PLA Perdue Part Two

Yesterday I posted about my experiments with “lost PLA” casting to make a cast glass object from a 3D printed digital design.

Today the oven cooled and I was able to remove them from the plaster silica molds. I’m quite pleased with the results. They could use some cold working to grind and polish them, but it’s an excellent proof of concept for this as an efficient and speedy workflow to quickly move from digital designs to physical object in any castable material including glass and metal.

Some shots of disinvestment and the final objects. The castings were very clean!

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R&D: Developing a Workflow for taking Digital 3D Designs to Glass Objects

Greetings from beautiful Millville NJ! I’m down here for a few days at Wheaton Arts’ Creative Glass Center of America, where I had an artist in residency way back in 1992. My friends Jim Harmon and Hank Adams invited me down to prototype a workflow for taking digital 3D designs to glass objects. Take a look and see what I’ve been up to!

The TC Wheaton Glass Building at Wheaton Arts

The TC Wheaton Glass Building at Wheaton Arts

The Studio is a recreation of an 1880's Glass facotory and hosts world acclaimed artists coming to realize their work in glass.

The Studio is a recreation of an 1880′s Glass facotory and hosts world acclaimed artists coming to realize their work in glass.

I chose this Duchamp Chess Set Pawn (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:305639) as a simple form to test how PLA prints will fare burning out of plaster molds.

I chose this Duchamp Chess Set Pawn (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:305639) as a simple form to test how PLA prints will fare burning out of plaster molds. I wanted to have something with a wide bottom so we could easily inspect the interior of our mold. I am curious to see how much residue PLA 3D prints will leave behind when burned out of a plaster mold.

I used some wax to seal any  holes in the PLA Print, and then used a cardboard box to prep a form for casting plaster around the object. Note that I used some clay to fashion a resevoir/base for the 3D print.

I used some wax to seal any holes in the Print, and then used a cardboard box to prep a form for casting plaster around the object. Note that I used some clay to fashion a reservoir/base for the 3D print.

I mixed a 50/50 mixture of pottery plaster and sIlica as the mold will need to be fired to 1500 degrees Fahrenheit.

I mixed a 50/50 mixture of pottery plaster and sIlica- this is a standard formula for glass casting as the mold will need to be fired to 1500 degrees Fahrenheit.

I gave the form a wet splash coat of plaster first.

I gave the form a wet splash coat of plaster first.

I was nervous about the piece floating off the bottom so the splash coat was there to anchor it, then as the plaster becan to set I added more in on top.

I was nervous about the piece floating off the bottom of the box, so the splash coat was there to anchor it and capture the surface. As the plaster began to set I added more in on top.

Later Jim and I removed the castings from the cardboard and dug out the clay resevoir.

After the plaster set, Jim and I removed the castings from the cardboard and dug out the clay reservoir.

The PLA 3D print is just visible inside. Next up we loaded these molds in an overn and slowly brought them to 500 degrees, then all the way up to 1000 to completely burn off the PLA.

The PLA 3D print is just visible inside the plaster mold. Next up, we loaded these molds in an oven and slowly brought them to 500 degrees, then all the way up to 1000 to completely burn off the PLA overnight.

The burned out mold was perfectly clean in the morning.

The burned out mold was perfectly clean in the morning.

Next up, the molds were flipped and loaded with chunks of glass cullet.

Next up, the molds were flipped and loaded with chunks of glass cullet.

We picked chunks that were clear and as big as we could fit in the resevoir. This will help the casting be clear with fewer bubbles.

We picked chunks that were clear and as big as we could fit in the reservoir. This will help the casting be clear with fewer bubbles.

Ready for firing!

Ready for firing!

Jim programmed the oven to slowly heat to 900°, then climb up to 1500° as quick as possible, then hold there for four hours.

Jim programmed the oven to slowly heat to 900°, then climb up to 1500° as quick as possible, then hold there for four hours.

At that point the glass was all melted into the mold and we cracked the oven to "crash" it back down to the annealing temperature of 900° before the glass devitrifies.

At that point the glass was all melted into the mold and we cracked the oven to “crash” it back down to the annealing temperature of 900° before the glass devitrifies.

The oven was pretty hot!

The oven was pretty hot!

We are soaked the oven at annealing temperatures of 900° and 720° on the way down. Hopefully the pieces will be cool enough to remove from the oven before I leave tomorrow! Stay tuned to see how the castings come out- I can hardly wait to see myself!

