gave birth to these twins together. I had furtive hopes four years ago. That morphed to quiet anticipation last year, and genuine excitement these past few months. After all the years in R&D working on the right combinations of work-time, handling feel, durability, cure-time, cost, and then refining with Sakrete for fabrication feasibility––My assistant Eric and I spent the last two months playing and working on inventive projects of all sizes and dimensions from furniture to jewelry, putting the characteristics of our mix design to the test. And it exceeded my expectations.
We made supports for my Rhomba bench design that we had previously cast with regular concrete, or sprayed with DFRC in a complex mold––by simply building up 1" walls like clay. Complex curved fabric formed vessels were made literally in minutes. Absolutely glistening, suspended spheres of ShapeCrete fashioned into a Newton's cradle, bounced against one another just like the steel versions. We simply poured our mix into glass Christmas tree ornaments, and they came out with a glass-like finish. Poured onto mylar and draped over a tube, we created impossibly thin curved wafer-like forms. And finally, I made my first piece of jewelry with it. That was fun!
For two days and four demos this past week on Tuesday and Wedneday, I repeated all these projects (except for the large bench supports) in the Sakrete booth at World of Concrete in Las Vegas. The feedback of great impressions I got from the pros who saw the demo invariably ended with the question: when can I get my hands on this product? They were intrigued by the idea of using this relatively inexpensive, high-performance, easy-to-use-without-equipment mix on their current projects that require much more in complexity and cost.
So now, for me, it will be akin to when I wrote the book, Concrete Countertops in 2002 and shared whatever I learned up to that time. Over the past decade, people started working on all sorts of great projects and sending me photos of their creative ideas come to fruition, and was very, very gratifying. I can't wait to see what happens with ShapeCrete when everyone does get their hands on it come this Spring 2015!
Like a proud parent, if I had to make an official announcement, it would look something like this:
The glimmer of the idea in 2010: Put concrete creativity in the hands of as many people as possible.
The gestation period: Four years and three months from inception to birth.
Sun Sign: Aquarius
The delivery room: The World of Concrete South Hall Las Vegas Convention Center.
The date: Feb 3, 2015.
The proud parent companies: Cheng Design Products, Inc and Sakrete
Weight at launch in the pail: 20 lbs
Info and instructables: ShapeCrete.com
Available for purchase (well, this is where the analogy to parenthood breaks down): Retail and online Spring 2015.
A few of the ShapeCrete projects on display:
Fu-Tung showing the incredibly smooth finish of one of the spheres for Newton's Cradle:
Newton's Cradle with ShapeCrete spheres:
Fu-Tung with the Rhomba Bench Form:
Rhomba Bench on display: