critics: Peter TESTA with Brandon KRUYSMAN & Jonathan PROTO
suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.
Brian HARMS with Haejun JUNG, Vince HUANG, & Yuying CHEN: This project aims to blur the line between processes of design and fabrication in the context of rapid prototyping by increasing the fluidity of the fabrication process through coordinated material and robotic processes. The project exploits feedback loops that allow the process to be used as a live generative form-finding tool as well as a method for reification of designed objects.
By injecting and suspending light-curing resin in a gelatinous medium, one is afforded the ability to shape freeform objects without the need for molds or other subtractive manufacturing processes that would otherwise be necessary. The gel acts as an omnidirectional support material which is reusable, so there is no wasted material. One major distinction between this project and other rapid prototyping processes is the ability to utilize 3-D vector-based toolpaths. Virtually all other processes use paths generated via contouring a digital model, and rely on the hardening of each successive layer before being able to move on to the next. The suspension of resin in space without added support material allows for the ability to navigate and fabricate directly on and around other existing objects within the Gel, as well as the ability to observe the process from any angle. The suspension of time in this process allows for tool changes, manual injections, on-the-fly robotic injections, multi-material injections, live modification of the digital or physical model, and the ability to physically “undo” (resin removal via suction or scooping).
sP: What or who influenced this project?
BH: The recent ubiquity of cheap 3-D printers in architecture schools provided a framework for asking really basic questions about fundamental issues of rapid prototyping. Do we have to contour everything? Does support material have to work the way it does? Can the robots add something to the equation?
sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
BH: Liz and Kyle Von Hassln had just finished their Phantom Geometry project when we started ours, so they were a definite influence. Listening to Trifonic, Daft Punk, and LCD Soundsystem. Watching lots of Breaking Bad.
sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
BH: A lot of startup work has been really exciting in the realm of rapid prototyping, too many names to name. But for example Petr Novikov has been doing some exciting things with Stone Spray and Mataerial.
Additional credits and links:
Special thanks to Peter Testa, Brandon Kruysman, Jonathan Proto, Peter Vikar, Devyn Weiser, and Marcelo Spina.