UPDATE: See how everything came out here: http://thegreatfredini.com/2014/07/26/pla-perdue-part-two/

Pink Poodle Lady Mermaid Parade 3D Scan

Kate "The Pink Poodle Lady", Fifi the Mermaid poodle and Phinn the fish, 3D Scanned at the 2014 Mermaid Parade

Kate “The Pink Poodle Lady”, Fifi the Mermaid poodle and Phinn the fish, 3D Scanned at the 2014 Mermaid Parade

At the Mermaid Parade this year, I had the opportunity to 3D scan Kate Dale, the “Pink Poodle Lady”. Last week Kate called me and invited me up to Julliard (where she is the prop master), to 3D scan her entire float before it had to be dismantled. I tried several times to use the Sense scanner to capture it, but the scan wasn’t quite ideal. For example, the fish Phinn’s scales were not showing up and there were a number of seams. It would have been a lot of zbrushing to fix it. So I pulled out my iPhone and used 123dCatch. The results are great! I may pull out the Sense scans and use some details from them to add further embellishments- for example the clamshell footlights, but really I’m quite pleased with the result!

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3D Printed Wedding Cake Topper Spotting

My friends Thea and Justin were married yesterday. It was a wonderful event. My gift to them was a Scan-A-Rama 3D printed wedding cake topper of themselves. It looked beautiful on top of the cake. It’s not the first one of these I’ve done but it was the first one I’ve been to the actual wedding to see. Congrats to Thea and Justin!

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Luna Park Progress

I’ve been trying to carve out time to go back and remodel the Main Luna Park tower in ZBrush- the original model was done in SketchUp and lacks the kind of ornamental detail that the newer pieces have. The version of the tower in the show is also too small in comparison to the rest of the model, so it needs reprinting. When completed, this tower will be taller than me! I still need to add a number of decorative corbels and embellish the top with acanthus leaves and ornamentation, but its getting there….

Progress on Modeling the Luna Park Tower

Progress on Modeling the Luna Park Tower

Makerbot <3's The Great Fredini!

Makerbot Store Windows

Today I am setting up a display in the Manhattan Makerbot Store windows. The windows will feature some of my favorite 3D portraits and a smaller version the Luna Park Tower. The work will be there for the month of July and I will be speaking there on July 10. To attend or find out more, click the photo or visit http://www.makerbot.com/blog/2014/06/26/makerbot-innovator-session-fred-kahl-speak-nyc/ 

Starting Life’s Next Chapter… with Scan-A-Rama 3D!

I would like to publicly announce that I have left my position as the Executive Creative Director at New York’s interactive design studio Funny Garbage to start life’s next adventure. I plan pursue a new career involving 3D printing, teaching and writing, and am actively seeking new opportunities. This summer I will be focusing on building my new company Scan-A-Rama 3D- the portrait studio of the future. I will continue to teach in the Spring at the School of Visual Arts MFA Design Department.

Funny Garbage

Goodbye Funny Garbage!

My last 17 years with Funny Garbage has been an amazing journey working with the greatest team of designers, developers, producers I have ever known. We created groundbreaking projects in collaboration with some of the greatest clients ever. It has truly been an honor and privilege to work together. Since 1997, Funny Garbage has been a wonderful home and family to me, but it was time to move on. I leave behind a highly capable and motivated team and I wish them all well. Seventeen years ago I was fresh out of grad school at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program with two infants and a grand total of $60 left in my bank account. My friend Peter Girardi – a graphic designer and former graffiti artist that I had worked with at The Voyager Company, had just founded a new graphic design startup named Funny Garbage with John Carlin- a lawyer who also ran the Red Hot Organization- a nonprofit that raises money for AIDS charities through a series of themed music releases. Inspired by the Residents’ Freak Show CD ROM, I had left my career as a sword swallower in Coney Island, and gone to grad school to become an digital artist in this new age of interactivity. Just as I joined FG, this new “thing” the World Wide Web began transforming the world around us. We got in on the ground floor to create groundbreaking work in interactive entertainment with some of the best brands and clients in the world. The hallmark of Funny Garbage’s work over the last (almost) two decades has been collaborations with great clients to create well designed and playful interactive experiences with personality. The numerous awards our work has won, from Emmys to Webbys is testament to our successes.

The world of apps has literally brought me back full circle to where I began in the era of CD ROM so it feels like a fitting time for a change. In the aftermath of last year’s Coney Island Scan-A-Rama Kickstarter, my fascination and love for 3D printing has beckoned for full time attention. Both my children are now off to college. Its time for a major life metamorphosis. There are numerous opportunities for personal growth with 3D scanning and printing, so I am taking a giant leap of faith that the universe will take care of me. So here goes with my next venture- Scan-A-Rama 3D!

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