Cyber+Spoke 2013 s3315295
Kip. Dustin Bailey
Objective. 3D printing has been popping up in a big way all around the world. It has reached a point where the technology is affordable enough for most designers to own and run within the studio. This poses questions. How does 3d printing change the way we think about
designing? Which doors does it open? How does one design for 3d printing? Cyber+Spoke is an elective created to explore these questions by being challenged to design a range of bespoke products.
Flexibility and customisation are high priorities within bespoke design as this creates a higher sense of value and appreciation for the tailored design. 3D printing aligns nicely within this area and provides designers with a new level of freedom of form and process.
Meet Gord. This semester began with an opportunity to build our own 3D printer. With the cost of out sourced 3D printing being high, and this elective focused on iterative design through 3d printing, financially it worked out more effective to outlay the cost of a 3d printer. The Ordbot is a kit FDM printer which required full assembly and calibration. This presented me with an immense learning curve to cope with in addition to my course requirements. I was driven to get the printer up and running as soon as possible since this electives outcome relied solely on this machine.
After a month of printing, I have already been blown away by the new efficiency within my workflow. Its quite an odd feeling to go from concept, to CAD, to the physical object within hours. This electives work was completed entirely through my printer and aside from the cost of the printer itself, paid only for ABS material which works out to be incredibly low cost. I am looking forward to seeing with is possible through this technology, and can already see how valuable this tool will be to the remainder of my degree and career.
Prelude. The semester kicked off with the prospect of exploring bespoke design through 3D printing. I began by developing a range of concepts favouring this new production method and brief. From a range of concepts such as barista accessories and clocks, I decided to focus efforts within lighting design.
pendant light which used a series of layers or fins to diffuse lighting without actually enclosing the light with a solid form. Simple sketches and mock ups with balsa allowed me to assess the validity within the design and how I might approach translating this into a design optimised for 3D printing.
I had not yet explored any form of lighting design within the degree and took this opportunity to experience it. My primary concept was for a
I favoured this concept since I knew the manufacturing would be complex, and hoped my 3D printer would prove its worth in the area.
Concepts I took my focus of open diffusion and created an early range of products to develop further. The primary design principal was to use sweeping fins to create spherical and geometric shapes. I found the cut patterns of the lights to be visually intriguing and was
attempting to pre-empt the limitations and requirements of 3D printing. I was most fond of the plain small sized sphere and decided to begin preparing a design to test out on my 3D printer.
Print One. The first print was such a valuable one. It immediately put several requirements of 3d printing into perspective.The print took over 30 hours. Since I was new with the printer I did not feel comfortable to leave an expensive machine running without supervision which meant I was checking on the printer every hour or so. It was incredibly stressful but so worthwhile.
There were several major issues with the print. This then became a process of assessing wether the flaws were due to environmental and technical issues of the printer, or if there were design flaws within my light considering the output method.
Analysis. Layer Delamination:
High Material Consumption
Long Print Duration
Iterations. I was happy with where the project was going, but it was obvious that the design needed refinement in order to become a viable product. Print time needed to be reduced drastically, the light was too heavy, and the quality of print was not at a level I was satisfied with.
Printing allowed me to test changes made to designs within hours instead of days. In some cases I was able to test 2 different prototypes within the same night.
The changes came down to thinking about the way the printer works, and optimising the design to suit those characteristics. Through seven separate iterations, I I thought a lot about the way the machine moves and deposits arrived at a design which was printing to a much higher standard, material. I also had to consider the way in which the print supported printed in almost half of the time itself during the printing process. and was less than half of the first prototypes weight.
Optimise. Integrated skirt ensure print securely adheres to bed during print. Requires no post finishing steps as it aesthetically matches the light. Open profile reduces end material usage and greatly reduces print time as no infill is required. Wall thickness designed specifically to reduce number of paths. End path radius informed by machine characteristics. Previous prints had the tendency to pull back material on sharp corners. By adding a small radius the machine fluently moves around each perimeter consistently depositing material. Support structures were redesigned several times ending up with a radially perpendicular flat support. This assisted in minimising delamination while attempting to remain visually unobtrusive.
Materials Early on I knew I wanted to mix materials for the final product as I felt printed ABS plastic alone would not have a response of being a high value item. I added two features to the light to inherently increase the value of the product, and also, to add in the ability to customise finishes and colours.
As a part of more experimentation than any real informed design decision, I used the process of dipping the light to add colour. I used a synthetic liquid rubber product which is available and tintable in a range of colours.
In my final model I am unsatisfied with the treatment finish and colour but feel with further exploration An oiled wooden top adds a hand would lead to the dipped treatment made finish to the light while adding being a desirable feature of the warmth. light.
Watch the video.
Black cloth braided electrical cord with wall plug in Oiled wooden topper 3D printed ABS Fixture with integrated light fitting threads. Available to print in a range of colours 3W E14 240V LED Bulb (Warm) Dipped liquid synthetic rubber Coating in a range of customisable colours
Throughout the degree I have yet to incorporate packaging design into my projects. I wanted to create a cleaver and minimalistic packaging to transport Kip in, while showcasing the key product features with product display in mind.
The packaging I created was made from laser cut recycled card and serves as an effective prototype for the product. The end package would need to be highly refined in both design and material choice, but I feel I have reached a successful concept for packaging my light.
Cut outs and raised features display light in a playful way. Packaging is stackable
Minimal material and finishing Flat Pattern
Reflect. Im really excited about this projects work. Even though this product is not ready for market, and to be honest, Im not even really that fond of the end result, I have learned so much this semester. I came into it knowing nothing about 3D printing, where as now, Im slicing and printing 3D models, know how to trouble shoot printers, and most of all, have a much better understanding of how best to use the technology. I understand what the technologies current limitations are, and thrilled I have this technology at my disposal. It was refreshing to complete a project where all details were considered, right down to packaging. I feel a lot more confident that I would be capable of actually producing a product for sale, and have the understanding of some of whats involved in actually getting it out there. Cheers, Dustin Bailey