10/2017 - 01/2018
For this course, the learning objective consisted of materializing mathematics in a generative manner. I created an application allowing users to create pendants using customizable variables. The pendant consists of segments divided in two basic shapes, which can be chosen by the user. The additional variables control length and width of these segments. The resulting model can be exported and 3D printed. The resulting model is rather small and should be detailed. Using regular Fused Deposition Modeling 3D printing did not suffice for the required level of detail. Instead, Digital Light Processing, a more precise 3D printing method, was used to materialize these models.
My main motivation for choosing this course was to gain experience in creating tools for personalization and customization, specifically for three‐dimensional objects. I have applied rapid prototyping in several projects already and believe that this personalization is one of its most valuable qualities, one which designers can apply in many different scenarios. Although this example in a jewelry context is in contradiction with the functionality I generally intend to apply in my design, I believe that the potential of such generative applications goes beyond aesthetics. One example I thought of is scanning maps and generating 3D models in order to print physical models for people with visual disabilities, with the potential of adding personalized icons or other tactile information.
The addition of this third dimension in programming introduced challenges in creating a valid model for 3D printing. The current tool is based on combinations and variations of basic equations. Although combining these into 3D shapes was challenging and the results could be considered aesthetically pleasing, the level of depth in mathematics is where I would have wanted to improve more. I can clearly see many improvements in my programming and applied mathematics skills, but the physical element of this course has been insightful as well. I have used FDM 3D printing quite extensively for many different applications, but creating small detailed objects was never one of them. The expected yet disappointing results made me consider alternatives, each with their individual advantages and drawbacks, eventually resulting in the application of Digital Light Processing (DLP). Although using DLP seems to fit the concept, I did not manage to experiment with all possible methods. Extending my knowledge and mainly experience with alternatives is a subject that has definitely attracted my interest and will be carefully considered in my future work.