Monday, October 8, 2012

DSDN 104: Experimentation With Printing!

So, since I've made the executive decision to ditch the hexagonal model and roll with the Hepta-Knot, I decided to try and print out a larger scale version of it on the UP! printers we have here in the First Year Studio. These printers print in plastic as opposed to the resin and are much cheaper and correspondingly also a much lower quality/resolution.

That said though, they still very much suit my purpose and will give me a good idea of what 3-D printing is like. Far out the technology is fascinating. There is something just so stunningly cool about being able to create something on the computer and then have literally no input from there till the machine finishes it.

The plastic is actually surprisingly hard and strong, while still maintaining the support material in a much weaker state. It's pretty easy to see the ribbing on the model though, where the plastic has been layered up and up. It would be a good idea to sandpaper this model just to get the smooth finish I desire.

Another problem (that I chose not to photograph) was the fact that the printer actually broke the model. I presume the heat warped it out of shape, or the printer head knocked it, and one of the legs of the model didn't join up with its other piece. Ah well, it's only a practice model.

I also printed the Penta-Knot, just to see how that baby would turn out. This one is interestingly a lot more solid and structural than the 7-sided one, but that's mostly due to the cross beams in it that provide support.

Again this model also captures the illusion I really want to achieve rather well. I might want to sand this model to get a smoother finish.

Either of these models would have been viable options for the final model, but I like the Hepta-Knot more because it looks much cleaner and feels like it has significantly more rhythm and structure to it. The way that it flows, but with a strong edginess to it makes it feel quite powerful, and of course the illusions still comes across perfectly.

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