The Universe Spheres - Cinks labs

Created by Clemens & Christoph - CinkS labs

We are the founder of "The Universe Sphere" - a growing collection of beautiful desk ornaments containing parts of our Universe.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

The Game and the Sphere, the Star Constellations Are Near.
12 months ago – Thu, Sep 06, 2018 at 01:26:40 AM

Photo of the first prototype of the star constellations in a sphere
Photo of the first prototype of the star constellations in a sphere

The Idea...  

While working with different star catalogs on the new star constellation sphere, I learned about the brightest stars, how many stars we can see with the naked eyes, how many star constellations are designated and about the distances between the stars and our earth. I was often reminded of the good old card game “Car Quartets”. I can only tell for Germany, but I guess everyone here owned a car quartets when he was a child. So the Idea was born to make a card game together with a new sphere.

The Prototypes

In the video, you can see our first prototype of the sphere and also 6 cards of the card game. These are by far not finished nor historically or scientifically correct, but give you a good sense of where the journey is going to. We stay in contact to a really friendly scientist who researched about the star constellations since 1998. She has two doctor´s degrees and wrote one thesis about Uranography (celestial cartography). She told us that there is no common consensus about the line patterns that connect the stars, but she likes our Idea and is willing to help us with our patterns. In 1930 the IAU International Astronomical Union defined the now common 88 star constellations by its boundary and not by the connections. 

Map of Star constellation borders (IAU)
Map of Star constellation borders (IAU)

There are many sources for line pattern you can find, which are much older or from different civilizations.

Reproduction of the Suzhou star chart (13th century)
Reproduction of the Suzhou star chart (13th century)
The Celestial Map - Northern Hemisphere, Albrecht Dürer(1515)
The Celestial Map - Northern Hemisphere, Albrecht Dürer(1515)
Celestial Map by Frederik de Wit (1670)
Celestial Map by Frederik de Wit (1670)

Together with the scientist, we want to improve the line patterns and we want to see what would be the most beautiful, but also scientific and educational model to put into our sphere.

3D model of the star constellation in a sphere
3D model of the star constellation in a sphere
Photo of the first prototype of the star constellations in a sphere
Photo of the first prototype of the star constellations in a sphere

The Drawings  

The 88 drawings of the card game are already finished and I find them mesmerizing. We now want to share 6 of them with.

The Attributes  

At the moment the cards show the following attributes and Information:

  • Latin name of the star constellation 
  • Name of the brightest star 
  • Number of bright stars visible in the city (< magnitude 3) 
  • Number of stars visible with the naked eye and on a dark countryside (< mag 6) 
  • Distance to earth (brightest star)
  • The area on the night sky (IAU). 

We also thought about the Number “connected stars” and the “round trip of the traveling salesman”. We want to calculate the shortest path for a salesman in a spaceship to reach all connected stars within a star constellation and come back to earth.

Back of the cards
Back of the cards

The Rules

We are still not completely sure about the rules of the card game, so we decided to ask for your help. Most of us used the car quartets cards for the game "Super Trump" where you basically compare an attribute of the card with your friend's cards and the winner takes the trick. Many didn´t even know, that the real Quartets is way more complex. For the original quartets, you need to collect “quartets”, a combination of 4 cards of a kind. Having this in mind, the game could be fun for adults as well as for their kids so we most likely want to stay with this concept. We will develop the final rules and variants within the campaign because we are certain, that we will find a nice way to play with the cards. The good thing is, they already are informative and nice to look at. 

CinkS labs Kids  

Also, we had the Idea of a more colorful version of the cards especially for smaller kids and we want to know your thoughts about it. My brother thought about taking care of his own campaign with a "memory game" using the colorful design and a collection of star constellations.

The Polling  

For some of these open questions, we decided to make a polling within our campaign. We want to know about your suggestions and wishes, as well as about the name of the card game, the attributes or the colors. We are happy about your help in the comments, so we gain some material for our polling.  

The Campaigns  

We want to launch two separate campaigns, one for the sphere and one for the card game. We do this because we want to reach as many people as possible and we want to be found in the category astronomy, but also in card games.

Stretch Goals

On the one hand, we thought about Special finishes of the cards like glow in the dark paint or tiny holes, so you could play at night or fit the card with the actual stars on the night sky and see them through it. On the other hand, there are many sources for our star constellations, so we have in mind to design different versions of the Sphere, maybe even of the game. For example, there is the Almagest catalog from around 135 A.D., with 1024 stars in 48-star constellations. Or the Suzhou star chart, the Chinese-Korean constellations with 1464 stars in 283 star constellations, but also some more. Together with Susanne, we will elaborate the possibilities of different versions and we offer them as stretch goals.

