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Unleash Your Stories: Danny Chen

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Danny Chen is a Connect network engineer, part of the University of Auckland’s digital services team. He had a trip planned to visit friends and family in Malaysia, and was looking for unique gifts to take with him. He decided to make the gifts himself and visited the Unleash Space maker space for inspiration on what he could create.

Once he had explored a number of options for making, including 3D printing, and consulted with Creative Technologists, Danny decided to make a series of laser cut key chains with personalised designs for each of his friends and family. He says “I felt it was a simple project to make first time to explore both the capabilities of the machine and my imagination.”

With the support of Unleash Space staff, he created the various graphics using Adobe Illustrator. Each one reflected an interest of the recipient, resulting in a truly one of a kind gift. He then used the laser cutter to transfer his designs onto clear 6mm acrylic, allowing them to come to life through the combined effects of cutting, engraving, and outlining.

The creative process was fairly new to Danny and he enjoyed being able to experiment and learn, both in the technical making of the key rings and the creative aspect of developing the designs. He looks forward to continuing to grow his skill set in these areas. Danny’s top tip for others who may not believe they’re particularly creative is to take inspiration from what is already out there – see what has been made, and think of ways it could be altered.

The key rings were a huge success with Danny’s friends and family, so his next goal is to attend more workshops and events run by the Business School’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and learn about how he can commercialise his new found skills. “Unleash Space is an amazing space that has educated and upskilled me in creative technologies.”

Explore your own options for creating at Unleash Space

James Hutchinson
James Hutchinson

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Danny Chen is a Connect network engineer, part of the University of Auckland’s digital services team. He had a trip planned to visit friends and family in Malaysia, and was looking for unique gifts to take with him. He decided to make the gifts himself and visited the Unleash Space maker space for inspiration on what he could create.

Once he had explored a number of options for making, including 3D printing, and consulted with Creative Technologists, Danny decided to make a series of laser cut key chains with personalised designs for each of his friends and family. He says “I felt it was a simple project to make first time to explore both the capabilities of the machine and my imagination.”

With the support of Unleash Space staff, he created the various graphics using Adobe Illustrator. Each one reflected an interest of the recipient, resulting in a truly one of a kind gift. He then used the laser cutter to transfer his designs onto clear 6mm acrylic, allowing them to come to life through the combined effects of cutting, engraving, and outlining.

The creative process was fairly new to Danny and he enjoyed being able to experiment and learn, both in the technical making of the key rings and the creative aspect of developing the designs. He looks forward to continuing to grow his skill set in these areas. Danny’s top tip for others who may not believe they’re particularly creative is to take inspiration from what is already out there – see what has been made, and think of ways it could be altered.

The key rings were a huge success with Danny’s friends and family, so his next goal is to attend more workshops and events run by the Business School’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and learn about how he can commercialise his new found skills. “Unleash Space is an amazing space that has educated and upskilled me in creative technologies.”

Explore your own options for creating at Unleash Space


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