Posts Tagged 'MMTp1-3d'

Workshop – 3D printing

2015-03-103dprinterThis was an evening class, a 3 hour introduction into the huge range of materials, techniques, possibilities and opportunities in 3D printing.
On the left is the printer demonstrated in class by Mat, our tutor. He described it as “really a glorified glue gun”. It lays down layers of material, using a spool of plastic that looks like whipper-snipper line (which was actually used in earlier days). It’s a resource-friendly additive process – I quite like the parallel to weaving, adding picks (layers) of weft to create the cloth.

There’s been chatter in the past about printing plastic guns and so on, but while theoretically you could they wouldn’t be very good guns. Better examples are shoes from a scan of the foot, prosthetics that fit exactly and are cheap enough to upgrade each year as a child grows, a coconut cutter that was everywhere in your village but nowhere to be found in Sydney. With 3D printing you can create unique and/or customised items, or replacement parts not kept in inventory, or prototypes while developing that new gadget that will take the world by storm. For actual manufacture in bulk you’d move to injection moulding or other faster and cheaper methods.

Mat took us on a whirlwind tour of the various methods in use – extrusion, wire, granular, powder bed and inkjet head, laminated and light polymerised. He talked sintering and stereolithography and ceramic plaster… but what I was really focused on were the techniques and materials available to me now, reasonably locally and economically, with my Mixed Media for Textiles course in mind.

FDM (fused deposition modeling), as in the printer Mat showed us, is the most affordable, using polymer filaments – many types available in a wide variety of TLAs (three (or two) letter acronyms). There seems to be a lot to think about when printing – the grain of the printing (greater weakness on the z-axis), adhesion to the printing plate, temperatures, nozzle diameter, printer speed, layer height… and that’s after you’ve actually designed your item. It seems like a lot, but there is a very active community on the internet, lots on YouTube, and various service providers including Mat.

The workshop includes printing of a small item of our own design, so I’ll be sending my file off to Mat soon. I’m really excited about the possibilities for combining the printed items with textiles, so the plan is to start experimenting with that. I also want to get hold of some polymorph plastic, which melts in hot water and you can then mould by hand, and perhaps a 3D pen.

Some links:
http://madmat3dprinting.com.au/ – website of our tutor, Mat Danic.
https://www.facebook.com/MADTechSupport/videos?fref=photo – videos Mat has shared. In particular https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=443910142439183&set=vr.443910142439183&type=2&theater, which shows the polymorph plastic.

http://www.threefarm.com/makers-place/ and http://www.makersplace.org.au/ The Makers Place in Sydney. You can join and access their equipment, including a number of 3d printers

http://www.sydneycommunitycollege.com.au/course/B.3D.Prin There’s another class coming up at the Sydney Community College

Free design software:
http://shapeshifter.io/
http://3dp.rocks/lithophane/
http://www.123dapp.com/3D-printing

T1-MMT Fantastic Plastic

Fantastic Plastic: product design + consumer culture by Susan Mossman is one of the course textbooks. It gives a broad overview of the manufacture and use of plastics, from natural plastics used for many centuries (for example shellac and rubber), through semi-synthetic plastics (vulcanite – rubber hardened using sulphur), and the ongoing explosion of invention of new plastics and new uses.

computer wire, neoprene, whipper snipper

computer wire, neoprene, whipper snipper

neoprene and fishing line

neoprene and fishing line

Apart from novelty experiments I’ve generally avoided plastics in my textile work (the examples on the right are from A Creative Approach 21-October-2012 and after a basket weaving workshop 15-August-2013). I’ve an underlying prejudice that plastics are cheap, nasty, don’t last (stretch or go brittle), pollute – and just aren’t in the competition with silk and wool and linen…

Mossman’s book addresses the cheap and short-lived labels – it’s a matter of selecting the right plastic for the task. Trickier given the same material can be given multiple names and take multiple forms.

As part of learning and challenging myself, I recently went to a 3D printing workshop with tutor Mat Danic (see 15-March-2015). Last week I went to Makers Place to pick up my 3D object printed following the class.

Makers Place Photo:  Chris Bamborough

Makers Place
Photo: Chris Bamborough

Makers Place in Leichardt (Sydney) is very exciting. It’s not for profit, volunteer run, and focused on creating, collaborating and innovating. It provides a space, lots of equipment, opportunities to learn, teach, experiment, share – and it’s up to members where they take it.

Makers Place Photo: Chris Bamborough

Makers Place
Photo: Chris Bamborough

There are multiple 3D printers, woodwork tools, overlocker, paper-making stuff, robotics discussions, interesting materials that were waste products from local businesses… There are plans for purchasing a CNC router and laser cutter. They have more plans for desktop plastic recycling – see their blog here, and especially watch the video or follow the link to Precious Plastic. I so much want to play with a recycled plastic extrusion machine.

shell_gridThis is a design schematic I sent to Mat, with the explanation “The central diamond (based on a drawing of a shell) would be solid plastic, no holes. It is relatively thin and embossed with the shell image so light shines through – like what lithophane produces, I think.
In the corner triangles the green represents holes. I’m hoping to be able to felt through these. When I finish the embossed centre shell should be like a stained glass window, with the solid felt surrounding it like a wall.” It was meant to be a test for connection of felt to plastic.
My own suggested designs based on past college work were too complex for starter work so Mat found a freely shared file for me. He also printed the grid pieces separately, concerned about size and breakage in transit.
(Apologies for changes in tense below – it’s copied from my “live” Evernotes)
3dplastic_01

Mat made the comment that laser cutting might be more suitable for a design like this in the future. I’m really not taking advantage of the 3D. True. Darn.
The first step is to connect the pieces.- a little daunting, as some areas appear quite fragile.
3dplastic_02
Acetone is meant to “glue” the plastic together, so I started with that, testing on two short lengths of filament. It doesn’t feel entirely solid, and keeping a good connection as it “sets” could be awkward. Mat suggested soaking in acetone (I just wiped each side a few times using a cottonbud), but that sounded messy and smelly. He also suggested super glue, but I had a different thing in mind – “gluing” using my new 3 D pen.
3dplastic_03
On the left above a join using acetone. On the right using the pen.
Messy!
I was going to play with the pen later, but will change order.
3dplastic_04
I’m not sure what it is, but it’s definitely 3D, coming up almost 10 cm from the base.
A look at the pen itself.
3dplastic_05
It’s a Myriwell 3D printing pen, purchased from Mat. The pen is light (plastic of course). It plugs into mains power. A plastic filament feeds through – grey here, but in many other colours (red, black,…). There are buttons to move the filament forward and back, a slide speed control, plus indicator lights for power and heat.
3D doodling:
3dplastic_06
I decided to acetone “glue” my pieces together, and weld / solder using the pen where necessary – but I couldn’t get the acetone to work at all. Perhaps because it wasn’t pure acetone, or wiping not soaking, or more likely I think I wasn’t making a firm connection as it dried. The pieces didn’t fit flatly together. So back to “soldering” with the pen, using a blu tack jig to hold pieces in place.
3dplastic_07
It’s all a bit messy, but holding together solidly enough for the next step (I hope!).
I choose to invoke my artistic license and deem the “mess” the foam of the waves washing on to a shelly beach.
3dplastic_08
Here’s the lovely translucence, which I want to surround with denser felt.
3dplastic_09
I pulled out some greeny-blue colours of wool top that I’d dyed and carded years ago. I added in some bits of silk hanky and silk waste – for texture and shine, and particularly some white to echo that “wave foam”.
3dplastic_10
Concerned about shrinkage and putting stress on the plastic, I decided to make a sheet of thin prefelt.
Wool and silk laid out -around 55 x 6O cm. It’s a long time since I’ve done much felting and I started to feel a bit nervous and tentative – but tried to lighten up. This is just an experiment, after all.
3dplastic_11
For small, light, indoors feltmaking I like to use olive oil soap and not much water. I could keep all the work on my cutting mat and not have to clear the whole table.
The plan
feltplan
Prefelt cut into 8 strips. A little loose wool place on the grid areas of the plastic. Four strips of prefelt (shown in faint acqua on the diagram) laid around the medallion, underneath the grid.
3dplastic_12
Four strips of prefelt (shown in dark blue on the diagram) laid around the medallion, on top of the grid.
3dplastic_13
Then lots and lots of gentle rubbing and trying to persuade the wool to form around the central shape without going on to it, to mesh through the grid, not to shrink in a way that distorted the plastic…
I stopped when the plastic started creaking.
After drying overnight, superficially it looks OK.
3dplastic_16
The important back-lit shot.
3dplastic_17
and since I think the colours work well, a half-way view – still a little extra light coming through.
3dplastic_18
However there are fundamental problems.
3dplastic_15
The felt is not fitting well around the centre, and while some fibres migrated through the grids it wasn’t sufficient to hold.
The plastic is definitely not happy. There is some slight distortion of the thin centre and the rest – I’ve already mentioned the creaking. It’s definitely under stress.
There’s a lot of plastic wasted between the layers of felt. It also causes distortion in the surface.
As already mentioned, it’s not a good exploitation of 3D. I actually started thinking of curved and embossed planes, possible working as a lamp shade, but went flat to keep the experiment simple.
The whole idea of shrinking felt around rigid plastic is flawed. It would be more interesting in a softer plastic that distorted.
Basically, the outcome may have potential but I chose the wrong technique. It would be better to make a finished piece of felt, cut a hole, and play with attachment systems.

Turquoise Bay

Turquoise Bay

On the plus side, I like my colour choices. I was thinking of Turquoise Bay in WA which I visited last year (26-August-2014). It works for me.
I also like the combination of plastic and felt – including the “foam” at the boundary.
I can see ways of taking this forward, and for now I’m going to ignore them. It’s time to get back to college exercises.

Reference
Mossman, S. (2008) Fantastic Plastic: product design + consumer culture London: Black Dog Publishing

T1-MMT-P1-p3-e1 Initial exploration of fusing plastic

I started my exploration in fusing plastic in a well-ventilated (ie drafty) garage with iron, printing / ironing surface, baking paper, carrier bags, scissors and tongs – ready to make waste into sew-able plastic.
plastic_iron_01

Sample p1-21a. 6 layers, assorted bags, ironed both sides around 15 seconds.

Sample p1-21a.

Sample p1-21a.

