Week 3: 3D Printing & Scanning

This weeks project is to 3D print and 3D scan something. I've decided to begin designing the sculpture I'd like to make for my final project. There are a few things I need to achieve. First, I need a structure that will have complex optical properties. Second, the sculpture needs to be Aesthetically beautiful in its own right. Third, The structure must be one that can be fabricated in a way that that lends itself to optical quality material such as glass or acrylic.

I worked with Rhino+Grasshopper to design a mitsu tomoe triple helix. The symbol of the mitsu tomoe carries much of the same meaning in Japanese culture as other triadic representations in the western world. As such, the third tomoe often represents the divine. By taking such symbol and projecting it into a helix I like to think I've created an association with DNA that suggests a tertiary carrier of information beyond the physical. Having this structure exude light will hopefully reinforce that association.

I added a baseplate to the design so that each helix is connected. I then closed the surface to create a file that could be 3D printed. Unfortunately the 3D printer was switched over to a opaque substrate so the resulting object is not all that impressive. I would like to try again with something transparent. In the mean time I should experiments with different solvents and varnishes in order to create a optical finish.

Next I tried 3D scanning my face. It seemed to work fine but in general all these 3D scanning methods available to us have pretty terrible resolution.

Idea for optical 3D printing from the micro-macro scale.