Thursday, March 23, 2017

It's a slow burner, but it's coming together.

I've been getting comfortable at Artisans Asylum, been building up my space and working on my printer quite a bit.

From the Outside.
Messy just means that somethings getting done.
Been working continuously on a project for a while now. It's based around a publicly available data-set loaded onto an SD card.

Layout of circuitry.
Sizing the enclosure around the circuitry.
Modeling the enclosure for 3D printing

Exploded View (Color Coded)

Electronics testing

Making the electronics mounting plate.

Paint Prep.


Making custom ribbon cables for easy wiring inside the case.

Some more aluminum fabrication, attaching this to a HP-LED and a servo

All the electronics assembled.

I'm working on printing the case now and finalizing it for a final assembly. From there some debugging and I'll soon have a finished piece. So far: 47 hours invested.

I'll update once I get more done.


Monday, November 7, 2016

Processing, MakerFaire, and Studio Space. Oh my!


Been working on a few things, a few code projects included...

Just a small processing sketch that follows the action of half a sine wave. 

This one is the output of another processing sketch that outputs a structured binary pattern based off of a text file. Each element in the pattern is reflective of a bit and was structured to follow the layout of the original Louis Vuitton pattern, with the repeating LV and star elements broken by the flower emblem. This particular output was based off of the text, "More money than sense."

In the interim (IE a while ago..) I'd also gotten to visit the NYC Worlds MakerFaire! During the visit I got to see many wonderful things...


Tormach personal CNCs, The Wazer desktop waterjet that cause quite a stir recently, the Glowforge, A huge pellet fed delta 3D Printer, a few Cube's, and Genuine Original Prusa i3 MK2's, one of which had the 4 filament mod that was up and running.

Another fun thing...

TA-DA, 50 sqft. of  insomnia.
I've got studio space!
Over the past few months I've been a member at the wonderful Artisans Asylum in Somerville, MA. AA (A wonderful acronym, I know) is a member funded makerspace that has all sorts of wonderful tools available for use, and in addition had work-space available for rent. After a couple of months on the waitlist I was able to secure a small work area that I'll be able to store and use my tools at.
While I do have my printer now in the space, what it doesn't show is the cracked frame and rusted bearings. It got UPS'd. :(

Anyways, I've just recently gotten it set up to a working state and have been working on a piece....

It's primarily based around an Arduino and an Adafruit data-logging sheild. I wont go into too many details on it, but I'm very excited to work on it more.


Sunday, January 31, 2016



I'm finally to a point where I can start making stuff on a more regular basis.

Next up... Concrete casting and fiber optics fun.


Friday, May 22, 2015

+ / - , Actualization.

I've been thinking quite a lot recently about the term actualization and how it applies to making art with a 3D printer. It's based off of the root actualizing (v) - To make actual or real. 1

The term is interesting as it refers to taking that which is not real - Ideas - and making them real or actual, thereby meaning that in actualizing an idea it can become real but never actual and vice versa. It can be one or the other but never both.

In the world of 3D printers we deal with the process of making things real. Taking a .stl file and making it into an object, something you can hold in your hands, whereas before it had only existed as a digital file that was necessarily ideal.

However, in the process of printing - Actualizing - an object, an actual version of the object is not achieved. What instead is produced is an approximation of the model, reduced by the physical limitations of the machine used to actualize the model.

Constraints within 3D printing (layer heights, nozzle diameters, calibration imperfections, slicing, support materials, printing materials, ect...) all contribute to an imperfect translation from model file to real object. Take the example of a sphere, perfectly 40mm in diameter and hollow with 1mm walls. [ Model here if you'd like to try it yourself. ]


Cut to show wall width
I'll then slice it - a process that tells the machine what movements to perform as well as how to lay down material - with pretty standard settings for a FDM machine (I'm using a Prusa i3)- 
  • Material -  PLA
  • Layers - 0.3 mm
  • Nozzle - 0.4 mm
  • Infill - 100% rectilinear 
  • Speed - 30 mm/s
  • Support - None
  • Slicing - Slic3r
 Which I can then export to the machine print the object.

38 minutes later.

It's obvious that there are surface deformities present that compound upon the dimensional inaccuracies present from printing. The resulting object is an imperfect but real representation of the object.

Real objects can be achieved through additive manufacturing, but never perfectly actual versions of a 3D model. Actualization is a necessarily reductive process.

The using additive manufacturing is a reductive process.

Which to me, as an artist, is very interesting.

Taking a perfect idea, translating it into reality, and seeing what is lost in the process. I've started a series of pieces that I'll be showing here soon off of that idea.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Embedding things in 3D prints.

I was out to breakfast this morning when my mind wandered onto the bracelet on my wrist. This bracelet I had printed the beads for and then strung together with a spot of unprinted stretchy filament. It worked as a bracelet but in my mind failed as a potential display of both materials, so I fixed it today. I also wanted to try something new, so I did.

Embedding parts in a 3D print to include multiple materials.

Starting out, I designed 2 parts.

[Found here...]

Next, I printed off the first part in a flexible material.
(Ninjaflex, 0.3mm layers, 70% infill)

I then started printing the second part.
(PLA, 0.1mm layers, 100% infill)

Which I then paused printing when it was at 5mm Z height to then place the first part into.

I then resumed the print and let it finish.

So, what I ended up with were two parts that were then hybridized as a single thing, combining aspects of both the flexible plastic and the hard plastic.

Which ended up pretty cool.

In other news I modeled up a 1958 Shasta Airflyte, and then printed it as a planter, which turned out pretty cool. (Didn't take any photos of the finished product, oops)

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Just a quick update.

Been working with flexible filaments, playing with the infill percentage. The one on the left is 15% and the one on the right is 5% infill. It's quite a difference.

In other news, GIFs are fun.

- Mac

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Finishing Post-Printing

I've been trying out a few techniques for finishing out prints to a surface I'd like to touch, with some success. I decided to try out a smooth on product, XTC-3D, a resin that is supposed to smooth out layering in prints.

Before finishing -

Sanding out most of the large layers and wayward strands with 150grit - 

First coating of the resin - 

After that, I applies another application of resin and painted with spray-paint, sanded with 400 grit, and coated it with glossy spray enamel.

Final results - 

It's incredibly smooth.

10/10 would resin again.