Thursday, April 25, 2013

INDN 252: Once More Unto The Breach: Starting The Ring Project

For this project, we're looking at the concept of highly personalised design, made to be perfect for a specific person. In this case, the person is me. We did alginate impressions of our fingers, which we then cast in plaster. This resulted in a plaster version of our left ring fingers, which frankly was just a little bit creepy when we got them all back and had our fingers laying around on the tables.

One of the main reasons for this was to get a chance to get accurate scans of our fingers. At the first mention of scans and fingers, my first thoughts were of fancy red-laser-style 3d scanners that would map all the intricacies of my finger in seconds, giving me a full STL of my finger. Now wouldn't that be shiny.

But no, we did our scans the old-fashioned way. Taking our plaster fingers to the workshop, we chopped them into little sections, and then we placed them onto a photocopier, and scanned them in two dimensions.

On the left is the scan of the five different segments I cut of my finger. All the sections of the finger are facing with the bottom of my finger to the right, and the bottom scan is at the base of my finger, while the top one is just above the first knuckle.

Once I had the finger sections done, I needed to refine the edge to make it something Solidworks would actually recognise as a workable line and not something strange and covered in white dust points. So, taking it into Illustrator, I then traced around the lines, smoothing out the edgy lines into something usable.

I think the shapes themselves are actually really interesting, and a little bit gruesome. They take something everyday and make it quite strange, which is the case with some objects. The finger sliced into individual 2-D segments just seems strange. And the fact that it's from the top down makes it equally strange, as you can't photograph that, unlike if it were taken from the side or front of the finger.

One of the things that I thought looked rather cool was actually placing the finger scans over the top of one another, as it creates a sense of 3 dimensions, and encourages the mind to see how the finger was cut up.

So for this project, we have to create a set of 3 rings. One ring that fits us tightly, and one that is a large fit. Then the last ring is a best fit ring, one which we'll then get sent away to Shapeways to be made in a nice material. I'm thinking sterling silver, or maybe stainless steel. If I can afford it!

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