Gavin Artz’s TEDx Talk on 3D Printing

ANAT CEO, Gavin Artz, did a talk on 3D printing at TEDx in Adelaide on November 12th that inspired much tweeting!!/TEDxADL

Illustrator James Fosdike was present on the day to visually document all the talks – the picture below was inspired by Gavin’s talk.

Image No. 10, inspired by Gavin Artz and 3D Printing. #TEDxAD... on Twitpic

Image No. 10, inspired by Gavin Artz and 3D Printing.

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Trying to fit a 3D Printer into office dynamics

You might be forgiven to be thinking this is about the way 3D printers seems to have this mesmorising effect which can stop any astute worker in their tracks to watch the little motors and pulleys work away. However, there is a much more technical difficulty which needs to be resolved.

There is an issue with our ToM which causes the sides of the bottom of whatever is being printed to lift up in a curved shape and whilst in most cases this can be put down to the building platform not being clean enough the reality is this is being caused by something completely different. The way 3D printers keep objects from slipping off whilst they are printing is to keep the base tacky, with plastic this is done by keeping the base hot. So if you have an outside source cooling your plastic, say an office fan or air conditioner this seems to cause the sides of the print to warp. As experienced first hand by turning off all the office cooling devices after all my co-workers had left for the day.

So what is left is to work out how the thermal dynamics of the office work so that sections of the office are inhabitable by humans and the others more inhabitable by the printer, this is a pressing matter with summer just around the corner.

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Creativity and 3D Printing (or the rationale behind ANAT’s 3D printing program)

ANAT (the Australian Network for Art and Technology) has been supporting artists engaging with science and technology for over 23 years.  During this time, we have developed skills transfer workshops and labs around emerging technologies that we believe are of interest for the artists we support. Continue reading

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Warped cubes, re-calibration and successful printing!

Our first attempts at making stuff with our ToM were somewhat unsuccessful – see some of our warped test cubes below!

Warped cubes

Warped cubes

cube printing video

However thanks to David Chan’s expert advice and some support from the online Makerbot community we soon realised that this is a common problem for new ToMs, caused by a combination of limitations of the automated build platform and some calibration issues.

We were lucky enough to enlist the help of ‘Bot maestro Pix from Hackerspace Adelaide to help us with the re-calibration.  Kimika also dropped by to lend a hand (thanks both!), and by the end of a long evening’s work, we’d created our first successful object, a pink whistle:

Makerbot whistle

Our first successful creation!

The whistle is fully functional, as demonstrated by Kimika:

Whistle Video

Now we’re ready for some serious creating!

first successful printed objects.

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Working on the MakerBot Chain Gang

Sunday 23 October 2011 :: Assembly Day has arrived!


Bits of Bot

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Syn Ack – Sequence engaging

As our Thing-O-Matic comes closer to home, we have been putting together some preliminary considerations. While apparently it is possible to print using a 3D printer without having a computer directly attached, such as through the Make interface.

However, for the level of capacity we wish to offer artists, using a set interface may be a little too limiting. Therefore we are planning to attempt to hook up an eepc because an eepc has a solid state drive and therefore is much more portable than any other portable laptop. It is also possible in theory to use a smart phone but developing a schematic for a 3D object on a smart phone would seem problematic.

Software tools of choice; Our software tools of choice are blender and/or wings3D. These are two opensource products which are able to be used to produce the files required to print 3D objects. Wings3D is a more mathematically based application and also more limited by design than Blender.

As our tech officer has had a bit of experience in the past with dealing with 3D applications he decided to produce the following stamp. However the handle may be a little too complex and it might be best to start from scratch with blender instead of using wings3D.

3D Scanning

We are also looking into the ability to scan, modify and print physical objects, giving artists the ability to literally use the world around them to assist in the implementation of their own artistic ideas. We are considering a technology like DAVID as it’s simplicity makes it easy to understand and affordable.

The requirements for the scanner is a web camera, two white walls or pieces of card depending on what you are scanning, a special type of lazer and the DAVID free software.

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It’s Arrived!

Our Thing-o-matic arrived this week, in pieces as expected. Sifting through the different pieces to ensure we had all the required pieces gave us also a better idea of what type of task it is going to be to construct the Thing-o-matic.  Continue reading

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