Introduction: Designing the Optimal Bow With Dreamcatcher

About: AMINIMAL Studio is a Brooklyn-based company focused on researching complex systems and emerging technologies as an approach to designing 21st century products. Lana Blum Briscella and John Briscella are the cr…

Tekina - the Optimal Bow is a functional artwork that merges the worlds of Archery, Art and Technology.

One of our philosophies at Aminimal studio is that complexity can be simple. So, We wanted to share the simple ways to start thinking about design with generative software, Dreamcatcher, as an approach to designing digitally organic forms and how to think of generative design strategy.

Step 1: Passion

Step 1 has nothing to do with design, 3D modeling, or making...

It's about being passionate about the things you love and learning about culture.

Archery has been a recent interest and we have begun the research of different cultural archery styles. By applying our passion and creativity, We wanted to redefine a bow by redefining its design to perform better.

We were inspire by James Clear's Marginal gains

Step 2: 3D Scanning an Existing Bow Riser and Arm


design of the bow and arrow has been iterated for 10,000 years and now is also an Olympic sport. but the mechanical principles of projecting an arrow has basically stayed the same.

We started with an existing Recurve bow and 3D scanned it with a Artec Eva 3D scanner.

We also scanned in our hand. We this data, we are able to identify the points of interest and begin to 3D model them.

gabrieltaft's tutorial will help you with 3D scanning

Step 3: Dreamcatcher Setup

With the data we created by 3D scanning, we rebuilt the 3D info and points of interest.

In the image, silver denotes objects that need to be connected, each with load cases (green lines). For example, the screws at the top and bottom need to withstand 40lbs of backdrawn force. The cyan indicates void objects where the software avoids drawing. Aluminum was chosen as the material for this object, and its properties are added to the calculations.

Step 4: Dreamcatcher Magic


on image to play the gif file)

With the inputed values, Dreamcatcher pushes and pulls the material into a optimal solution.

For more info on how Dreamcatcher works, check out Erin Bradner and Michael Bergin's presentation




Now its ready to me made...

Step 5: 3D Milling the Final Piece


final form could be made several different ways. 3D printing, casting, milling, ...

We milled the prototypes on a Haas Mill using a flip Technique

To learn more about milling, Check out Daniel Vidakovich's tutorial Learn CNC the hard way

Step 6: Get Out There and Shoot Archery

Archery is an amazing sport to spend time with friends and focus