The first half of the current semester has been focused on experimenting with new technologies and exploring the unconventional oppurtunities they posses. The project was split into three subsections – Hybrid materiality, Scaffolding glitches and Parametric design – the aim being to explore their potential through ideation and experimentation.
Beginning with hybrid materiality I looked for a problem I could solve that also allowed me the opportunity to explore the topic. I decided to try and design something that would organise my laptop charger in my bag. Designing around the dimensions of an existing product posed a challenge.
I began by sketching initial ideas and how I hoped it would work and realised there would need to be two independent parts. I designed the parts in illustrator with the knowledge I would be cutting on the laser cutter. Knowing the thickness of the material I was using allowed me to create joints of the correct dimensions to house parts when it was eventually assembled. Holes for nuts and bolts were considered to make the assembly as easy as possible. The hybrid materiality aspect was explored through the use of an existing product and housing this in a new structure, as well as the merging of materials; nuts and bolts, ply and acrylic.
I enjoyed the creation of a three dimensional object using only a two dimensional software and the challenge that posed visualising the final product. I gained an understanding of how to merge materials and objects into one product succesfully.
Scaffolding glitches was the research into the support structure, infill and other tools a 3D printer uses to print a model correctly. Our research looked at exploring and exploiting these traits through experimentation.
Ideas for this mostly involved the failure to add support and how this could have an effect on the final print. I moved away from this and looked and celebrating the support, creating a set of floating steps and allowing the printer to insert support where it was required.
Through printing the part and making cuts in the support I realised the support had a hinge like quality and allowed the treads to move independently on a variety of different planes, Something to explore in future projects.
Parametric design is based on numeric value, altering dimensions in a way that will distort or change the size and shape of the object. To begin I looked at softwares that offered the ability to design parametrically, opting to try the design tables in Fusion 360 and OpenSCAD. I struggled at first with OpenSCAD but after watching tutorials began to create forms and shapes and was comfortable editing their parameters. Design tables in fusion was a little more restrictive, although I was more comfortable with the software I felt it was less capable of creating the kind of output OpenSCAD did. My Experiments in Fusion were the altering of sizes of a nut I had previously drawn. I played with angle and base size and ended up with an abnormal but aesthetically pleasing part.
I made a variety of different forms in OpenScad changing the parameters to alter its shape. Exploring parametric design gave me a means of creating original spontaneous forms that can be made either manually or based on data collected.
As a final step I wanted to create an object that merged different elements of the three design tasks. I opted to make a sculptural lamp/ form that was based on a shape I created parametrically.
The object used different processes to design and manufacture. For the design I used OpenSCAD to create the form. This form was then made in Fusion and split into 13 fins. The fins were then saved as dxfs in illustrator in preparation to be laser cut. A housing for the fins was required. I chose to create this in Fusion 360 with the size of the acrylic being considered then 3D printing one for the top and bottom to hold the fins. This part needed to revolve on a central acrylic pole to show an almost ghosted version of the form when spun on the acrylic axis.
After assembling, adding a base and an LED the form can now be appreciated when revolved, showing the parametric form in a pleasing ghost like style.
Reflecting on the assignment as a whole, I have developed a greater and deeper appreciation for new technologies and processes as well as traditional craft and assembly. I have a better understanding of what it takes to translate an initial digital design idea to a final three dimensional object. I have gained skills that I can apply to future work and add interest to the work I produce.