Interview with designer Agustin Flowalistik

Agustin Flowalistik is a designer with a passion for creating functional things, sharing them and trying to make something good for the planet.
His recent creations are the Lampe project a 3D printable light, the Campbell Planter which combines waste food containers with 3D printing, and numerous low polygon models of Pokémon characters. These models are available for free download.

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Workshopshed: Hi Agustin, thanks for agreeing to interviewed.

Agustin: I’m wide open, so I will answer any question you have, maybe I talk too much.

Workshopshed: (Chuckles), your portfolio shows a talent in many materials but 3D printing is a recurring theme. What is it you like about 3D printing?

Agustin: Why do I like 3D printing? The short answer would be because without knowing I was a maker since the day I was born (I’ve always been playing with plastic parts as when I was a kid I loved LEGO). Another big reason why I focused on 3D printing was because it was a technology that ideally wouldn’t generate a lot of waste (it uses only the material you need, almost no residues…). Three years later I see maybe I was an idealist, but it’s still a technology that goes in the right direction (at least environmentally talking).

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Workshopshed: Low polygon designs also feature in several of your works. Is it hard to design in this way? What is your approach?

Agustin: Low poly designs are hard to design. I did my first low poly design (Squirtle) because at that moment I only had a Prusa i3 and there were so many limitations I had to make the model really easy to print in order to get some nice results.
I design them with 3ds Max, polygon by polygon. I don’t really recommend this method to anyone, it’s just that it worked with me because I already had the tools, but there are other low poly artists that probably have a much better workflow.

Workshopshed: The designs you have 3D printed are of very high quality, is this down to the design or printing?

Agustin: As I mentioned before, when I got into 3D printing there weren’t any affordable, easy to use printers. You had either Prusa kits or Makerbot/Ultimaker. There was a big gap then, and of course I was a student with a very limited budget. I focused on optimising my design to 3D printing, and it worked much better than expected. Nowadays you don’t need such a big optimisation as printers have evolved and the printing quality is better. I almost feel I don’t have to make any more low-poly designs as people want to see how big and detailed can their printers go. It’s somehow a relief to see my designs have lost their meaning, as they were created to avoid some limitations that no longer exist.

Workshopshed: You recently asked on twitter, “Which business model do you prefer/think would work best?” what were the results of that and how do you think you will use the information?

Agustin: The question I placed last week on Twitter gave me some conflictive answers. My friends that don’t know about 3D printing think I should sell my work (it’s how it works in any other area of design), but my friends that are into 3D printing know that selling a 3D printed model is not a good idea as everyone is used to get everything for free.

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After posting the tweets I realised some people may have thought I was just aiming for money and business opportunities, but it was just the other way. What I would like the most is to keep sharing my work, for free of course. The “problem” is that I need to work, get money and pay bills, and unfortunately I don’t get any discount in my taxes for every like/download on Thingiverse. At this moment I work nearly all day, and I’m sure that if this continues like this I won’t be able to keep designing things that will be shared for free.

For the moment, what I will do (and have already done) is to add a note in the description of my items asking for donations if they want to support my work. The models I’ve already shared will still be free, and I don’t expect to get a lot with it. I hope in some years I can get enough to keep running my 3D printers, and that would allow me to share some new designs every month. Again, I’m being too optimistic, but let’s keep dreaming for the moment.

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Workshopshed: Thanks again for being interviewed, one last question, do you have a favourite Pokémon?

Agustin: And just to finish. My favourite Pokémon is Aipom. I know, not Pikachu or any powerful or legendary Pokémon!

You can find out more about Agustin at his web site www.flowalistik.com, see his 3D designs and models at Youmagine and art work at Society6

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