Early Bird  

We also want to offer early bird offers, so if you are interested in a newsletter with the exact time the campaign starts, feel free to subscribe here: 

Subscribe to Newsletter
Subscribe to Newsletter

Just a fun fact

Two months ago, there was the Perseid meteor shower. I wanted to take some long exposure photos with my new phone and I was so baffled by the quality of the pictures, especially the number of stars and the color they revealed, that I wanted to show you how easy it is to get some good photos of the night sky. All you need is a selfie stick with a tripod, a modern phone and 30s exposure time, to see the stars as you might have never seen them before. 

A photo taken with my phone (Huawei M10 Pro) + some postprocessing with Adobe Lightroom
A photo taken with my phone (Huawei M10 Pro) + some postprocessing with Adobe Lightroom

A Teaser for a Teaser and I Am the Releaser
12 months ago – Tue, Aug 28, 2018 at 09:40:30 PM

Also, Some Info´s About Shipping and a Few Q&A´S

At first, I want to thank you in the name of our employees, which are at the moment 3 plus my brother and me, for all the beautiful comments, nice emails and heartwarming words. This is the mana, that gives us the power to go on and continue working on our dream, our products, and our ideas...of cause it´s also the money and the freedom to be your own boss :D

To make these words even truer, I want to be the releaser for a teaser for a teaser. We will present you a taste of our next campaign in less than two weeks. This time, we will not only bring a brand new sphere into this Universe but also a card game. We hope it will bring you joy and happiness, will teach you, your friends and your kids some knowledge and it will be beautiful to look at. So stay tuned and don´t miss the next update!

Now let's come to some important Information.

  • First, NEVER LEAVE THE SPHERE IN DIRECT SUNLIGHT!!! The Sphere is a lens, so it will focus the sunlight and can burn things within seconds. We also have that part within our flyer, but I know how I would read that flyer, so please take care!

  • Some of you will receive two packages, so if you receive the first one and it is not complete, please wait until the end of September. If your package has not arrived until then, feel free to send us an email, so we can see what went wrong.

  • The tracking code starts to work when your package leaves our shipping facility. Even though it will be generated before, it only starts to work after.
  • If your Sphere is damaged/got some flaws, your LED is not working or you got another issue that you want to get fixed or replaced (a broken heart does not count), feel free to send us an email with a picture. But please note, that we will take care of it the end of September because we want to collect the issues and see how we can react on them, learn what are typical issues and what we can improve in the future. One small workaround: If your base seems to be broken, pull the middle button out, it is the cap for the power input, that can shut off the base when pushed inside.

Last but not least, we already sent out 2356/3146 packages, 790 to go.

Best regards,
Clemens, Christoph, Veronika, Bodo, Jonny

Shipping has started...
about 1 year ago – Sat, Aug 11, 2018 at 12:40:07 AM

Dear Backers, 

with some delay, we started to send the first packages on August 6th. Some of you living in Germany and Austria have already reported that the Pocket Milky Ways and some Milky Way in a Spheres have already arrived.

Packing the Pocket Milky Way
Packing the Pocket Milky Way

So the anticipation can begin, but before anyone wonders why their order has not yet arrived, let me briefly describe how we ship.  

We have started packing large groups so that we can quickly make many of you happy. The group "1x Pocket Milky Way" is the largest group with 305 packages, followed by the group "1x The Milky Way in a Sphere" with 252 packages. The more individual your order was, the later it will be packed. But don't worry, we're packing really fast and many of you should receive their shipping confirmation by email in the next few days.

The Milky Way in a Sphere is on its way.
The Milky Way in a Sphere is on its way.

I'm afraid I have some bad news for you. We were not able to produce all spheres on time. You supported our project in such a large number that we ran out of blanks and have to produce them again. About 500 of you will not be able to receive their package until the beginning of October. If it involves you, we'll be able to let you know in two weeks.

The Universe Around the World
The Universe Around the World

We have received really nice news from some who have already received their package, how enthusiastic they were when they held the Milky Way in a Sphere in their hands. If you feel the same way, please send us a picture of the sphere in front of a landmark in your town to We will then display these images on Instagram for everyone.  

The waiting will soon be over... in the meantime, you can read some information about tracking and see some more pictures from our storage.  

