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HI! My Name is Don Tuininga, I was born on 3/23/1976, and I love making things.

From Lego bricks to Duck tape, from wood and metal to paper, the medium doesn't matter so much as the idea. Once I get an idea, I have to see it through, if for no other reason than to see if it can be done!  For the past couple of years, I've been running an Etsy store and a booth at the occasional festival, mostly as a way to fund my creative hobbies (and clear room for all the new things I want to make!)  I've got a decent day job that affords me some downtime to think up new projects, but like many, I dream of being able to support myself and my family with the things I make.
The project that I'm focusing on here is my Word Towers. They started as a crafty gift idea that I was able to make for friends and family, putting a couple's name together so that it was intertwined and part of the same structure.  I branched that out into a few more generic word pairs, things like "Faith and Trust" and "Heart and Soul" and even "OMG WTF".  I had a lot of fun designing the different variations and challenging custom jobs, but wanted to take it further... I used different fonts, words of different lengths, adding new twists, and started seeing lots more potential! What about about using 3 words?  What effects would that have on the geometry? what about making each face a different color, how would that look when viewed from the other angles? What about different materials, like aluminum or acrylic?  Sadly, these last few questions I haven't been able to answer yet, because I lack the tools to make them in my humble little workshop.  I think there is a lot of potential in custom orders for the triple word tower... for example, having a Bride's name, Groom's name, and a wedding anniversary date in the middle would make for an truly unique gift or memento... using different fonts and even languages could broaden their use and appeal even more!
What I'm hoping for is a chance to get myself a high quality 5-axis CNC router, or maybe even a color 3D printer. Both would allow me to digitally design the complex shapes I want, and save me endless hours of trial and error working out the kinks, not to mention the ability to streamline my production techniques!  As with any new tools, learning about their capabilities would also hopefully inspire some creative adaptations and possibilities for new projects, too!  Could the concept be taken even further? Is a QUADRUPLE Word Tower Possible? Please help me find out!
Don has been my best friend since 1983. He remains the most ridiculously talented person I've yet to meet, with creativity that comes from some chasm, deep down in his soul. Go Don, go! :-]

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