3D Printing

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above: is a 3D printed works from a Computational Design workshop

3-D Printing:

Digital fabrication techniques have taken a dominant role in today design and architecture world. Now a day, there are many types of techniques and methods for digital fabrication, such as subtractive processes, additive processes and forming processes. 3D Printing is an additive fabrication process used in producing 3-Dimensional shapes and models out of digital ones. The technique create objects and shapes out of nothing literally, it starts with empty space, filling it layer by layer using a soft or almost liquid-like substance, to end up with creating complex shapes. 3-D printing, counter to the other known manufacturing typical CNC-machines, it allow for less manual processes and give designer over-control of the whole production. apparently, as it sound, it work as the same of printing, but in a multi-dimensional level, using layers, until it build the whole solids. 3D Printing create objects from variety of materials, sometimes a mixture of these materials. Different techniques and technologies used to prepare the material to take the overall shape, some machines use melting, such as plastics, some others use glue and color to solidify a special powder, best advanced machines use laser for sintering the material to take the required shape.

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above: is a 3D printed works from a Computational Design workshop

What is it for:

in the last few years, the technology was widely applied in realizing design projects in design practice and architecture. Its used to build prototypes for undergoing and completed projects, or for the reason of testing mock-ups of under-investigation items. The 3-D  printing usually come together  with 3-D scanning and other reverse engineering techniques. , One of its best applications now a day is to create the unique forms, especially , these come with today unique Computational designs and scripted digital models, where its almost impossible to follow-up the dozens of varied parameters and unique elements in the surfaces and volumes generated.

The digital 3D model used to build the project usually go through a process of preparing before fabrication, in which the 3-D model is prepared with different techniques. First, its checked for geometry errors, where surfaces evaluated and in some cases rebuilded through a process of breaking and welding. Then when its ready, Its sliced into layers digitally, each layer is broken down into a list or a tree of of points or curves which define the machine tool path, these data are sent to the Printer in the format of G-Code( the language machine understand). and then, the machine produce the shape according to the precision required.  Some outputs or generated models require what called after-production processes, such like cleaning and waxing, but most of advanced machines create a clean and neat product which doesn’t require any extra work. The prototypes produced by 3D printers can be used directly as an end-user products, but in some other cases, it used as a forming tool where its boundaries used to mold the final product (mold or frame) or form the outer surface in forming processes.

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above: is a 3D printed works from a Computational Design workshop

Experiment

In the pictures below, you can see one example of complex 3D pattern, which is possible to build with typical fabrication techniques, intersection between the trusses in 3D space make it almost impossible without the 3D printer, and the make of the locked chain(in 3D as well) is another challenge, this  why i have chosen this one. Another task, is to build the simulation program, to drive the process of printing, that mainly depend on the process of slicing the model and apply the textures and materials information.

tyhtr  3D Printing_3D Patterns

above: an Experiment (under_construction)

References

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3D_printing

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