Kind regards...  
Christoph & Clemens (CinkS labs)   



Where is your package?

As soon as your package leaves us, you will receive an email with a link to your BackerKit account where you can see the tracking link and tracking number. In the picture, this would be the "LE105114594FR".

BackerKit - Tracking Page
BackerKit - Tracking Page

Unfortunately, the link does not go directly to your delivery, so it is best to copy the tracking number and enter it on Asendia's website.

You can then track exactly where your package is at the moment. Since we ship from Germany, it may take a while before it reaches the other side of the world. The delivery time can take up to 14 working days.

Pictures from the storage…

The Milky Way in a Sphere
The Milky Way in a Sphere
Packing carton
Packing carton
More organic packaging chips
More organic packaging chips
Organic packaging chips
Organic packaging chips

Finalize your shipping address!
about 1 year ago – Mon, Jul 23, 2018 at 09:37:36 PM

This is it! We’re finally getting ready to ship! 

We will lock down shipping addresses on Friday (27/07/18). That means you have this week to update your shipping address in your BackerKit survey.   

If you need to review your shipping address, you can return to your survey by clicking the link in your survey email or requesting your survey link under "Lost your survey?" on our BackerKit project page at   

If you haven’t answered your survey yet, you can still fill it out to get your rewards, but your shipment may be delayed. We’re currently aiming to ship rewards in August. 

If you need to change your shipping address, please make the changes in your BackerKit survey in the next five days. 

Thanks...Clemens & Christoph (CinkS labs)!

A Universe Without Borders
about 1 year ago – Thu, Jul 12, 2018 at 09:49:34 PM

And the Shipping of It...

The components for your packages are ordered or in production for quite a while now. We come closer to the point, where everything is ready for the packing and shipping. As mentioned earlier we decided to not pack the packages by ourselves, but together with the company that also ships our goods. We hope, that we can let the packing and shipping start at the latest on 15th August.

In short:

  • The Improved Version of Universe Sphere
  • The Timetable for Delivery of Our Components
  • Timelapse from Packing in Last Year at This Time
  • New Prototypes of Big Sphere in Production
  • Happy Birthday to My Brother

The Improved Version of Universe Sphere 

We want to introduce to you our improved version of the Universe Sphere. Together with our manufacturer we enhanced the production of the spheres, so we are now able to laser nearly borderless. We are very proud of the result but we also hope, that our previous backer will not be sad about it, because they might like the new one more than the old. If you want, you can pre-order a new sphere on Backerkit, but it will be sent after the shipping of the goods from this campaign.

The Timetable for Delivery of Our Components 

We listed the progress of the production and the estimated time of arrival at the fulfillment storage. 

ETA until July 22th:

- 750/922 Universe Spheres finished (improved version) 
- 3000/3000 Pocket Milky Ways finished (packing in progress) 
- 3000/3285 LED´s & cables (we have to take out the batteries from 285 LED Bases)
- Packing Material (corn chips instead of plastic, more stable shipping carton) 

ETA until Aug 15th:

- 850/2763 Milky Way Spheres finished (100/Day)  
- Shapeways production of 2847 bases (delayed) 
- Asendia starts to pack and ships your goods

As you see we got some minor delays, but a fortnight is not too bad in my opinion. We will write another update in August that shows you, how the shipping works in detail and when you can expect your goods, but let me say this, there won´t be a Big Bang like last year, but a continuous shipping as it gets packed. 

One problem we do have is that the blank spheres have a delivery time of several months and we had to guess the number of spheres we need before we knew the real numbers, now we only have 3000 blank spheres in stock but our backers ordered a total of 3685. We already ordered new blank spheres, but this could delay the last sendings.

Timelapse from Packing in Last Year at This Time 

For those who missed the initial campaign, here you can see a time lapse of the packing in last year at this time when I packed the first hundreds of packages together with my brother and our father. In total, we packed 4000 packages with just friends and family. One table full were 70 packages.

New Prototypes of Big Sphere in Production 

We will get our new prototypes of the big sphere in a couple of days, so the waiting for the start of our campaign for the big sphere has an ending soon. We are currently working on 3 new designs of the spheres so we are eager to start this campaign, so we can continue with our new models. 

Happy Birthday to My Brother

Today is my brothers birthday and he is currently on vacation, so I thought I can surprise him a little through this update. Happy birthday, Chris!

I wish you all a nice Weekend!
Bests, Clemens