Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Serge Ruffato: NOSE

Nose was my first computer generated steel sculpture. Here is a brief description of my work-flow.

First I looked through the object bank in Gulfstream to find a face with an appealing nose. I Imported it into Maya, cropped it down to the section I was interested in. Then I altered the mesh to reduce the amount of faces and get rid of the steep angles. Here is a quick rendering.

I enjoyed the mesh style because it balanced the inside and the outside parts of the structure, giving an 'in the round' quality instead of having all the attention on the front side. From this point, thanks to P. Scott's help, I used Pepakura to unfold my model into an origami lay out. Then prepared the file for laser cutting using Illustrator and Rhino. I used cardboard as my material because of it's sturdiness and low cost. Once the laser cutting done, I used each cardboard flaps as templates to duplicate the faces in steel.

Precision and labeling were the key to success. There were approximately 140 faces to reproduce in steel, so I had to make sure I kept track of each ones positioning. Once I had all my faces done, I assembled the cardboard version of the nose.

Assembling the nose in cardboard first was essential to get all the angles right before I started the steel, because as you might have noticed steel isn't flexible.. Now all I had to do was tape each steel part to it's matching cardboard face and weld all of them together.

Work in Progress. The modular aspect of the structure was important for transportation purposes. I used bolt connections along the inside, which I can remove once I find a permanent location for it. Now begins the long labor of filling in the gaps with the remaining parts.

The finished piece at it's temporary location, Boundary Hall. It is evenly balanced, which enables it to stand on it's own. Nevertheless I'm working on a base design to elevate it from the ground and bring it up to eye level. Here is an image of the inside view

And one for the scale! I enjoy the dancing contrast between the tac welds on the inside and those on the outside. Now I need to figure out what to do with a 5 foot steel nose. Anybody interested ha. Thanks again P. Scott, amazing project that taught me a bunch both on digital and direct metal sculpture.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Serge Ruffato: Mecha-Tower

Mecha-Tower started as a milling project for the Digital Fabrication class and ended as a finished bronze piece. Here is the process I went through to bring it from 3D modeling on the computer to the bronze casting process.

First I modeled it in Rihno, carefully making two separate faces knowing that they would be milled using a CNC bed mill (X-Y axis). Both parts were then sanded down and assembled to make one 3 dimensional piece as opposed to two reliefs. You guys might remember this rendering I posted a while back.

Although the scale is a little ambitious in this rendering, I always had in mind to make it either in a ferrous metal or in bronze. The next step was making a mold of my 3 dimensional piece and silicon (Rebound 25) seemed to be my best option because of the porous quality of the yellow foam I used for the milling. Adding an extra release agent won't hurt and will prevent the silicon from staying stuck in the deeper recesses. Here are images of the yellow foam, silicon mold and mother mold.

As you can see the mother mold was in two parts enabling its removal from the silicon mold which itself was split along the sides to be removed from the molded piece. I also added extra 'flaps' to the silicon mold to prevent the casting material from leaking along the sides. Next step was getting a wax version of the piece to get it ready for the bronze casting. Here are some images of the cast wax.

Keep in mind that this piece is hollow, which is a huge economy of material (bronze) and weight. To achieve a hollow cast I used a sloshing technique which involves filling up the mold with wax, waiting for it to cool down a little and poring the wax back out; leaving only a thin layer on the inside of the mold. This process is repeated until the desired width is attained. Then I needed to get my gates and sprues on, which enable the metal to flow fluidly and the gasses to escape easily during the bronze poor. Here are some images

Now the ceramic shell needs to be applied on the piece which will act as a waste mold for the bronze. The cup at the bottom is where the molten metal will be pored, once the wax is melted out (upside down).

Approximately 14 coats were applied to achieve a solid, but not too heavy ceramic shell. The rest of the process took place at the bronze poring facility at SCAD Atlanta. The wax is melted out of the shell in an oven, then the molten metal is pored into the shell and the shell is removed. Here is a quick view of what the piece looks like when most of the shell is removed.

From this point I sand blasted it, cut off the gates and sprues, cleaned up the surface and applied a patina. Here is the final product.

