Fabricating Ideas NCECA 2010 Install Video

Chad has created a superb time-lapse video of the installation of the Fabricating Ideas exhibition. Check it out:


Installing Fabricating Ideas 2010, Crane Arts Building, Philadelphia, PA

Fabricating Ideas
March 3 – April 4, 2010
Crane Arts Building
The Gray Area
1400 N. American Street
Philadelphia, PA

Pepakura Designer

The paper model

The paper model

I’m working on a demo for my moldmaking class and I thought I’d post a couple images here. I’m playing around with an application called Pepakura designer – it’s an “unfolding” kind of origami design application. It’s Shareware so you can download a fully functional (except for the saving) trial for free, and then buy a password for only $38.

Rhino screenshot with form to be unfloded

Rhino screenshot with form to be unfloded

Same form in Pepakura

Same form in Pepakura

It handles OBJ files very well. I made the form for this object in “realflow” (a fluid modelling for cgi application I’ve been playing with) and then brought that into Rhino to reduce the number of surface polygons. I exported an OBJ from Rhino, imported this into Pepakura, printed it out on my epson desktop printer, cut it out w/ an X-acto knife and folded it up.

One really interesting thing about Pepakura (as opposed to some other unfolding apps I’ve used like TouchCAD or Lamina) is it will still unfold the OBJ even if there are naked edges or internal geometry. I think this is going to be a really nice teaching tool for teaching 3d CAD craft because when you actually print the unfolded template out onto paper and then physically fold it up you really understand what it means to have a “naked edge” or “shared faces”! The other thing I really like about unfolding is it’s a relatively easy way to get a physical form out of a CAD application without CNC technology (although it also translates to a variety of CNC tools – laser cutter, water jet cutter, plasma cutter – really easily.

Same idea but bigger

Same idea but bigger

Penn State Digital Fab Stuff from Del

Work in Progress

Hello All – I’d meant to post sooner – to introduce myself and some of the tools and projects I’ve been working with that might be pertinent for this forum.  I’m very excited to be a part f this group ad looking forward to the discussion!  I’m teaching at Penn State University and in addition to the weekly football infusion I’ve found a lot of perks in being at a big state school.  We have a few digital fab tools in the school of visual art and a whole lot of toys throughout all of the departments in the university.  In the school of visual art we’ve got

1.a smallish 3axis cnc mill,

2. a “Stratus” printer (this machine sort of coil builds up plastic – like hot glue out of a little nozzle)

3. and a Vinyl Cutter

I’ve been collaborating with a colleague in the Architecture program – David Celento – who runs their digital fabrication area.  They’ve got a lot of toys over in Architecture and Dave is doing a great job building up their tool kit.  I’ll talk more in a separate post about the things David and I have been working on together. Briefly, we’re working on a project that’s loosely organized around the idea of ceramic building cladding systems employing digital fabrication, digital scanning, and digital modelling software in their generation.  The tools they’ve got in architecture are:

1. A big CNC mill (about an 8′ by 4′ by 1′ working area)

2. A Z corp printer (an additive plaster process).  I’m really interested in the stuff that John Ballistreri is working on at Bowling Green with this type of machine.

3. A 2 axis laser cutter (I’m not sure what the working size is for this machine)

Another project that I’m working on right now is a class for next fall that I’ll be team teaching with a colleague in sculpture and another colleague in Industrial Engineering.  Bonnie Collura (assistant professor of sculpture) and I having been putting this class together – we’re interested in creating a class that allows for students to move between digital and analog fabrication techniques in ways that serve their project ideas.  Our thesis statement for the class has to do with: helping students become intelligent makers by becoming sensitive to the  “stylistic” and formal predelictions embedded in both software and CNC tools. We’re hoping that this class will function in different ways for different types of students: to give art students a working vocabulary for thinking about available CNC processes, and for engineering students to present them with fabrication and software challenges in the form of artist projects.  The digital fabrication lab in engineering is really amazing – more tools than I can remember right now – but one of the first things we’re going to give the students in this class is an inventory of these tools explained in terms of types of material they can work with, dimensional limitations, and advantages and disadvantages for resolution, fabrication speed, scale, etc.   I’ll share that inventory here when we get it together.

OK, more soon . . .

Del

Professor Neil Forrest

NSCAD University
an overview of departments using digital modeling

ZCorp Zprinter 310
Rhino software, JewelCAD
Vacuform & various plastics forming equipment
RAM press

new Blaauw gas & electric kilns

new Blaauw gas & electric kilns

NSCAD University has recently acquired the ZCorp 310 printer that sits in a new Plastics Lab, and will be shared by all departments. For the Ceramics Department, a particular interest is integrating rapid prototyping into our ceramic ‘Process & Design’ course, which relates mold/production techniques to ‘boutique design’. Further, we wish to connect rapid prototyping to the making of models for our 60-ton RAM press. Current experiments include 2-part starch and ABS molds for the making of silicone and urethane rubber models, which are then used to cast ‘male’ parts in RAM die molds. We are beginning to experiment with various output media, hard to flexible.

Given the close relationship of NSCAD’s Ceramics Department to the Dalhousie University School of Architecture in Halifax, the first architectural object underway is small connector unit to construct interior screens and scrims. NSCAD Ceramics is cultivating relationships with several research-oriented architects to exploit ceramics properties in scenarios for sustainable design. I am a consultant on Philip Beesley’s SSHRC (Social Sciences and Research Council, Canada) grant entitled ‘Responsive Architectures’, which investigates a sculptural vision of architectural surfaces composed of interlocking matrixes of various natures (conducted through the Architecture program at the University of Waterloo, Ontario). See http://www.philipbeesleyarchitect.com/

NSCAD Jewellery Department has been the college pioneer in 3D visualization software with the use of JewelCAD and Rhino as part of coursework. Rapid prototyping and lost wax casting is used to produce CAD creations, with some outside CNC milling. Until the arrival of our ZCorp printer, Jewellery students have shipped files to private companies that print jewelry prototypes for them. The achievement of fine detail remains a question for jewelers and specific RP equipment.

In our Product Design Department, a recent addition to NSCAD’s Design Division, faculty member Glen Hougan has begun experimenting with ZCorp prints in thematic work on health and aging issues. First prints were non-working models of asthma atomizers.

In a separate federally funded research initiative, NSCAD colleague Robin Muller has acquired a Dimension Printer (outputting ABS plastic), for exclusive use on a ‘Smart Textiles’ initiative. Electronic fabric is interwoven with lights, sensors and actuators to be responsive to sound, movement, sunlight and touch. These prototypes are developments in curtains, free standing walls, theatrical backdrops, and hung ceilings for tensile roofs.

NSCAD University has committed to supporting faculty in research partnerships outside the institution (see http://www.nscad.ns.ca/research/research_centres.php). This is a innovative direction for a ‘stand alone’ art school, which we hope will create unique opportunities for faculty and students, which may allow for new kinds of research or project-based MFA studies in the future.