Week 7


Design a 3D mold, machine it, and cast parts from it

vocoder: originally developed in 1930's, vocoder is a category of speech processing that analyzes and synthesizes the human voice signal for audio data compression, voice encription, etc. in order to reduce bandwidth
eutectic system: a misture of fixed-proportion substances that melts and solidifies at a single temperature that is lower than the melting points of the separate constituents
photolithography: a process used in microfabrication to pattern parts of a thin film by transfering a geometric pattern from a photomask to a light-sensitive chemical on the substrate
John Frazer: an architect and researcher with who, in his notable work – An Evolutionary Architecture, emphasized the need for manual creation as a learning method for understanding computers
cymatics: from the Greek word "wave" is a term coined by Hans Jenny (1904-1972) to classify a study of modal vibrational phenomena
eigenvector: a linear transformation that does not change direction when a separate transformation is applied to it
Lissajous curve: describes harmonic motion is a part of a series of curves investigated by Nathaniel Bowditch in 1815, and by Jules Antoine Lissajous in 1857

Positive to Positive Mold to Negative Mold to Positive to...

Having had cast a relief sculpture previously, I thought myself an expert. Alas the hubris was in error, in fact I think it would have been wiser to espouse the Socratic paradox ("I know one thing: that I know nothing").
Yet for a willful person, there is no going back - I set to make a light fixture - a hollow shape to house a light scocket with a crevice for the wire. Working in Rhino, I first designed the positive then with consult from the gurus I worked on making a positive three piece mold.
The process was a laborious one. Yet by Sunday morning I thought I had it down flat. It was time to mill. While my shape was relatively small it was still larger than any of the readily available end mills. So on Tuesday morning I negotiated to borrow a longer bit from the Harvard Design School.

Shortly after the process was done I realized I made a few errors in my mold, which either the original design or the milling instructions could have compensated for. I resolved the errors retroactively using tape, an exacto knife, and a sprinkling of Hydrostone.
It was then time for OOMOO. After having had vacuumed the substance a few times the mixture was still foamy (most likely due to my poor mixing/pouring skills or the compromised A/B parts) – a texture my final piece inherited.

All's well that ends well though - after a semi-disasterous process of "free-ing" my OOMOO negative mold from its positive master and modifying the negative mold with clay and a blade, I was ready to pour.

While with its own set of flaws, I was quite happy with the fruits of my labor.