Tradition and innovation post 2

In the time since my last post I have made a few attempts at printing tests of designs using Reciprocal structures after the research I had done into them.  However when I went to print the models I found that the volume of support material required to print the model was ten times the amount of final model structure. This essentially meant the design wouldn’t be sustainable or economical to make. The reason for this problem was the overhang in each reciprocal structure which would

Spherical reciprocal structure test

Spherical reciprocal structure test

require support material.  I found through further research that the only way of not having support structure would be to use a powder based 3D printer however the strength of the object would suffer greatly, I decided from this that I would have to leave reciprocal structures and to focus on a previous idea of creating forms with complex patterns as I think this has more potential for creating 3D printable objects. However this experience has shown me some of the complications that can arise from making complex objects with modern manufacturing processes such as 3D printing, which I was previously unaware of.

When I went back to creating the patterns I found a problem with the scripts I was creating which would cause some parts of the pattern to break. After a while I found a way around this by replacing one sections of my script I could stop this from happening. This has made me think differently about creating the scripts and to look for alternative ways to avoid problems like this in the future. At first I had problems with the new designs requiring a lot of support material to create however after altering the thickness of my model and the density of the model I have found ways to cut the support material massively.  This should help me in the future when designing 3D printing.

I still, however need to do extra research into types of 3D printing as I feel that some of my designs may be better suited to other methods of this process and as a result I would be able to construct more interesting, complex designs, without the same amount of waste. I also want to look further into generative design and in particular evolutionary/growth generative design. For this I have arranged a meeting with Danny Richards, a researcher at MMU who’s work has looked at growth design within architecture. This should give me a greater insight in this field and hopefully give me a start on how to create my own objects in this way. Another source of research has been Nervous Design system, they also use growth simulation within their designs and they 3D print, so they have been a large source of inspiration

Hyphae pendant lampshade, Nervous system design

Hyphae pendant lampshade, Nervous system design

.  Between now and the end of this unit I need to print more tests of the pattern to see if I can wrap the pattern around the form more efficiently as well as change the density of the pattern. Once I have done this I can start deciding on the scale of the final design and depending on the scale decide whether this is going to be a two or one part design.  My practice is very digital and following the interim crit, the feedback indicated that  I need to develop a digital sketchbook that evidences my sequential thinking . This is quite a lot to do in the time I have left however I feel that it can be achieved and most of it is just based upon the tests that I will aim to do at the start of the next week.

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