Some distortion and – not quite bubbling, more not fusing flatly. Note to self – in future check dimensions and record shrinkage.
I had chosen a range of colours and patterns in the layers, and get good show-through both on a surface and back-lit.

Sample p1-21a.

Sample p1-21a.

Sample p1-21b. I tried to tear it. A little distortion at the edge where only 1 or 2 layers, but unable to tear (unlike a single layer that stretched and tore easily.) Very easy to cut. Some minor separation at edges where there were bubbles trapped.

Sample p1-21b.

Sample p1-21b.

Sample p1-21c. Tried creasing by hand. It didn’t hold, but some amalgamation of bubbles trapped.

Sample p1-21c.

Sample p1-21c.

Sample p1-21d. Tried creasing using iron. Was careful to limit time so fold didn’t fuse down. Got sharp crease, no additional fusing.

Sample p1-21d.

Sample p1-21d.

Sample p1-21e. Tried to fold and fuse down. Took 2 to 3 times longer than original fusing. Some loss / abrasion of colour. Surface is flatter – fewer or no air bubbles.

Sample p1-21e.

Sample p1-21e.

Sample p1-22. I started a new stack – wanted to avoid air bubbles so tried to iron a single layer briefly, with the idea of starting with totally flat sheets (with little air trapped when starting to fuse). I ironed a little longer. It didn’t really help – the single layer distorted.

Sample p1-22.

Sample p1-22.

Gave up that idea.
Sample p1-23a. Tried a new 6 layer stack, roughly 15.6 cmx 22cm.
Heated 2-3 times longer (twice each side), pressing down firmly.
End size was around 14.5cm x 21cm, so shrinkage of around 1 cm each way.
I still had bubbles. Material felt smoother to touch. I still got some delamination at edges when cutting (I picked at this to make it clearer).

Sample p1-23a.

Sample p1-23a.

Next I moved indoors to try sewing my new materials.

Sample p1-23b. First hand-sewing, using 20/2 silk and a thick novelty yarn.

Sample p1-23b.

Sample p1-23b.


Sample p1-23b.

Sample p1-23b.


The silk (towards the bottom) behaved nicely, with no fraying or sticking as it went through the material. The photo hasn’t picked it up, but the sheen and texture look quite good on the plastic – different, but not too foreign (full disclosure – this is about my favourite yarn, so I would say that).
I gathered a section at the right. It didn’t gather smoothly, and there was considerable delamination of the top layer of plastic (arrow at right of photo).

The novelty thread was harder to pull through. I tried pre-piercing with an awl, but it wasn’t thick enough to make a difference. The only real issue is arrowed on the left – an attempt at a french knot pulled through the material.

Sample p1-21f. Next I tried the sewing machine.

Sample p1-21f.

Sample p1-21f.


The machine had no trouble feeding the plastic material through. I started with long stitches, then moved to shorter. The plastic shows no signs of tearing where it is pierced. Zig-zag and novelty stitches also worked without problems.

On the right can be seen an area of free-machine stitching with the feed-dogs down. It was very easy to move the plastic around under the needle. The stiffness / body of the plastic helped it glide smoothly.

Sample p1-21g. Next were some quick experiments using the 3D printer pen.

Sample p1-21g.

Sample p1-21g.


The filament adhered quite well to the layered plastic and I was able to build up a doodle. If I pulled away too soon without breaking the filament cleanly it would pull at the base and tear the plastic (which was still soft).

Sample p1-21h. I tried a shape flat on the plastic base. It didn’t adhere, although marks can still be seen where the base was slightly melted.

Sample p1-21h.

Sample p1-21h.


It seemed that if I moved too slowly the filament built up and pushed away from the surface, causing a poor connection.

Sample p1-21i. I tried to shape the plastic material by drawing a line of filament on it, then bending the pliable area until it cooled.

Sample p1-21i.

Sample p1-21i.


I got partial adhesion, seen in the photograph, but since then more of the plastic has pulled away from the filament. I suspect the material was too heavy for a single line of filament to hold.

Sample p1-21j. Perhaps a line around the outside of a small shape would hold.

Sample p1-21j.

Sample p1-21j.


No.

Sample p1-21k. Perhaps a longer line up the middle of the shape.

Sample p1-21k.

Sample p1-21k.


No. Although I like the wiggly lines being created.

Sample p1-24. I tried the same shaping on a single layer of carrier bag plastic, thinking it would be light and flexible enough to be held by the filament.

Sample p1-24.

Sample p1-24.


The bag tended to melt and it didn’t hold.

Despite the lack of success I am still convinced that the 3D pen in combination with the plastic material has potential for shaping and distorting the surface. I just have to find the right mix of materials and technique.

I also find the plastic fusing much more interesting than I expected. It becomes quite a different material when fused in layers. The next step is to use a range of plastics to create different textures and surfaces, and to capture materials between the layers.

T1-MMT-P1-p3-e1 Initial exploration of fusing plastic
Textiles 1 – Mixed Media for Textiles
Part 1: Surface Distortion
Project 3: Heating and fusing
Exercise 1: Fusing plastic

T1-MMT-P1-p3-e1 Fusing plastic – second session

My previous session (8-April-2015) gave some basic familiarity with the idea of fusing layers of plastic to create a material suitable for stitching or other uses. Time to go a bit further.

