Plaster prints, structural solutions and CNC-milling, by Kotryna Valečkaitė
This week we focused on production techniques, yet not all of them proved to be possible to produce. In the background we also finished up processing all of the CT scans, of which an overview article will follow next week.
To begin with, we made multiple 3D prints: plaster prints of all of the loose pieces and a tryout of structural solutions in Ultimaker2. The first one we decided to translate into a game during the science fair, while the second one was primarily made for the mid-project presentation. Moreover, we made a form with a CNC milling machine which was later used for vacuum forming. This proved to be the cheapest, easiest and the most user friendly object so far.
Plaster print Structural solution CNC milling and vacuum forming
Secondly, we discarded paper printing as a possibility due to two main reasons:
Our files were too large to be opened in multiple programs with which we could have given the surfaces color;
The delivery times were too long
This led us to choosing another form which would work the best in the Connex printer. Yet that would lead to rather large expenses, exceeding 100 euros per object. What is more, using soft materials would mean that we strive more for a visual than a functional prototype, since the objects could not withstand warm drinks or even a dishwasher. However, some of this could also be achieved by simply printing the different materials apart in the Ultimaker2. Simply put, we are still struggling to determine what fidelity level we are looking for and what each prototype can achieve. Moreover, instead of having a single idea to work out we actually multiple interpretations of the same object:
Cheap, everyday object (vacuum form)
Object focusing on the aesthetics of historical footprint/3D printing (Connex prints/plastic injection molding)
A game, interactive cup (plaster print of shards)
In other words, it means that the objects form their own trajectories and cannot be easily compared with each other.
To conclude, we now have to focus on what precisely we want to achieve in these trajectories and how to do it using rapid prototyping techniques. That is not what we planned during the first week, but that will lead to more evenly divided workflow and, hopefully, more interesting results.