Mecha-Tower is an omen to mechanical times as opposed to the digital revolution that is happening today. Gears, bolts, screws and other mechanical elements inspire me not only by their beauty, but also by their functionality. My whole life I have been around mechanical machinery in my father's studio and I realize that I was interested in their aesthetic composition as an art piece more than their functionality. Furthermore, I enjoy the format of a tower, it puts emphasis on the subject and gives it a monumental aspect. Towers seem to serve as a statement or declaration most of the time. A mechanical tower or Mecha-tower is my way of saying here this is my medium and my world of inspiration. There is an interesting paradox between the concept and the means of creation in this piece. (More information at

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Ricki Dwyer: Peach Pit

Using the same scan I printed this model on the FDM 3d printer as a maquette for a larger sculpture. The smaller peach pit implies the scale of a human being in comparison to the sculpture, if this piece were to be completed.

These are the laser cut pieces compiled into the form. A cardboard peach pit approximately 14 inches tall.

After scanning in a peach pit, using a 3D scanner, I created a model on Rhino serially sliced it into horizontal planes that I can then cut on the laser cutter.

Ricki Dwyer: Practice laser cutting

From my cut pieces multiple forms could be created, this form was the one I like the most.

As a practice I created a notching project with two different forms. Cut from wood on the laser cutter, this was the Illustrator file used.

Ricki Dwyer: Final Laser Cut Project

This image captures the detail of the patterning I created from the rubbing process.
This paper was coated thickly with wheat paste to hold the form of crinkled fabric.

This is the final piece created from the forms I cut on the laser cutter. Using a graphite stick on sign writers bond paper I was able to make a repeat pattern of rubbings taken from my wooden relief.

This is the form I made with my finished laser cut pieces. Adjoining them so the wood grain was contrasting helped create a more defined pattern.

This is the Illustrator file I used to laser cut wooden shapes, to create a pattern to use as a rubbing.

Ricki Dwyer: Plastic Quilt

With my CNC milling project, I vacuum formed my relief with painters tarp. This material is more or less industrial strength trash bags, very pliable before and after the vacuum forming process. I had to cut my relief down into quarters, and ended up only using one of the quarters I had milled, due to aesthetic choices. I vacuum formed thirty squares and ironed the white binding on to adhere the plastics together. This quilt is the standard size of a twin bed.

Ricki Dwyer: CNC Quilt Block

Using the CNC milling machine, I created this relief based on a traditional colonial quilt pattern out of yellow foam.

Monday, March 14, 2011

margot mason: final explorations

cast in plastic, on wood panel painted black
cast in glass, on wood panel covered with canvas. I stitched certain areas to create the folds, and lightly spray painted over the canvas to capture the texture & create a sort of gritty look. I would like to make a glass frame for this piece...

the queen done in serial stacking, about 4 feet tall. I plan to cover the cardboard with plaster & cheesecloth and paint it black.

Mason Eisenberg: Cnc

Using the blend tool in illustrator, a circle and ellipse were blended together, then rotated from one a central point on the x axis and lofted all together to create one symmetrial movement.

Mason Eisenberg: fdm

Mason Eisenberg: laser cut

Negative Volume

This project was made after generating a Cellular Voronoi on a sphere using a point cloud. The curves created in doing this were used to crack and snap the ball in random places, forming a semi solid sculpture made up of Negative spaces around the O.G Voronoi pattern.

Mason Eisenberg: Laser Exploration

Urban Rain Catcher

The concept behind this is water filtration. Something that can be placed in a dense urban environment and both catch and filter water throughout itself. It would serve as both a sculptural and functional rain catcher.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Lily Winder: CNC beginning process

(Top) Vacuum form of model (kraft foam)
Original Foam textural model

mother-mold! rebound 25 with a plaster support armature.
my first time casting anything, success?

Nicole wallace - FDM Project

For my FDM piece I wanted a molecular structure to stand alone in some form of an architectural courtyard. To show a balance between science and nature, this can be seen from my materials that are wood and various types of metal, which are all natural elements. By placing the structure in an architectural courtyard, the overly developed environment contrasts with the simplicity of the natural molecular structure.

Lily Winder: Bull on the highline

A keyshot rendering of my bull perched atop the Highline Park in Manhattan. I liked the brick skin on this one, as it emulates the natural materials that make up the Highline. This would be awesome if it were real, since as far as I know, there are no sculptures up there. I kept the original scanned texture, since I think it roughed it up nicely, the webbing would have been a little too much for this environment.

Lily Winder: preliminary rendering ideas CNC

Here was one of my first keyshot renderings of my cnc texture block.
Copper material.

Lily Winder: Waffle Structure

My waffle structure, I created an ovoid volumetric letter "L" on rhino, and applied the grasshopper waffle script to get this shape. Not the greatest picture, but I still like it, laser cut out of cardboard.