University of Washington's Solheim Rapid Manufacturing Laboratory, and Professor Mark Ganter are at it again. The same people, the same University that just months ago brought us Ceramic 3D printing have now come up with glass 3D printing.
Professor Ganter is a Shapeways community member and announces ceramics 3D printing and glass 3D printing breakthroughs on our forum which is one of the most ridiculously flattering things ever to happen to us.
In the press release Mark is quoted as saying, ""It became clear that if we could get a material into powder form at about 20 microns we could print just about anything." The Vitraglyphic process uses the powdered glass and a binder. The research was done by graduate student Grant Marchelli.
The cost of the 3D printing material is much less than other materials and the material should be great for artists and consumer materials. Opinions are divided around the office if it looks good but, we all think it is a huge breakthrough.
The best thing is that Professor Ganter, Grant Marchelli and Solheim Rapid Manufacturing Laboratory decided to make their invention available for free for general use!!!
I mentioned Mani Zamani and the awesome model Rose Keeper in the previous post. Mani used Shapeways Steel 3D printing and existing Revoltech joints to make a movable, pose able model that is just amazing.
Below Mani explains to us, a great and inspirational story, the journey to Rose Keeper.
Well I am a foreign
student and graduate of the Design Academy in Eindhoven and as
long as I remember I was always fascinated by those giant robots from Japanese
animation specially the old school ones. So based on that background, believe it
or not, I decided to become a designer.
After coming to The Netherlands,
in my forth year of study I started a project in the plastic course which the
focus was designing a robot action figure based on injection molding in a form
of kit model for kids. For that project I used the simple technique of making
all the parts with balsa wood and simply vacuum form them with polystyrene (the
same material used for kit models) and I used Lego parts for the joints.
A month later a friend of mine
who is also a computer nerdintroduced me to Shapeways. And that was a big deal really big deal. See
after 5 years of modeling in Rhino3d and printing data sheets to make parts in
foam and balsa, Shapeways was a big eye opener.
So I decided to go straight and
without any test print I ordered my first model which was also a very human like
robot inspired by ninja-samurais (The Samurai-Poet Project).
you can see every thing is printed by Shapeways except the ball joints system
which I order them from Japan. I did
some test prints of the same ball and socket system with SLS(White, Strong & Flexible) but it was not as
strong as I expected to be specially for the hip joints where there is more
weightbut I did use the SLS ball
joints in arms where there is no weight issue there .
It was after this experience
which I came up with the conclusion that ratchet and klicky ball joints are
better solution for heavy models and after some research I found Revoltech.
Now what is Revoltech: Revoltech is an action figure line from the
Japanese company Kaiyodo. The main selling point
of the line is the 'Revolver' joint, which all of the figures utilize. This
gives the figures a high degree of articulation, allowing for many dynamic and
Exactly 4 months before my visa expired I
saw an announcement of metal 3d printing for all on Shapeways and I went nuts for
it. I had to design a robot all in metal (I have a goal in my life and it is to
design and build robot figures in as many different materials and techniques a as
possible and become a master of it)
So in order to over come the costs I decided to cancel my summer trip to Zurich and spend the money on this project.
Rosekeeper became a different project
during designing. The organic shape of a rose and a background story that I had
in mind lead to this creature which is not a robot but a rejected demon from
hell which has to find the perfect rose in order to bring balance between the
world of angels, demons, humans and birds.
It has 14 points of articulation together
with 2 point extra for knees (double joints).
Unfortunately even with Revoltech joints it
is heavy for some poses but I am really pleased with it and this brings me to my
next project which will be to design my own joint system this will also let me
sell my works without any restrictions. (the figure itself is 205 mm long).
Rose Keeper is just an incredible stainless steel 3D printed model by Mani Zamani. It was made by using Shapeways together with Revoltech joints. The model is unique and by using the standard joints, good movement is added to the model at little cost.
It is a great example of what I call Combinatory Manufacturing. Combinatory Manufacturing is using a high end production process that produces unique parts and then combining them with existing mass manufactured parts to add functionality. The unique characteristics of the high end process coupled with the standardized, cheap and available parts. We have lots of examples on Shapeways of this happening ranging from the technological such as the RC helicopters to jewelery such as the Marble Pendants. You can see a video of one of Magic's great marble pendants here and his Shop is here.
Combinatory Manufacturing is a best of both worlds approach using pre-existing functionality in mass produced parts in a novel, useful or interesting way. Some uses such as Mani's use of Revoltech joints in his Rose Keeper model use the mass manufactured parts in expected ways but to great effect.
Chris Jackson's hot Watering can re-purposes a hot water bottle as a dual use hot water bottle & watering can by adding a 3D printed fitting to it. An earlier example of something like this is the 2006 Meta-Morphose initiative. These kinds of products extend the functionality of mass produced products into new areas.
I believe that we will lots of very very interesting things occurring with Combinatory Manufacturing in the coming years. It will be a simple way for designers to design much more complex items and also allow them to leverage their way into people's lives much easier. Instead of coming up with all the functionality within the confines of your own design you can simply make something that bolts on to something else.
Of course Combinatory Manufacturing is nothing really new. Marcel Duchamp was making his readymade's as far back as 1913. His repurposing of the Bicycle wheel seen here or the urinal as seen in his hugely important Fountain piece(that pissed off a lot of people), would fit comfortably into what I'm describing above. Indeed Chris Jackson portion of the TEN XYZ show that includes the water bottle is called "Digital Readymades." So in Duchamp we all have a precursor. And Duchamp not only deserves credit for his huge influence on the art world but also in being remarkably prescient as far as the development of technology is concerned. Duchamp's repositioning of the functionality of art, artist, spectator as well as the objects themselves however was, in my opinion, intended as more of a theoretical exercise. Combinatory Manufacturing differs because it will become a purely practical endeavor.
What could you combine with a 3D print so that the combined product could exceed the functionality of both the print and the mass produced part? What is something standard that you could repurpose? What technologically complex but cheap item do you have that you could do amazing things with?