Sample p1-25. Three layers of carrier bag, 1 layer fruit bag mesh, 1 layer clear polythene (perhaps – I really don’t know my plastics.) Very roughly 16 x 21 cm

Sample p1-25.

Sample p1-25.


Sample p1-25.

Sample p1-25.


Nice gridded texture. Polythene on front worked well – forms a seal, holds things in. I like the combination of bag pattern and mesh.
Minor distortion in mesh. Can I take advantage of that?

Sample p1-26. The same layer sequence, in an improvised anchoring system.

Sample p1-26.

Sample p1-26.


Sample p1-26.

Sample p1-26.


Sample p1-26.

Sample p1-26.


Some distortion of grid. Might be able to get more with an assistant to hold things.
Good “frill” effect at the end. Some distortion of the base – it will be interesting to see if the bond holds over time.
I can image a form of clothing -say a skirt, with frill and openness at the hemline.

Sample p1-27. Bubble wrap (quite small, thin bubbles) sandwiched between single sheets of carrier bag.

Sample p1-27.

Sample p1-27.


The bubble wrap has been hanging around a while and must have been more popped than I realised. I only heard one pop while ironing – thought it was more pressure than heat – but there is definitely a spacing in the pattern embossed on the surface. Could something be done with that?
The other side:
Sample p1-27.

Sample p1-27.


You might be able to see some cracking in the white of the plastic. It seems to be cosmetic only. Heat? Stretching as the bubble expanded?

Sample p1-28. I found some fresh bubble wrap and pierced some holes (dots of colour to make it clearer).

Sample p1-28.

Sample p1-28.


Hmm – did that without thinking which side will show best. The more bubbly side is up in the photo.
A single layer of bag either side – black so my dots wouldn’t show.
Sample p1-28.

Sample p1-28.


Not good definition on this side.
Sample p1-28.

Sample p1-28.


The photo is tricky, but there is definitely contrast in texture on the other side – unfortunately the writing is mirrored!
A closeup to show the contrast, which I think is very effective.
Sample p1-28.

Sample p1-28.

Sample p1-29. A different approach to texture. I have a plastic grid, which I’ll protect with baking paper. Then a rather crispy carrier bag with spots (to go with the square grid) and four layers of the standard carrier bag.

Sample p1-29.

Sample p1-29.


The flaw in the plan soon became obvious! I couldn’t iron both sides and keep the grid in place.
A metal grid would be a better idea, carrying the heat through.
As it was –
Sample p1-29.

Sample p1-29.


blah!

Sample p1-30. Going back to a previous idea.
This time a hessian grid – quite soft and open, from a garden supplies store. A thin pink plastic one side (I think it was a hotel laundry bag) and two layers of carrier bag on the other.

Sample p1-30.

Sample p1-30.


Interesting things happened while ironing!
Sample p1-30.

Sample p1-30.


Some nice embossing on the carrier bag side. I’d like to try distorting the grid of that open weave. The other side –
Sample p1-30.

Sample p1-30.


Basically no adhesion of the plastic, which distorted and went lacey in an intriguing way.

Sample p1-31. Following up the weave distortion idea, I cut a new piece of hessian and pulled it around.

Sample p1-31.

Sample p1-31.


I chose two layers of carrier bag on one side, one on the other to see if the embossing differs.
Sample p1-31.

Sample p1-31.


How disappointing!
Sample p1-31.

Sample p1-31.


Marginally less disappointing (a vanishingly small margin!)
Sample p1-31.

Sample p1-31.


Backlighting helps. Colour in the plastic could be good too.

Sample p1-32. Returning to that thin pink plastic, I decided to pre-shrink it. (I haven’t been keeping track of dimensions and shrinkage, as it seemed pretty uniform for everything else, but the cutting mat is shown here)

Sample p1-32.

Sample p1-32.


Sample p1-32.

Sample p1-32.


Not promising, but for the sake of the experiment I kept going, with a single layer of clear polythene each side.
Sample p1-32.

Sample p1-32.


Not easy to back light well, but this could actually have promise! Flat on the table it was very drab.

Sample p1-33. More trapping in polythene. A test of thicker materials some – game counters.

Sample p1-33.

Sample p1-33.


The day is getting old so I decided to push a bit harder – counters, feathers and rubber bands between single sheets of thin polythene.
Sample p1-33.

Sample p1-33.


It looks a bit like a bad shower curtain, but it survived!

Sample p1-34. For this I have to backtrack to work done at the beginning of the day, when I was collecting plastics together.
I wanted to make a woven mat of plastic filament to trap between plastic layers. Experimenting with short lengths I realised the filament was too inflexible and too set in a slight curve to manage. I tried pre-shaping parts, using the 3D pen. This is back to accordion pleats, introducing flexibility of a sort.

Sample p1-34a and b.

Sample p1-34a and b.


Initial positioning:
Sample p1-34c.

Sample p1-34c.


It might look a bit crazy, but I am an absolute believer in this. Not the detail, but the overall idea of using the knowledge and skills and techniques from one area and trying to apply them in another. I think that’s the way to develop one’s own work – bring all of your history to bear on the present, not to stifle things but to take them further, in your own direction.
Plus look at the surface distortion! Can I stabilise, perhaps add a surface skin to this?
I picked out the supports and wriggled things around.
Sample p1-34d.

