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!

20140726-004622-2782486.jpg

20140726-004721-2841806.jpg

20140726-004722-2842171.jpg

20140726-004722-2842703.jpg

20140726-004723-2843030.jpg

20140726-004723-2843348.jpg

20140726-004723-2843978.jpg

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: https://thegreatfredini.com/2014/07/26/pla-perdue-part-two/

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!

3DScan-A-Rama-logo01

Greetings from Coney Island! I know I’ve been pretty quiet since NY Makerfaire NY, but I haven’t been idle. There has been a lot going on!

I finally have a second 3D scanning rig in Manhattan! If you are a Kickstarter backer who has yet to be scanned for your portrait, I am able to take appointments for Thursday evenings at Funny Garbage’s new makerspace near Madison Ave and 30th St. “3D Thursdays” will be my night for doing portraits. Drop me a line and make an appointment to come in for your portrait. I’m planning on keeping hours from 6-8pm Thursdays until I get everyone scanned. (I will also continue to be in Coney Island most Saturdays from 12-5pm this winter)

In other news, my “bot farm” is now up to 5 production 3D printers, which was one of my goals with the Kickstarter. On top of that, Brook Drumm of Printrbot generously donated a kit for a double tall Printrbot+, so I’m swimming in machines over here! Printing bandwidth is no longer my concern! In preparation for next Summer’s installation at the Coney Island Museum, I’ve also enrolled in a 3D modeling class to boost my skills to model some of Luna Park’s more difficult structures.

Lastly, some new press sightings and events:

  • I’ve written an article about my scanning rig, the Scan-O-Tron 3000 which is featured in Make Magazine’s second annual Ultimate Guide to 3D Printing. The issue just hit the newsstands this week, so look out for it.
  • I will be participating in the Engadget Expand conference at the Javits Center in NY next weekend. Scan-A-Rama will be a part of Make Magazine’s booth to promote their 3D printing issue, so please stop by if you want to get scanned there.
  • CNN Money just came out to Coney Island to shoot a segment on Scan-A-Rama. It should go on air and live on the web next week, so i will include that in my next update.

That’s all for now. I’ll look forward to seeing you soon!
– Fred

1395072_10152008605916798_339650542_n 1396441_10152008605921798_1954007893_n 1454273_10152008605911798_1326807727_n

3D Printing Tip of the Week: Print Your own Scan-A-Rama Figure

There were a lot of folks I scanned at the Westport Maker Faire who wanted to come in and use the library’s 3D printer to print themselves out. If you don’t want to do that, you can always commission me to do a high quality print for you, but as promised I am putting up a quick tutorial on how to print one yourself.
Step 1- find your model to print
The first thing is to find your file and download it from the project page on Thingiverse. Your model will be a 3D .stl file. To prepare it for printing, it must be converted to instructions for a 3d printer. This process is known as slicing.
Step 2: Slicing
Because the library’s machines are Makerbots, we reccommend using Makerware software to prep files for printing. First, click the “Add” button and place the model on the build platform. The software has a move tool to bring it to the center if need be. Next, scale the model using the scale tool. My models are sized proportionally to someone 6’tall being ~144mm, so all my prints will print on a makerbot. Most kids are ~120mm give or take, so their files should be a good size as is. Because the library is a shared facility, we recommend sizing models to be between 110 and 120mm tall (Star Wars action figure sized). This will keep your print times to between 1 and 2 hours if you print at medium quality. Here you can see I am sizing this model to be ~ 115 mm tall:

Place-on-Build-Area

When you’re done placing and sizing, its time to hit the “make” button. Below you can see the print dialogue you will now see. First select the printer you are printing with- Replicator 1 or Replicator 2. Next select the quality settings. I recommend you use the default medium settings (A 120mm print should print in less than 1 1/2 hours).  My prints are high quality, .1mm layers, but these will often take as long as 5 hours to print so I don’t recommend this setting for in the library.
Some prints will need support turned on- for example: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:82843 needs support for the hands that are hanging down. If you need support, check the checkbox for support, but be prepared for cleaning the support off with an exacto knife later.
Finally, export the print file and load it on the printer. If the computer is attached to the printer, you can select the “Make it now” radio button up top, otherwise, select “Export to a file” and copy the file to an SD card that you put in the printer.

Export

Step 3: Printing

After you hit print,  watch the first few layers. You want to be sure that they stick to the platform. As long as the print adheres to the platform at the beginning, you should be good to go. Kick back and wait for the awesomeness to arrive- Good Luck!