Positives into negatives

From: michael rees (zedand00@sound.net)
Date: Fri Jun 06 1997 - 11:38:18 EEST

I have always viewed the pattern of stair stepping to be one of the
wonderful aesthetic features of this technology. It adds texture to the
models in a product environment where typically smooth is the pardigm. I
found these textures so wonderfull that I sought out ways to increase
their presence. I've done so through various means. The most recent work
that I exhibited in New York had finger print texture applied to its
surface much in the same way that one would apply a bitmapped texture
map in a rendering enviornment.

This may burst a few bubles about artists as crafts people. I am
interested in using the model straight from the vat. The less hand work
done the better.{Didn't I do enough work in the cad model?} As well some
of the most beautiful models have been ones where the supports were
still attached. Its difficult to get bureaus to send a model out in this
state. Rp is a what-you-see-is-what-you-get process. Firstly this will
change, precision will increase (think of the old bit map fonts jaggies
and all- the current resolution of rp models is much better than that)
Secondly this stuff is cool as it is--totally wonderful stuff!!!!

Recently I viewed the z corp machine and its models. For me, those
models would demand significant finish work to be exhibited as a work of
art. And they would have to be dipped in epoxy (instead of wax) or burnt
out and recast. This also has its advantages (hey 8 inches in 8 hours =
a lot of parts in a year's time). as well if you create models that are
larger and in sections for later reassembly, this problem may easily be
resolved (for art). Enter scale. Everything at some level or size has
roughness to it. Its the fit and proportion that are important.

Because engineers are charged with the responsibility of determining
appropriate windows of tolerances with people's lives at stake, there is
not much room for stair stepping. This discussion may fit more suitabley
into the consumer product category-toys, walkman's, modems, computer
cases etc.,.

This is an area where art and engineering may part company. Even saying
"turning negatives into positives" is incredulous to me. I've felt for a
long time that its the other way around. The stair stepping is a
positive which if incorporated in the design process could have
wonderful effect. ie. grips on a tape measure case, wonderful moire's on
the perfume bottle, great armour on the batman toy, landscapes and
topologies on the edges and tops of the computer... Early in my
awareness of rp I would state that the stair stepping was a new paradigm
in the look and feel of products (oh reckless youth!). Until I went to
work for a few months at an industrial design company and found out just
how relentless and demanding customers are. (Time compressors- you are a
brave lot and your task is thankless) They don't want to hear it--stair
stepping is coarse and the models must be finished to baby butt
perfection. What would be more perfect than a dish washing soap bottle
with attendent stairstepping? Why are they smooth anyway? Come on, admit
it, with soapy hands, you've dropped a few bottles.

Conversely, every "lay" person to whom I have shown various models have
all been fascinated, awed even, by this texture and the visual moiree
that it creates. Especially, people respond to LOM. It has an organic
feel and a warmth to it, its woody. Once, A client wanted to build an
entire edition of chess sets from the lom models(250 of them), until he
found out what it cost. The sla resin is less warm but people are
equally drawn to its transparency and its weird amber color. In my
opinion, all of the rp technologies have fascinating distinct
characteristics which can be exploited in the design process.

How quickly we grow used to the miracles in our lives. I, for one, am
smelling the coffee.


michael rees
4501 belleview
kansas city mo 64111

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Tue Jun 05 2001 - 22:39:42 EEST