Joint Effort

Having completed their Gizmo sphere prototype in the 3-d printer Rushiraj Brahmbhatt, and Ali Alwayel met with professor Stevens to discuss the implications of the design for CNC fabrication on  makeLab’s ShopBot. The team sought to maximize the potential of CNC fabrication in refining their design for future class projects. As result of this discussion the team decided to focus on developing a typical  joint system that could be utilized to create a variety of shapes—including a sphere—by attaching straight or curved members together using their custom joints.

The team returned to the design phase. Using 3d Studio Max they developed two alternate star-shaped joint systems. To verify the geometry of the model and study the potential of the joints for CNC fabrication they once more output a VRML file to the lab’s Z Corporation Z510 printer for 3D printing of a rapid prototype.

At the printed prototype scale this new colorful joint system and the generic members that the team created have a toy-like appearance, reminiscent of old-fashioned Tinker Toys. There is certainly a similar ethos to the classic toy in the team’s project—that a standardized joint can allow for node connections of a multitude of parts in variety of ways to create all manner of  shapes and functions.

The next phase of the project, full scale CNC modulation, it may lose some of the joyful verve of the simple 3-d printed objects as the design is translated into “real” materials. This may be a boon to the project as it may help it to be seen in a more serious light. Conversely, there is also something delightful in the color and toyness of the team’s 3-d print, that if retained in their modulations and final project, could be quite interesting. We will have to see how it develops…

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