T1-MMT-P1-p6 Personal extension project: 3D design and printing

Throughout this Part of the course I’ve been doing little explorations with 3D printing, “drawing” and polymorph plastic. To me they all fit into Mixed Media and into Surface Distortion. Exploring some 3D design software reinforces this. It challenges me to think in three dimensions, to explore space. It could generate ideas that could be developed in many ways (like any sketchbook). The results may be able to be printed off and then incorporated directly in work or used as a mould.

The first software I’m working in is Meshmaker (free download from http://www.123dapp.com/meshmixer). With a couple of classes with MadMat and a few youtube tutorials under my belt, time to explore.

Sample p1-130
I started with a flat Plane, and used an Inflate brush to create some ridge lines. The response reminded me strongly of the earlier work with crumpled paper.

Sample p1-130a

Sample p1-130a


I can change viewpoint to see the result from different angles.
Sample p1-130b

Sample p1-130b


It’s bigger on my screen – some detail has been lost creating the screenshot.
I can zoom in.
Sample p1-130c

Sample p1-130c


View c shows the triangles which make up the surface. More triangles will be added (like more creasing of the paper) if needed as the shape is pulled around, or if I add them with the Refine brush.
I can remove extraneous details of printbed, grid and faceting.
Sample p1-130d

Sample p1-130d


Adding colour makes it a bit clearer.
Sample p1-130e

Sample p1-130e


You can see how shadows change as I view the object from different heights and directions.

I crashed the program.

Sample p1-130f

Sample p1-130f


Which had auto-saved my lovely edge distortions! I still haven’t figured out how to get holes in the fabric.

The experimentation with different brushes and associated parameters got a little out of hand.

Sample p1-130g

Sample p1-130g


Sample p1-130h

Sample p1-130h

Some strange, diseased coral perhaps.

Sample p1-131
I started with a simple cylinder solid, which I shaded with a brassy looking finish, just because I discovered how to.

Sample p1-131a

Sample p1-131a

Made it hollow and generated some holes. (Now I’d stopped trying!)

Sample p1-131b

Sample p1-131b

Cut off the top.

Sample p1-131c

Sample p1-131c

Next I tried to emboss some writing (embossing is another of the standard exercises)…

Sample p1-131d

Sample p1-131d

… and on changing view discovered things aren’t always as they seem!

Sample p1-131e

Sample p1-131e

Some quick un-do’s, and another attempt.

Sample p1-131f

Sample p1-131f


Better???

Another go and it’s more what I originally planned…

Sample p1-131g

Sample p1-131g


… and rather boring in comparison to the earlier surprises.

Sample p1-131h

Sample p1-131h


A wobbly handle completes a dysfunctional mug.

Sample p1-132

Sample p1-132a

Sample p1-132a


A fresh start with a simple solid.
Proportions are changed, and a mesh of tubes subtracted to create an open grid structure.
Sample p1-132b

Sample p1-132b


The top surface is dragged in a spiral.
Sample p1-132c

Sample p1-132c


I like the view from other angles – below and the side.
Sample p1-132d

Sample p1-132d


I have an ongoing fascination with boundaries, the juxtaposition of order and chaos, the accommodations made at transition points.
Wanting to make more dramatic and dimensional changes, I used the Volume, Spike brush with a large size.
Sample p1-132e

Sample p1-132e


Sample p1-132f

Sample p1-132f


Sample p1-132g

Sample p1-132g


From a number of angles the result is reminiscent of a bird in flight, very dynamic (and totally by chance).
Sample p1-132h

Sample p1-132h


It is very pleasing that underneath the structure – the dna? – is still evident.

T1-MMT-P1-p6 Personal extension project: 3D design software
Textiles 1 – Mixed Media for Textiles
Part 1: Surface Distortion
Project 6: Personal extension: 3D design software

4 Responses to “T1-MMT-P1-p6 Personal extension project: 3D design and printing”


  1. 1 Lottie May 12, 2015 at 5:52 am

    I love p1-131e. What a surprise! This is all very clever and way off on the horizon for me, but thanks for sharing successes AND surprising ‘mistakes’.

  2. 2 fibresofbeing May 12, 2015 at 7:12 am

    Hmm – thanks for making me look at that again. At the time I did it I just thought “whoa, that’s way off!”. Now I’m wondering if it’s a way to create secret messages.


  1. 1 T1-MMT-P1-p6 Personal extension project: Autodesk 123D design | Fibres of Being Trackback on May 11, 2015 at 10:59 pm
  2. 2 T1-MMT-P1-p6 Personal extension project overview | Fibres of Being Trackback on May 24, 2015 at 11:28 am

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