Prepping 3D model for laser cutting.

For a quick experiment and to work out a work flow for making strange forms that I create in Rhino quickly in reality so that I have a physical model to consider and experiment with. The first I create something in Rhino, with this example I was inspired by Tara Donovan’s (See my post) ‘Untitled Molecule sculpture. So I quickly boolean unioned together load of randomly placed spheres of random sizes. This is just a test.

Once created I then ran the model through a couple different programs to get it to where I can go about laser cutting a quick, low resolution version of the model I designed on Rhino.

Below the steps are illustrated via a series of screenshots of the process.

rhino boo

Rhino was used to really quickly produce a form.

Make Slicer

The Rhino model is saved as an stl. file and imported into 123D Make. Here I played with the settings such as card thickness, dowel placement, slice orientation and scale. 

illustrator boo

From 123D Make with the file saved as dfx. format the sliced model was opened in Illustrator and fitted to art boards. The lines are a mixture of vector and raster (cutting and engraving). The file will be sent to the laser cutter from Illustrator. 

cura boolean

As a side thought I thought i would try a small 3D print, so the original Rhino stl. file was opened in Cura where I set up a quick print. This is an experiment to see how the Ultimaker copes with weird geometries. I am interested to see how the intersections between spheres turns out (probably badly). I also need to get used to support structures and how to use them.


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