Sample p1-34d.


Not flat, not hugely 3D. I love the way it’s hard to follow a line – a combination of order and chaos – but I also wonder about mixing colours.
Surely I can “trap” this somehow.
It intrigues me.
After consideration, I decided another colour would make the structure clearer.
Sample p1-34e.

Sample p1-34e.


Sample p1-34e.

Sample p1-34e.


At the end of the day I brought out this weaving and ironed it between 1 layer of white carrier bag and 1 layer clear polythene.
Sample p1-34f.

Sample p1-34f.


Another idea that “needs more development”. It stabilised things, but flattened them. No point in that!

(Sidetrack) Sample p1-35. Disappointed, it was time for something completely different.
I went back to the crumpling exercise, using baking paper.

Sample p1-35.

Sample p1-35.


Can I record that in plastic?
Sample p1-35.

Sample p1-35.


Not that way. The hot filament just skidded across the paper, not taking on any of the distortion.

Sidetrack Sample p1-36. Could I support the filament better? I filled a tray with damp sand and pressed the paper shape into it.

Sample p1-36.

Sample p1-36.


Sample p1-36.

Sample p1-36.


The hot filament still came out too quickly, even at the slowest setting, and didn’t settle into the shapes in the sand.
Sample p1-36.

Sample p1-36.


It was a plastic shape, but didn’t tell the story of the paper.

Sidetrack Sample p1-37. Another attempt in the sand tray. I tried to build up a base grid of contour lines, which later lines could attach to and stay in place.

Sample p1-37.

Sample p1-37.


Very approximate.
Sample p1-37.

Sample p1-37.


Not what I was looking for.

Total sidetrack. I needed to build skill with the 3D pen.
fuse_plastic_40
Lots of “not what I was looking for”.
Youtube had the answer. I had been extruding the hot filament constantly. It was going all over the place while still pliable and not holding shapes as I wanted. On the videos people just paused the stream briefly while a short section of filament cooled. A little more, then pause. and again. A lot more control.
I made myself a name plate.
fuse_plastic_41
All of this was build 3D, not flat and assembled. It was either attached to the worksurface or I was holding the work in my hand. I only worked on the flat when putting the letters together.
fuse_plastic_48
fuse_plastic_42
Not a thing of beauty, not well controlled – but with at least some control, and Proper (in my mind) 3D.

Sidetrack Sample p1-38. Back to crumpled paper.

Sample p1-38.

Sample p1-38.


Sample p1-38.

Sample p1-38.


The lines follow the contours of the paper. I am ridiculously pleased.
Sample p1-38.

Sample p1-38.


Sample p1-38.

Sample p1-38.


Sample p1-38.

Sample p1-38.


It’s wobbly and a bit frail, but it was what I was looking for.
Why am I so pleased?
Because I didn’t find it easy but I got there.
Because it’s a fairly accurate record. It goes back to my attraction to traces, memories, shadows.
Because I see it as a new form of sketchbook work (and I need to do more of that). I felt just as conscious and observant and absorbed by the shape as I would be if sketching on paper. I learnt more about the shape, examining it closely as I moved the pen around.
I like the thing itself. There’s a squiggly, lacey, delicate air about it. It almost looks beaded. The shape is interesting and the shadows cast add complexity.

T1-MMT-P1-p3-e1 Fusing plastic – second session
Textiles 1 – Mixed Media for Textiles
Part 1: Surface Distortion
Project 3: Heating and fusing
Exercise 1: Fusing plastic

T1-MMT 3D pen and kinetic sand sidetrack

Nola (http://inchtextiles.blogspot.com.au/) suggested Kinetic Sand for mould / support making. The website describes Kinetic Sand as “98% sand and 2% Magic”, the Magic being a synthetic polymer which the Product Statement reveals to be polydimethylsiloxane, a silicone with unusual flow properties.

sand sidetrack

sand sidetrack

Fascinating just to handle. It packs like wet sand, but flows like … I can’t describe it. Check the video on their blog http://www.kineticsand.com.au/blogs/news/9080183-kinetic-sand-australia-video.
Sidetrack sample p1-1. I started with a simple shape – a kitchen bowl.
Sidetrack p1-1 Mould

Sidetrack p1-1 Mould


Traced over with the 3D pen…
Sidetrack p1-1 with plastic

Sidetrack p1-1 with plastic


Lifted it off the mould…
Sidetrack p1-1 unmoulded

Sidetrack p1-1 unmoulded


And embellished.
Sidetrack p1-1 Result

Sidetrack p1-1 Result


Structural integrity is very poor, but a reasonable proof of concept.
I also like the colour – it looks like pulled sugar. A little more sturdy and it could make an amusing bowl for lollies.
Sidetrack sample p1-2. What about a more solid shape?
I rolled smooth some kinetic sand, and pressed in a spring clip that was lying nearby.
Sidetrack p1-2 Impression

Sidetrack p1-2 Impression


Tricky at the start, but a result of some sort, with the impression filled with wriggles of plastic.
Sidetrack p1-2 Filled

Sidetrack p1-2 Filled


It came out cleanly – a few extra indents in the sand, suggested I pressed too much at the beginning.
Sidetrack p1-2 Impression after filling

Sidetrack p1-2 Impression after filling


Sidetrack p1-2 Comparison

Sidetrack p1-2 Comparison


Not an exciting example, but another world of opportunities has opened.
One oddity possibly of interest for specific needs – a short length of colour mixing in the nozzle when changing filaments.
Sidetrack p1 Colour mixing

Sidetrack p1 Colour mixing


You don’t get much length and it would be a bit of a fiddle changing the filament, but perhaps an ombre effect could be useful sometime. Or I might want a small amount of a particular colour I don’t have.
Other ways of colour mixing?
Sidetrack sample p1-3. An imprint of today’s earring (itself claimed to be made from old silver cutlery).
Sidetrack p1-3 Impression

Sidetrack p1-3 Impression


Bits of colour pressed in – snippets of plastic from earlier experiments. (Sorry the photo is rotated. I thought it would fit the screen better)
Sidetrack p1-3 With inclusions

Sidetrack p1-3 With inclusions


The T-pin is to keep a hole for connection to a potential ear-wire.
Sidetrack p1-3 Result

Sidetrack p1-3 Result


The earring came out cleanly, the colour fragments well attached, but the hole flawed.
Sidetrack p1-3 Flaw before and after

Sidetrack p1-3 Flaw before and after


The fix turned out to be easy.
Sidetrack p1-3 Sideview

Sidetrack p1-3 Sideview


It’s very light, but feels solid. I think this is a greet way to make beads and dangles.
Or I could make shapes relevant to a particular theme in a work. Perhaps work at making it smoother. Or else a series of more or less wriggles, or more or less complete shape, or different colours…
Sidetrack sample p1-4. Can I create a 3d shape, go over it entirely with filament, and extract the sand?
Sidetrack p1-4 With Plastic, and small insert showing initial mould

Sidetrack p1-4 With Plastic, and small insert showing initial mould


Drawing on the shape was awkward at first, but one could build skills.
Next was getting the sand out.
Sidetrack p1-4 Removing sand

Sidetrack p1-4 Removing sand


It took a few minutes, but I now have a somewhat fragile filigree ball. I could add more decoration, say some extra snippets of colour, but didn’t feel I’d learn anything extra from that.
While this was successful in the sense of doing what I set out to, I don’t think it’s the best way of achieving the objective. It also wouldn’t work for more complex shapes.
I think depending on the project you need a mix of working on the flat; freehand 3D; over a mould; into a mould; creating as a whole; joining pieces… I really like this pen, and the Kinetic Sand is a great addition to the toolbox.

T1-MMT-P1-p3-e2 Using a heat gun – second session

I finished the first session using the heat gun on a high (see post 19-April-2015).

Sample p1-57

Sample p1-57


Sample p1-57 seems full of possibilities.
However…

Sample p1-58.
Starting a new day rather annoyed with myself, but determined to see it through. Last night I tried designing and making a 3D plastic support to shrink plastic over. I was tired, clumsy, hurried, lost my way, kept going, and created a montrosity nothing like what was in my head or on the plan.

Sample p1-58 Plan

Sample p1-58 Plan


Sample p1-58 Filament Frame

Sample p1-58 Filament Frame


Stubborn set in last night, and continues. Let’s see if I can get plastic on this thing. It occurs to me I don’t need to capture between two layers.
Sample p1-58a Before

Sample p1-58a Before


Not over-covered – maybe I’ll be able to layer. Plus using just a bit of kinetic sand.
Sample p1-58a

Sample p1-58a


Not sure what that is, but it doesn’t look promising.
Sample p1-58a Detail

Sample p1-58a Detail


Although at the detail level there is some piercing, and mysterious lumpy distortions. The opaque wrapping disguises and makes dull – although it makes me think of Christo’s work, particularly some packages I saw at AGNSW (http://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/collection/works/249.2011/). Apparently no-one knows what’s inside them. Masterpieces? Junk? Better than the wrapped trees, which just accentuated that they were long dead (http://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/collection/works/250.2011.a-b/).

Back on topic, what would cellophane do?

Sample p1-58b before

Sample p1-58b before


Sample p1-58b During

Sample p1-58b During


The cellophane was doing nothing, so I turned up the heat a bit – and my plastic filament armature softened and collapsed.
Sample p1-58b After - collapsed

Sample p1-58b After – collapsed


Poor little thing. The cellophane wasn’t attached at all, and I have a slumped mess.
If the cellophane wasn’t attached, is the carrier bag?
Sample p1-58b Bag detached

Sample p1-58b Bag detached


No! Just a little fiddling where things were curled around, and it separated. (I also stopped to shade the direct light from the window, so hopefully photos will improve).

Sample p1-59. Recycling the previous sample!
First, a new mould in kinetic sand.

Sample p1-59 Mould

Sample p1-59 Mould


The old form cut open and spread on.
Sample p1-59 Before

Sample p1-59 Before


Sample p1-59a. Initial result:
Sample p1-59a

Sample p1-59a


It softened and wriggled around and suddenly what was an awkward mistake has me intrigued. The outside is very textured, the inside less so, but not smooth.
Sample p1-59b.
Sample p1-59b Before

Sample p1-59b Before


I put on and scattered around some more bits.
Sample p1-59b After - on mould

Sample p1-59b After – on mould


Extra bits went on, I learnt to work on one area at a time, to be conscious of the force of the blowing, to press with tongs after a blast for shaping and to encourage connections.
I toòk it off the mould, realised there were some weak points and bad connections, and was able to improve them.
Sample p1-59b - Bowl turned down

Sample p1-59b – Bowl turned down


It’s a bit more crazy and fun on the outside than the side facing the mould. You could break it without any trouble if you wanted to – and probably when you didn’t want to too. But if I wanted to I could keep going, add more layers and more strength.
I can see lots of places to go with this – additional layers and strength; using an impression mould so the crazier bits are on the inside and more visible; preparing a loose mass of squiggles and placing on form to trace it (the thicker pieces of filament which either had not gone through the pen or went through quickly at similar diameter were the least successful in shaping and melding); preparing a relatively flat piece, then warming and shaping it freestyle…
It means any little piece of scrap filament can find a use.
However at this point I’ll move on.

Sample p1-60.

Sample p1-60 Before

Sample p1-60 Before


Some clear polythene folded over. It may look boring, but if it distorts interestingly there could be possibilities.
Sample p1-60 After

Sample p1-60 After


Definitely distortion, although not as much bonding of the layers as I was hoping for. Still, enough to continue.

Sample p1-61.

Sample p1-61 Before

Sample p1-61 Before


Feathers and rubber bands inside polythene.
Sample p1-61 After

Sample p1-61 After


Sample p1-61 Shadows

Sample p1-61 Shadows


Perhaps I tried to do too much with one little sample. Are there possibilities to exploit here? There are some coloured shadows, which could be interesting. It’s not speaking to me.

Sample p1-62. Would that light pink plastic that shrivelled under the iron do anything interesting (sample p1-52)?

Sample p1-62 Before

Sample p1-62 Before


Before – bit of a blurry action shot, as the afternoon breeze picks up.
Sample p1-62 After

Sample p1-62 After


Wow! Look at that cell structure!
Sample p1-62 Backlit

Sample p1-62 Backlit


Backlit. How nice is that???

Sample p1-63. I have some light white plastic, sold at a cheapy shop as “heavy duty table cover”. It’s a little heavier than the pink and has a slight texture. Will that act in a similar way?

Sample p1-63 Before

Sample p1-63 Before


Sample p1-63a After

Sample p1-63a After


Quite similar. This is exciting because the table covers come in a range of colours. They are also large and cheap.
It’s certainly soft enough to stitch into, although it might tear.
Sample p1-63b. On an impulse I cut it into a length.
Sample p1-63b Cut

Sample p1-63b Cut


And made a little chain of finger crochet.
Sample p1-63b Chained

Sample p1-63b Chained


Sample p1-63b Backlit

Sample p1-63b Backlit


More interesting in the photos than in life. It’s just so limp and drab.
I could heat it and see what happened next.
Sample p1-63c. Instead I decided to twist it
Sample p1-63c Twisted

Sample p1-63c Twisted


Sample p1-63d. And ply it back on itself.
Sample p1-63d

Sample p1-63d


The twist was a bit too soft perhaps, but it might make an interesting texture in a weaving, especially as one can play with colours.
Sample p1-63e. I took out the twist and did a new crochet chain.
Sample p1-63e

Sample p1-63e


Sample p1-63f. Then used the heatgun
Sample p1-63f

Sample p1-63f


Sample p1-63f Backlit

Sample p1-63f Backlit


Good shape. I like the irregularity that is also linear. It’s moderately flexible, a little crackly. You could probably stitch through it, or bits of it, but I think it wouldn’t be pleasant. For some reason I think of it in a coiled basket, but you wouldn’t want to compress the life out of it. I should use it as a printing tool the next time I have the paints or inks out.

Sample p1-64. I have no idea what kitchen wipes are made of, but wanted to try one.

Sample p1-64 Before

Sample p1-64 Before


Sample p1-64 During

Sample p1-64 During


During. Lots of movement, which you can control to an extent by where you direct the air.
Still pliable. Some holes forming, so I want to push further.
Sample p1-64 After

Sample p1-64 After


Sample p1-64 Detail

Sample p1-64 Detail


More shrinking and some holes forming. Still strong – didn’t tear with a sharp tug. Still pliable. It just doesn’t excite me. I think the pattern is too strong.

T1-MMT-P1-p3-e2 Using a heat gun – second session
Textiles 1 – Mixed Media for Textiles
Part 1: Surface Distortion
Project 3: Heating and fusing
Exercise 2: Using a heat gun

T1-MMT Polymorph sidetrack

More sidetracking – Polymorph pellets

Mat from madmat3dprinting.com.au sent me some polymorph pellets and flexible filament to try. I started with the polymorph pellets. These are thermoplastic that melts at around 60° C and can be moulded by hand.

Sidetrack sample p1-5 Can I make a multi-coloured plastic lump, roll it out and shape or emboss it?

Sidetrack p1-5 Materials

Sidetrack p1-5 Materials


Polymorph beads and tubs ready to go.
Sidetrack p1-5 In dyed hot water

Sidetrack p1-5 In dyed hot water


Beads in tubs with hot water. Some drops of old silk dyes in a couple.
Sidetrack p1-5 Result

Sidetrack p1-5 Result


Basically the colour was unsuccessful. The colour was squeezed out with the water. There is a slight trace of the pink visible, but I suspect that is more trace “foreign matter” remaining in the plastic (just as there are smears of dirt in the plain sample – the garage is partially open, so always dirty.)

