The perfect present for someone that has everything? – Golden Mean Calipers

By Peter Kerr 03/07/2012

The Golden Mean Calipers maintain the ratio of 1:1.6180…. across its full span

Golden Mean Caliper maker, marketer and whizz, Nick Taylor

Occasionally you come across a product so cool, so seemingly useful and unuseful at the same time……well here’s such a product, Golden Mean Calipers.

They, or at least the for sale on the internet version, are the brainchild of Nick Taylor.

In the two years  he’s been making them, the former Wanganui, nowWellingtonresident has sold about $45,000 worth of the three sized, three-priced calipers. The innocuously perfect piece of hinged metal now provides the coder and MakerSpace co-founder, half an income.

The Golden Mean is an anciently understood, ratio of Phi (1:1.6180….).

It is aesthetically the most pleasing ratio. The most beautiful of faces are full of such ratios, as are spirals of flowers and shells (among many).

Taylor came upon the idea of the Golden Mean when travelling with his parents in a camper van around Europe for a year when he was about 14. Specifically learning about the Golden Mean in Greece, the concept has been a background curiosity ever since.

He made a pair of calipers for himself three years ago, along with trying a bunch of other manufactured stuff through Ponoko.

What with “I would love some of those,” comments from friends, and the fact they actually sold on the net, his calipers’ manufacturing has morphed into an online business.

Currently he makes them from brushed stainless steel and brass (the rivets provide the right amount of hinge and ‘hold’). The three sizes are 114mm, 180mm and 400mm, selling for $35, $65 and $75 respectively.

Among the wide variety of buyers are artists, sculptors, graphic-designers and gadget-collectors.

One previously unknown and unexpected market is plastic surgeons. (Not much use having a perfect new nose if it doesn’t fit the rest of your face….sticK comment!)

“In fact, such has been the demand from this sector, I’m about to make a version just for them,”Taylor says. “We’re going to make these out of mirror-polished stainless steel, with a slightly more complex design so the tips can touch.”

One of MarkerSpace’s business models is for people to come up with a new design that can be relatively easily prototype-made at theirVivian Stfacility.

The demand for such a product can easily be tested at some ofWellington’s cosmopolitan weekend markets, and if this is high enough, then sold worldwide through the net.

Much likeTaylor’s Golden Mean Calipers really, proof of the pudding!