Jacob Boyd, Austin Brown, Bryce Gamper and Nathan Mattson have accepted the challenge of Special Topics Digital Fabrication – a new class offed for the first time at Lawrence Technological University this 2010 fall semester .
1st Challenge: The Gizmo
The team must produce a digital design, a 3D plaster prototype, one digital iteration of the prototype, and a full-scale gizmo using CNC milling. The purpose of the gizmo challenge is to explore the “capabilities and limitations of the software and hardware used in digital fabrication.”
Leading the team in design Nathan created a unique three dimensional form using AutoCAD. Attention was directed to what digital fabrication tools the team has available to create the gizmo. The three dimensional printer was the first tool used for the prototype. The capabilities of the 3D printer are extensive compared to those of the 3-axis CNC machine. The 3D printer can manage curves that fold in on themselves whereas the CNC would require a flat surface to be present somewhere in the design. Taking this into account, the team designed their gizmo in parts. The form could have been printed in one solid mass but to allow for exploration of future designs and construction on the CNC they chose to print the design in three pieces, pictured. The two larger pieces are identical and have notches on the bottom to connect to the small piece that locks them together. The three pieces are pictured as separate entities as well as a connected whole.
The teams next steps are reevaluating their design and working on a process to create their gizmo in full-scale on the CNC.
Jake commented that they are further exploring the connections in their design. They want to find the best way to connect the two large pieces using the digital fabrication tools they have available.
By: Ellen Rotter