Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Digital Fabrication

  1. #1
    Member Tekton's Avatar
    Type
    INTJ
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Posts
    94

    Digital Fabrication

    Anyone interested in/ studied/ using digital fabrication? I had access to a laser cutter and large format CNC mill in college, both 3-axis. Thus far we've failed to convince the boss that regular access to these tools is essential for the design business to excel. Boo.

    I'm looking around in my area and I'm not really sure where to go first to get hands-on access to a machine that isn't school or some other high-cost establishment.

    Enjoy some mat-sci, architecture, digifab pr0n!


  2. #2
    chaotic neutral shitpost
    Type
    xxxx
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    zone 10a
    Posts
    6,887
    what kind of design do you do?

    what are you interested in making?

    i don't know if i'll have the time to learn more in-depth but i have access to a laser cutter and i know my school has a 3d printer (haven't used it yet).

    i'm pretty interested as long as i have a suitable application and clear concept.
    the clouds in the sky caress my mind so tenderly

  3. #3
    Member Tekton's Avatar
    Type
    INTJ
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Posts
    94
    Quote Originally Posted by jigglypuff View Post
    what kind of design do you do?

    what are you interested in making?

    i don't know if i'll have the time to learn more in-depth but i have access to a laser cutter and i know my school has a 3d printer (haven't used it yet).

    i'm pretty interested as long as i have a suitable application and clear concept.
    I'm an architect. I'm interested in making small scale study models, human scale installations, and in experimenting with custom joinery which has the potential to be iterated across a large scale project. Laser cutters fucking rule. They're so simple but the fact of their precision makes sheet materials so much more versatile in their application and articulation. What have you used it for or what would you use it for? If you're at all interested you should use it as much as you possibly can even if you're not sure if it's the right application. You'll learn something about the project you're applying it to or even about how the tools themselves work.

    In college I was the TA for the laser lab and the digital fabrication course. I got to run the CNC mill any time I wanted. I only used it for academic purposes though, never just purely for fun, staying in the lab until sunrise just seeing what forms I could make. That would be irresponsible and a breach of the solemn trust I received as a TA... I'll see if I can dig up some photos of stuff I've made.

  4. #4
    Meae Musae Servus Hephaestus's Avatar
    Type
    INTP
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Ceti Alpha V
    Posts
    12,910
    INTPx Award Winner
    I would love to get my mitts on a mini mill and mini lathe. For a time I was seriously considering acquiring a faceter.

    Not neccessarily digital mind you, but stepper motors do help remediate lower skill or hand tremors.
    Last edited by Hephaestus; 05-09-2018 at 08:04 AM.
    You winsome, you loathsome.
    --Meditations on Uncertainty Vol ξ(x)

  5. #5
    chaotic neutral shitpost
    Type
    xxxx
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    zone 10a
    Posts
    6,887
    @Tekton
    i'm a graphic designer and right now i have some vague ideas for laser cutting for packaging and print projects. as a personal creative project i think it'd be cool to use it for toys/games, like board games. i currently have one idea for a board game going and i'd like to try laser cutting some of the components, like player pieces. the game design is a whole other beast though. with school it's really hard cuz of time and energy (as i'm sure you know) but the flipside of that is actually having access to these cool machines... + i always forget about this but i had this (terrible) job at an exhibit fabrication company where i had to make signage with a vinyl cutter all day long.

    i actually just got the hang of using the laser cutter a few months ago, and so far my uses were pretty basic. i've used it for simple packaging projects and small scale models (graphic design study for environments). more recently i laser cut dog tags for a human-sized exhibit/installation on the topic of soviet space dogs. (this was a small part of a much larger project that nearly killed me.) my concept involved having each tag representing a single dog flight, featuring information on each and hung at diff heights according to altitude, with an infographic poster i designed as the backdrop, indicating altitude + featuring portraits of the dogs. i didn't stray much from my initial concept due to time constraints, but i'm also really interested in seeing how to utilize this for installations. that gave me a lot of ideas on creating diff types of interactive objects and how they might work in environments. there's so much potential and i'd really love to experiment more.

    for architecture having access to this tech seems incredibly useful and i'm surprised your boss doesn't agree. (you should keep trying to convince him, haha)

    it'd be cool to see some of your projects!

    for me i have a feeling this experimentation will be ongoing and if/when i get photos i can share those too.
    Last edited by jigglypuff; 05-09-2018 at 05:56 AM.
    the clouds in the sky caress my mind so tenderly

  6. #6
    Member Tekton's Avatar
    Type
    INTJ
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Posts
    94
    What programs are you using? Making game pieces and anything that doesn't require assembly of different parts should be pretty easy to do and not very time consuming, once you get the hang of it. What size laser cutter do you have access to and what programs do you use? I'm assuming it's a basic 2-axis laser cutter like ours was. At school I was using Rhinoceros3D, AutoCAD and the proprietary software for the laser cutter to do my work in school. If you're interested in making 3 dimensional objects from pieces that you cut and then assemble, you should check out 123D Make from AutoDesk. It's super easy to use and takes any 3D model you have and lays it out for laser cutting at the push of a button, giving you options for assembly method. For the mill we got into more advanced 3D and parametric modeling and manufacturing software like Grasshopper and RhinoCAM (a plug-in for Rhinoceros3D).

    Some basic examples of stuff I've done below:



    Detail of a piece of insulation foam that I milled. This was part of a series I made that really explored the different affects produced by the CNC mill itself. I made a 3D surface in Rhino, and by changing parameters like drill bit, tool path (the literal 3D path the drill bit follows as given to it by the mill interface) orientation and interval, it's possible to produce significantly different design artifacts from the same generic surface model.



    This is a topography map that I made for my 5th year project. It's basically a matrix in 2 dimensions that follows the elevations of the landscape in the Z dimension. We used 123D Make to get drawings for notched pieces that we then laser cut from cardboard.



    Different surfaces that I milled for my classmates. The patterns on the surface aren't actually supposed to vary in depth. Our machine was screwed up and couldn't keep a constant Z-0 so the drill bit kept drilling further down than it should have lol. Happy accidents \_(ツ)_/



    A midterm model I made for the aforementioned 5th year project. Usually I'll just glue the pieces together and not notch them with the laser cutter. Also the really cool thing you can do with thin sheet materials like bristol board in a laser cutter is score it with a really low powered laser so you can then fold the piece perfectly along a crease.

    I MUST GET MY HANDS ON THESE MACHINES AGAIN.

  7. #7
    chaotic neutral shitpost
    Type
    xxxx
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    zone 10a
    Posts
    6,887
    @Tekton
    dang, those are really cool!

    i'm not making anything like that, haha. i've just used adobe illustrator -> coreldraw.

    the laser cutter is 2-axis (i'd have to check the size), and idk how to use any 3d programs or the 3d printer. it's likely at some point i'll have the chance to try that, but that seems to be going above and beyond the basic requirements for most graphic design projects. we'll see!

    cutting and scoring packaging dielines with the laser cutter sounds so efficient and easy, i'll have to try that. and for book projects. i have to see if i can work that in.
    the clouds in the sky caress my mind so tenderly

Similar Threads

  1. Digital Privacy
    By kitsune in forum Math, Science & Tech
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: 09-05-2017, 08:37 AM
  2. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 05-10-2014, 06:15 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •