Recently, I was encouraged to make this talk “about content” instead of “just” technology. This is a curious point of view. This post modern emphasis on content is hand and hand with some other post modern thoughts about media, namely Marshall Mcluan’s line “the media is the message”. If you believe that this is true then technology as a media isn’t only a content--it is the content. For me this isn’t completely true about the new technologies. Other things leak and squeak in, but indeed the investigations of Alberti or Giotto, which made possible all kinds of new content in their day, are central to rapid prototyping and just as surely rapid prototyping or RP will introduce new content into what we will do with sculpture.
Rapid prototyping is not “just” a technology, but is a content in its own right. The dissolution of the issues of “making” something--of the means and variety of construction into a unified additive process allows me to load my sculptures with content--to forget about how its made. The constructive issues, the difficulty of making something, have been supplanted by CAD(computer aided design), which isn’t trivial, but in an intellectual convolution, how a thing is made is now in many ways irrelevant. This contradicts Mcluan and probably a few die-hard craftsmen--but let me leave that as a big beautiful glaring contradiction and go further into rapid prototyping.
Rapid prototyping is an automatic additive manufacturing process. From CAD data a model is designed. It must be a solid model but after that, any geometry is applicable. At that point the files are saved as an STL file and are sent to a service bureau. The bureau slices up the cad model into cross sections. Those cross sections are then automatically fabricated one on top of the other until the model is done. There are various processes and materials available. Each has its own interesting advantages and disadvantages. The fabrication has the look and feel of a topological model. It was primarily developed and used in aerospace, automotive, toy and medical applications.
David Hickey gave a wonderful metaphor the other night. He encouraged us to think of ourselves as jazz musicians at the height of our art, in an incredibly disciplined and controlled environment allowing the bursts of spontaneity and innovation to seep through. For me when I work in CAD on the computer this is exactly how I feel. I am humming, singing, and tapping images into forms. They bubble up within me. Even if you reject the image of the jazz musician and opt instead for the scientist, or the engineer, for sure we need to rethink our relationship to culture and to technology, and we will not be able to do it without enlarging our view of our art and ourselves.
Yesterday I gave a talk at the Rapid Prototyping conference in Dearborn. I made the case for the integration of Art Science and Technology and I made the case that rp will allow us to think of our world in a larger way. By the way, I warned them, the rapid prototyping industry. I let them know we are coming.
Cyril Stanley Smith --metallurgist/engineer --suggests that as humans we are part artist, scientist, engineer and that a better integration of these facilities will help to lead through our current social morass. Despite all of the technical advantages that additive fabrication has to offer, and they are many, its real contribution to us is to imagine ourselves more broadly. To increase our ability as sculptors to participate on a root level in the evolution of technology.
To accomplish this we must establish or create a new economy. This is an economy in which we not only make or show or critique but we cross-pollinate into all kinds of other areas. We not only bring know how, our labor bodies, or over determined critical theory to bear, but we bring our largest selves to bear-our emotional, psychological, scientific, engineering, and aesthetic selves to bear. As artist we have the experience of this in spades. And it has great value to the culture and I dare say great consumer value in the culture.
I have had many occasions to observe just how backward the current technologies are. As an artist a lifelong sculptor not an individual I have observed many gaps-chinks in the industrial armor. Why is this important? Its imperative because we artists the innovators of the technology which has made 20th century possible (Albert, perspective and the scientific method) have not put our fingerprints all over these facets. Frankly it pisses me off that the web is designed by programmers. And it pisses me off that Hollywood has received all the benefits of the military industrial complex or that the military industrial complex justifies its whims of destruction of ever greater and more insidious proportions and WE are arguing about whether the computer can make art. Whether it has a human feel--what could be more human than these facets? Rather we might argue the best way of co-opting this technology, of creating an economy that will support this.
What is amazing is that we are not in a new space at all, we are in an accelerated space who’s inception has literally been instigated by us-artists, people who have consistently thought of ourselves as hybrid practitioners for several centuries now.
Back again to a little historical anecdote. Rodin made the bold statement one fine French day “Carving is the history of Sculpture, modeling its destiny.” The first I heard this I thought “how wrong can a guy be”. As I considered this more closely, I realized that what he was talking about was the difference between subtractive and additive fabrication. Today with the advent of Computer modeling and rapid prototyping, it looks downright prescient.
My own history with rapid prototyping is something of a conversion experience. Initially I assumed that it was out of my reach, another great technology I couldn’t afford--something for the military industrial complex. As desktop computers and software became more sophisticated, It began to dawn on me that it wasn’t so far away. I realized that whatever I could do in cad could be built. And that even if I only made the computer files that would be something like a composer waiting for the chance at an orchestra. At least I could still be busy making computer models and evolving.
The epiphany that is so basic to rapid prototyping is that anything you can imagine and create in cad can be built. As well, rp is a wysiwig process. What you see in your mind, on your cad screen, can be built in a model. At the same time rapid prototyping has another distinct advantage. It fabricates objects additively. This is a simple yet profound difference. Undercuts, convolutions of form, intricate geometry, all are easily accomplishable in an additive process. This is different from CNC milling which is subtractive and cannot create undercuts and convolutions. Hence the wisdom in Rodin’s statement.
Cad and Rapid Prototyping go hand in hand. You cannot have rp without CAD and Cad is pretty wonderful stuff. All of the tools of a good cad program are real world building tools called by other names. You have lofting, skinning, cutting as well as a host of others techniques you’d be hard pressed to come up with on a table saw. Cad can do amazing things in regards to scale, size, complexity and visualization. I can get several objects in a scene and scale them independently or together, fit them inside on another, make the external object transparent, cut parts of them off against each other and on.
One can also create libraries of forms that are available to future projects. Once an object is completed to satisfaction it can be stored for future use. I can re-scale it to appropriate sizes and further edit the object. These objects become words in complex files that can be strung together in long elaborate sequences. This has given me great flexibility and power in the realization of my sculptures.
You can also import objects via a digitizer, by scanning 2d images and assembling them together, or by purchasing models from companies that offer pre-built or pre-scanned models. You can also download models free from various sites on the web. Needless to say, they all blend into that library and can be used and further manipulated.
Cad and RP are radically amazing. RP is a wysiwig process. AGAIN, What you see on the computer screen is what you get in a mode. No more or no less (unless of course by accident or design you’ve introduced a virus into the model). I have never before worked in a process that demands such intentionality. This intentionality is daunting. Although I’m getting better at designing these models, my first experiments literally took me months. I have looked at every millimeter of my cad sculptures more thoroughly than any sculpture I have ever built.
Wysiwig also means that the facet structure of a model on the computer screen will show up identically in the model. One can control and vary the number of facets in an object and play them off against each other. The closest metaphor to this might be pattern painting, in which layer upon layer of faceted pattern is worked effectively. I haven’t seen much of this in traditional sculpture and find it a fascinating area of research.
The facets can be further worked into textures. Through shaped displacement shading, I’ve been able to place my palm prints in electronic files that will be made via rp. Earlier in my work this was of great interest to me. It played off of many issues in regards to “the hand” in sculpture. There was something tongue and cheek but also if you are a palmist, you could actually read the values of that area of my hand into the sculpture. What I mean is that if the fingerprint texture is from the area in the center of your palm, the area where the occult cross is located that is a meaning that is literally mapped upon the sculpture. This opens up a whole world of texturing the rp model that can be extraordinary.
On a more practical size, rp models are typically constrained in size and cost. Every machine has a build envelope. This envelope ranges from 6” cubed to 30x20x22. One could obviously build parts of larger objects for later assembly but the cost of a single build envelope on such machines is in the thousands.
There are some 6 or 7 commercial processes to choose from-all with different materials and qualities. There is no preeminent process in my mind. What one lacks in precision, the other lacks in speed. Some of the processes work with support structure that are built along side of the object and must be later removed-which can be really problematic with fine features. Others, built up in powder beds have no support structures--I tend to like the powder processes a lot. Still another uses paper as the layers, which creates a warm and beautiful effect.
CNC (computer numerical control) machining is also a viable rapid prototyping technology. As mentioned, it is limited in the complexity of form that can be created. It also demands a second program to create tool paths from your CAD objects. This adds a significant layer of complexity. For strange and complicated problems, a strong knowledge of fixturing is need and fixturing is an art in itself.
On the down side, CNC is not automatic and has many exceptions within its language. Also the programs can be quite costly. It is a thicker forest in regards to the amount of knowledge that must be mastered to accomplish competent objects.
On the upside, it is a tried and true way of manufacture. The are many good arguments for using in sculpture, not the least of which is price. For around 2-8k you can get a little mill and the software to run it that has the same build envelope as a rp machine and runs parts from any materials.
The RP future is bright. Metals and ceramics are currently available and will come into wider and less expensive use in the next couple of years. The most exciting future development for me is the potential for full photo resolution color models. In other words, how you’ve patterned and colored your models in the computer screen will be printed in your physical model. Cad interfaces will grow more sophisticated and simpler and will incorporate virtual reality. One might also imagine a graphical user interface that combines input/cad/and output within the same work environment. Cad systems may even grow to the sophistication of carrying real world properties of weight density mass and gravity in the modeling environment. We will be talking of voxels not pixels.
One word of caution; your computer file is in many real ways the work of art. When you send it to someone, they can easily build it without you ever knowing it. To this end, look into the necessary legal agreements, and work with people you trust. Build relationship with the bureaus you work with.
One of the most exciting things about this brave new world is that no one can corner the market of rp and sculpture. I hope that this will bring us together as we share ideas, techniques and sculptures. There is no way that anyone will have a lock on these technologies. I’m grateful for that, we will all bring our fingerprints to these facets.
In closing, lets imagine our selves as jazz musicians allowing the fabulous
energy of invention and innovation to bubble up within. Lets imagine ourselves
on the edge, not of indulgence--poverty thinking, substance abuse, theory,
--but of disciplined practice and spontaneous innovation. Artists' are very
capable of this. In the current world in which economy is about the desire
to realize and organize resources, in many real ways, the future is only
Rapid Prototyping and Art
copyright © Michael Rees 1998
I want to take this opportunity to discuss some larger issues about what rapid prototyping has done for me. The biggest thing is that it has taught me to imagine my world in a much larger way. As I talk, I will flip through some images of the sculptures I have made with rp while talking about what RP means to me.
Ever since it became clear to me what the combination of CAD modeling and Rapid Prototyping could do, I have been busy making it happen. It was something of an epiphany. I had struggled for years bringing form to ideas in various ways. The new computer technologies, particularly CNC, was very interesting to me, but the clumsiness of the cad interface throughout the 80's was positively arcane and financially out of reach. At the same time, I couldn't see what I would do with these abilities. After all, they were subtractive. Any type of form that was sufficiently complicated would have to be assembled, built up out of numerous smaller parts. This would add great complexity to the manufacture of sculpture. In many ways I could get there more easily and faster with my hands and plaster. At the same time the processes seemed excellent for square precise things, with limited complexity, but not so much fun at letting my imagination run wild.
Enter Rapid Prototyping, 3d Printing, solid freeform fabrication, automatic additive fabrication, fabbers-or whatever you wish to call this extraordinary revolutionary technology. From the moment I realized that from a desktop computer I could create forms of any convolution AND manufacture them simply I was hooked. Not only forms of any complexity, but forms within forms within forms. Not only forms within forms but sinuous expressive forms. Essentially they could be precise, mechanical, mathematical, or sculptural shapes. And if indeed the object appeared too cool, manufactured, or distanced, I could further work them with my hands as a sculptor would, as many industrial sculptors work rp objects today. There was no question that I had run into, innocently, naively even, the most power and flexible method for making sculpture that had ever been invented. I knew this intuitively from the very start and as my research into this area continued, my early intuitions became ever more pragmatic.
The current art world of New York is somewhat computer phobic. This is changing, but in the early '90's there was a lot of feeling against anything too technical, whether made via the computer or by an excellent craftsman. Post modernism is the word of the day. . Deconstructive theories, French philosophy of unreadable dimensions, art criticism which reads like a computer -all are standard art fare. My art dealer in New York was non-plussed. He went to lengths not to exactly talk me out of my newfound passion but to steer me back to reality. After all the claims I was making for this new technology seemed outrageous, like just so much science fiction. I think he must have felt that he had lost me to some remote technical realm and may perhaps never hear from me again.
The most unbelievable claim that I made to my art dealer is what is most true about this technology. It is WYSIWIG. -What you see is what you get. If you can imagine the form, describe it in a CAD program, it can be built, done. As a sculptor, whatever I can imagine can be made. This is such an obvious conceit within the engineering community that it is often overlooked at just how extraordinary this ability is. What you see in your mind, what you see on the computer screen, and what you see as a realized three dimensional product-sculpture, exhaust manifold, cellular phone, is what you get.
This is so radical that the elegant simplicity of Rapid Prototyping is hard to explain. It seems so new, so utterly out of this world. What’s interesting about this is that the concept of layered fabrication is as old as the first coil built pot. Which brings me to a topic I am quite interested in. In this method of manufacture, and in perhaps all computer design we owe a massive debt to the pioneers of primary technologies which have made this possible. These technologies are the root of this high-level technology machine we call the 20th-21rst Century. I'm trying to draw this out a little because I want to get you thinking-what could he mean, who's he talking about.
I'm talking about the invention of perspective by Alberti and other Italian Renaissance artists in the 13th and 14th Century. From the first struggles of Giotto to represent architecture and figure in a way that "looked" natural TO Alberti's rigorous system of accounting for 3 dimensional objects on a two dimensional plane, an incredible ability was being formed. What was so unusual here was that this method of representation was measurable. In a moment of a-historical awe, I would claim that these artists developed the first WYSIWIG technologies. And perhaps contributed seriously to the development of the scientific method. Something can't just feel right or look right, it must be measurably correct. And that correctness must be without exception. That is the gift of the developers of perspective to our current situation. Imagine a computer architecture without the concept of perspective space. At the same time, if you don't believe me about how important this is, ask Bill Gates. He paid over 30 million dollars for the sketchbooks of Leonardo Davinci, all of which explore the nature of various types of 3D form and their representation.
In fact, Alberti constructed a box that he used to demonstrate the principles of perspective. He would organize various lines of sight and objects within the box and the audience would view the scene from a frontal vantage point. When one reads a description of this box, what he referred to as a “miracle box”, it sounds strangely like a computer. It is a fascinating parallel.
I bring artists into this discussion in a crafty way and I bring the arts in as a way to complete an age old triad between art science and technology, which for some reason has been cleaved apart for some 2 centuries now. In the words of Cyril Stanley Smith, the metallurgist who worked on the Atom bomb and later became interested in the metallic structure of ancient ritual art objects; "It is misleading to divide human actions into "art", "science," or "technology," for the artist has something of the scientist in him, and the engineer of both, and the very meaning of these terms varies with time so that analysis can easily degenerate into semantics. Nevertheless, one man may be mainly motivated by a desire to promote utility, while others may seek intellectual understanding or aesthetic experience. The study of interplay among these is not only interesting but is necessary for suggesting routes out of our present social confusion. "
What I'm getting at here is the larger implications of the future of rapid prototyping. I think we might call this desktop manufacturing. Desktop manufacturing is exactly the potential that this technology represents. And desktop manufacturing, in my humble opinion is major. It offers the possibility that everyone with a computer and a cad program will be able to manufacture items for their lives—everything from decoration and arts and sculpture, to utilitarian products for use at home and in industry.
This isn’t so far away. Nintendo has come out with a CAD program for their gameboy. 8-12 year olds will design simple little objects on their gameboys. That means that in 10 years, there will be a whole new generation of CAD users who will think of CAD as we think of word processing today. They will use cad in home, hobby, and professional environments. As more and more people at lower and lower levels have access to high level manufacturing technology, you will see a virtual explosion of creativity, solutions and products. The sociological economic implications of this are vast.
And it is the exact nature of the challenge of the world for the next few decades to come. The can do factor will become less and less important-it will be the de-facto standard. Truly, we can do whatever we like within some limitations. We can clone sheep, transpose the heads of chimpanzees, put people on the moon, manufacture tiny little machines to scoot around our bodies, and probably a lot more things that aren't public knowledge. Can Do is the domain of the engineer.
And know how will be equally de facto. Knowledge will be managed efficiently and easily and will be widely available to everyone. What you don't know how to do today will be your expertise tomorrow as you put forth every more interesting combinations of existing means. Know how is the domain of the scientist.
But Creativity, now there's the rub. How many in this room have been taught to be creative? How many have been encouraged to let your imagination run free in solving a complex technical problem? How many have been rewarded for a flash of brilliant insight that delivered the project on time, with remarkable solutions? Creativity will become increasingly important. Typically, Creativity is the domain of the artist.
Truly as human beings we are different mixtures of all these things. I think RP will help the artist be more precise, the engineer more creative, and the scientist more knowledgeable. I would hope that industry will also recognize the contribution that artists have to make and will welcome them in their research and development efforts. As the arts will in turn incorporate more of industry into their domain. I hope the industry will welcome sculptors with the same generosity that they have welcomed me.
As to the sculptures you have seen skipping through the slide tray, let me say, it is difficult for me to speak succinctly about my own work. As you may have gathered, I am an expansive talker. This is even more so when I speak about my work. So, Let me read to you some words that the Art Writer Dominique Nahas has written about my work.
Michael Rees’s Ajna Spine Series are situated within what the artist has described as “an imaginary or metaphysical anatomy placed against the backdrop of medical anatomy.” Using and exploring new technology to generate complex bi-organic forms has allowed Rees to raise some of the most poignant humanistic issues that face mankind in a post technological, information driven world. Cad programs give rees the capacity to move forms around in space, offer variations in form and structure, and intimately explore his materials using precise codes that are transferred immediately to object-making without actually touching or physically constructing the objects. He has described this sensation as being removed, yet “in another sense I’m closer to my thoughts and to the images they produce. There are other forces at play in which I participate.”
On one level, the Ajna Spine Sculptures are hard to categorize. Their displacements and macabre edginess give them a surreal presence. Filled with a tension that is palpable, hovering between fragility and supple grace, their mystery is heightened by embedded coloration, unusual materials, and other worldly precision. How should we re-characterize our experience of the past and of what we call nature in order to construct adequate concepts for scientific practice and social transformation? Their capacity to stimulate such queries alone would make them revolutionary objects.
In Ajna Spine 13 for example (this is the sculpture on display in Helisys’s booth), we see that Rees evinces almost limitless capacities for modeling, montage and seriality through an emphasis on the fragment that was pioneered by Rodin’s study of the body moving through space. Rees does this while simultaneously attending to his own concerns to make manifest the contours of the ecstatic body. He places the organs of hearing on either end of the spine while lacing sets of floret-like forms along its length. The spine is then bracketed at the left and right by the shapes of human ears. The flowering bud motif creates a systematized visual articulation of membrane-organs that are poised to send or receive psychic and auditory energy. The computer’s capacity to reproduce the three principles of rhythm (rotation, reflection, and translation) is used by the artist to generate an interlacing of forms and patterns that create a weaving, plaiting, and knotting movement.
In these strange, dreamlike
works, what is being sought by rees are the essentials of various bioenergetic
life forms. As all revolutionary work,
Rees’s Ajna Spine sculptures are straight forward, despite their complicated
fabrication techniques. What we see are spinal columns that extend upward
(with three exceptions). Attached in various configurations to the central
stem of the vertebrae are body organs and freeform structures. Overall Rees’s
hybrid forms reside somewhere among the animal, human and plant worlds.
Their dispositions resisting both normal logic and reason yet flourishing
under an insistent biological imperative.
From this text, I think you can see that the real business of the arts is the construction of meaning. Rapid Prototyping allows me to construct that meaning succinctly, using CAD and this facile technology.
Let me say one other thing. The person who built my sculpture at Helisys called me and said “your object is highly faceted, when we build it, it will look chiseled, not smooth.” I said, “Yes, exactly!” he said “It won’t be smooth, I mean, I’ll build it however you like but it won’t be smooth.” I said, “Yes show me the chiseled facets!” This in some way represents the difference between our disciplines as they stand today. For me, those facets are beautiful. They are the most human of human gestures, part of that constructed meaning I was talking about. For him they do not live up to the standard of industrial product.
Thank you very much for your time today.
Fabrication: Realizing Convoluted
Form and Nesting in Sculpture
copyright © Michael Rees 1998
Introduction: Personal Experience
My introduction to Additive Fabrication was a conversion experience. My practice of 18 years as a "hands on" sculptor had ended. The work now manifests itself in digital media. This technology brings together a group of qualities that I have sought in my work as a sculptor and it does so easily and poetically. Not only is it a hard and fast method of manufacture, it is an electro-chemical-mechanised Shiva dancing out the rhythms and layers of form (figure 5) .
Additive Fabrication allows the complex imagery of my work to become corporeal. The desire to manifest an imaginary organism (figures 1,2,3) anatomically is possible. The sculpture is made of both literal and metaphorical parts woven into a system of form. Rapid Prototyping solves problems in the fabrication of complicated form in a facile manner. It allows me to concentrate on the content of the work, not its fabrication.
Rapid Prototyping and Industry: The Backdrop
The uses of additive fabrication are becoming well known to the engineering community. The distinct advantages of additive fabrication are far reaching. Perhaps most valuable is the time and cost savings that it affords. After the development of the CAD specifications of an object, the prototype is quickly fabricated and returned for inspection. This quality is best known as visualization in which the form and fit and sometimes function of the object can be evaluated.
Accuracy of the model within .002" is another value. This means that the technology is for most purposes a "what-you-see-is-what-you-get" (wysiwig) computer process. In other words, what is on the screen in your cad program is what is accomplished in additive fabrication. In other automated machine processes, the involvement of a "programmer" for creating tool paths and a "master fixture maker" leaves broad room for interpretation. The designer can be constrained by machine tools and the talent of the model maker.
Additive fabrication gives the designer a new relationship in the
creation of precise and complicated models. This level of freedom is by
no means trivial. There is the potential for rapid feedback from
design to object, back to design, back to object. This is why Peter Sferro
states that the real revolution of rp takes place within the design process.
One can imagine a time when the feedback between object and design is so
short and so efficient that the computer user interface incorporates them
Additive fabrication is able to make any geometry of any complexity and convolution almost effortlessly. The major difficulty in the formation of form is undercuts or intensely convoluted surfaces. Machine tools (re: subtractive processes) can only partially handle undercuts and that is only on the highest end (5 axis machines). If an operator of a 3 axis CNC mill were to attempt undercuts in an object, the process of fixturing and programming the tool paths would be an expensive and difficult process. Additive fabrication handles undercuts and convolutions effortlessly.
To create injection molds, one is also constrained because of draft angles and undercuts. If RP devices deliver on the promise of becoming rapid manufacturing centers, these type of surfaces will be possible in a mass produced object at no significant increase in expense. This will depend deeply upon the maturation of this technology. Yet it is self evident that the industry is rushing towards rapid tooling and if possible rapid manufacture.
Despite these tremendous advantages, the use of this technology is out of reach to the average consumer. In fact, it is difficult for manufacturers of Rapid Prototyping systems to imagine what or why anyone other than design engineers would want to use this. Using this technology for art opens up possibilities beyond its application to manufacture. This may be one of the first steps towards the popularization of this fabulous technology.
Additive Fabrication and Art
As a sculptor, it was not until my introduction to Additive Fabrication that the full import of computer modeling became clear to me. What "additive" implies is that any freeform surface can be built. A convoluted surface is imagined, described within a 3D modeling program, and made corporeal with any of the processes known as additive fabrication. This process can be very direct and very fast.
For me this technology is close to the thought process of imagining three dimensional form. The objects come directly from the imagination. Because the model needs to be benched (sanded, painted, finished) the hand of the craftsman still plays a role in its appearance.
The aesthetics of additive fabrication are deeply compelling. "The Aqualine creature" (figures 2 and 3) is a surrealist organism which combines the anatomical illustration of western science (figure 4) and the metaphysical illustration of eastern mysticism (figure 5). For the edition of sculptures entitled "The Aqualine creature" stereolithography afforded some interesting tools to realize this strange anatomy. Foremost among the challenges of what I had conceived was how to formulate layers upon layers of objects which were reminiscent of an organic anatomy. Concurrently, I wanted the freedom to play with that anatomy and stretch its implications. Stereolithography solved the problems of the realization these complicated systems of form.
These qualities include:
• Semi-transparency. The internal structures of objects can be manifested in the corporeal model of the object. For example an anatomical model can demonstrate the skin, bone, and organs within the body as well as the form of the body, pretty accurately. With stereolithography it is possible for me to create imagery of this type and complexity. Parts within parts can be nested in a way that is as complex as human form. All of this is apparent when viewing a semitransparent model.
• Stair stepping is another exquisite outcome of the creation of parts in additive fabrication. The surface and its stair stepping comes together on an object in a way that is mysterious and beautiful. It is a kind of moiré which is a secondary process of the creation of the parts by slicing. In the case of laminated object manufacture the memory lines of the cutting laser and the vector slicing of non part areas creates an even more beautiful image.
• As a result of shaped displacement shading an infinite variety of textures can be manifest in the corporeal model. Figures 1 and 2 show a cad model with fingerprint texture applied via shaped displacement shading.
• Additive fabrication allows for convolution which is associated with unique artistic form.
In short, models can take on a realism that the natural world exhibits Convoluted shape, texture, and nesting all contribute to an accuracy of form which is unparalleled in sculpture.
To be fair, it would be possible to create "The Aqualine Creature" using traditional processes. And it would have taken a lot longer and been a lot more complicated. Aside from solving several fabrication problems, the qualities of stereolithography sparked my imagination. "The Aqualine Creature" could only have been made in its size detail and transparency by this new technology. To put it another way, designing and working with cad and stereolithography have created a new way that ideas come to form in my work.
Title: "The Aqualine Creature"
Method of Production: Stereolithography, SLA 500 from 3D Systems, Valencia, California, USA
Date of production: 1996
Fabricated by Satelite Models, Mountain View, California, USA (Kelly Hand)
Produced by The Art Foundry, Sante Fe New Mexico, USA
Size: 18x14x6" (including base)
volume: 8.8 cubic inches
Computer platform: Macintosh 8100 100, 64 mb ram, 1 gig hard drive