Ali and Raj presented their first CNC fabricated GIZMO components to the class last week. The project solicited good feedback from both Professor Stevens and their fellow classmates.

Developing on the their previous digitally printed prototypes the team has created two distinct laminated joint components that can be friction fit to a series of linear and curved members. The two different joint nodes can be fit together as well, allowing  additional connector geometries that would not otherwise be available using just a single joint.  The CNC MDF prototypes presented were monochrome giving the objects a more business-like appearance then the digitally printed GIZMOs that preceded them. However, simplicity of the nodes’, “snow flake” geometry manages to preserve the appeal that the colorful objects had.

The team’s next step is to explore the variety of connection geometries that can be created from all of the different relationships the nodes are capable of. The team will conduct the explorations using digital modeling tools, 3d Studio Max and Rhinoceros 4.0. Once they thoroughly understand and catalog  the variety of connection possibilities offered by the nodes they can begin to incorporate them into a design for their final class project, a full-scale installation on the Lawrence Technological University campus.

Combining form, function and digital fabrication, the installation project offers an opportunity to use all of the knowledge and tools developed in the course at a scale and in an environment that will showcase student work to the university community at large. This opportunity to make an intervention on campus gives all teams exposure to real-world feedback on the objective and subjective qualities of their installations.  I believe this is a critical and enjoyable step in a designer’s education. It is in the realm of the tangible that we begin to understand, even discover, the implications of our design decisions and experience the delight of seeing  others interact with our work.  

By Jason M. Colón

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