Sidetrack sample p1-6. Can I remelt and remould plastic no longer in beads?

Sidetrack p1-6 Remelted in hot water

Sidetrack p1-6 Remelted in hot water


One part back in hot water. It went transparent, suggesting it had remelted.
I quickly kneaded it and rolled it flat with a rolling pin, working quickly as it was already turning white. I pressed in a plastic shape (originally the side of a peg basket, I think)
Sidetrack p1-6 Embossed

Sidetrack p1-6 Embossed


The embossing worked. I think my palm-print is in it – not visible, but the roughness can be felt. The plastic is slightly flexible.
Sidetrack p1-6 Backlit

Sidetrack p1-6 Backlit


Backlit the pattern is very clear.

Sidetrack sample p1-7.
Can I print with it?

Sidetrack p1-7

Sidetrack p1-7


I rolled on acrylic paint using a foam roller, and tried to print onto cartridge paper.

The first two prints (on the left) weren’t successful. The first had too much water in the roller. Both the first two were on a hard surface.
The third and fourth were printed on a softer surface and are more successful, but I think I can see the influence of my palm print.

Sidetrack sample p1-8
Can I clean the paint off and reuse the plastic?

Sidetrack p1-8 Cleaned and re-embossed

Sidetrack p1-8 Cleaned


A toothbrush and cold water got rid of most of the paint. I might have got more with soap and warm (not hot!) water, but I wasn’t too fastidious – I’m curious as to how much colour sticks around after reuse.
This time I remelted, kneaded and rolled, then back into the water for a soften. Then out, roll and emboss – pressing with the rolling pin rather than my hands.

The plastic is beginning to look rather grubby and there are some bubbles in it. Air? Water? A reaction to impurities?

Sidetrack p1-8 Prints

Sidetrack p1-8 Prints


On the left I pressed down by hand. On the right I tried to keep the pressure more even, by putting a piece of 3 or 4 mm perspex on top and pressing on that. Although not at all “clean” I rather like the one on the right – it seems to have some character.

Sidetrack sample p1-9
Can I use the original object and combine the prints?

Sidetrack p1-9 Overprinted

Sidetrack p1-9 Overprinted


The first attempt, top right, I didn’t think about where I’d put the paint on the stamp. Quite a lively, interesting result. I like the unintended inclusion of the second underprint (the one to the left). It all seems to work together.

Lower down is the second overprint. I thought much more about placement, and the underprinting was my favourite. I find the result a little dull. Too predictable?

Sidetrack p1-9 Stocktake

Sidetrack p1-9 Stocktake


I now have a rather grubby stamp and two other pieces – one faintly pink, the other faintly yellow.

Sidetrack sample p1-10 I want to try some inclusions, and make a lacey, fluttery shape.

Sidetrack p1-10 Inclusions

Sidetrack p1-10 Inclusions


A rather amusing interlude later, and I have a flower-like shape firmly attached to some pvc pipe, and little bits of colourful foil all over my work area.
Sidetrack p1-10 Top view

Sidetrack p1-10 Top view


The inclusions work quite nicely (although the leftovers are going into a secure bin as soon as I can track them down).

I was trying to mould around the pipe and it was a nasty shock when it wouldn’t come loose. Still, this is very useful information. The molten pellets bond very firmly to pvc.

Sidetrack p1-10 Backlit

Sidetrack p1-10 Backlit


Backlit looks good, and there is a clear sense of layers in the inclusions. I think this has a lot of promise – always being careful of the application (no hot water anywhere, and probably not any heat).

Sidetrack sample p1-11. Can I colour the polymorph plastic using disperse dyes?
I ironed the back of the relatively flat embossed piece with a paper of disperse dye – between baking paper to protect iron and surface.

Sidetrack p1-11 Plastic still warm with disperse dye

Sidetrack p1-11 Plastic still warm with disperse dye


It looked great when still warm. Above it is still on the paper and the view is actually through the warm plastic to the back.
Sidetrack p1-11 Dyed plastic

Sidetrack p1-11 Dyed plastic


Once cool the paper was removed with just a little patience. The baking paper hadn’t stuck at all when ironing.
Sidetrack p1-11 Remelting plastic

Sidetrack p1-11 Remelting plastic


A little colour floated away in hot water, but most stayed.
Sidetrack p1-11 Cool remoulded plastic

Sidetrack p1-11 Cool remoulded plastic


Strong colour remained in the moulded, cooled plastic!
Sidetrack p1-11 Backlit - striations visible

Sidetrack p1-11 Backlit – striations visible


The backlit view shows striations where the colour isn’t completely mixed through. Rather a nice flower petal effect.

Sidetrack sample p1-12. Will adding another colour lead to colour mixing?

Sidetrack p1-12 More colour - still warm

Sidetrack p1-12 More colour – still warm


It’s hard to judge what’s happening with colour when the plastic is still warm and transparent.
Sidetrack p1-12 Stuck paper

Sidetrack p1-12 Stuck paper


Patience failed, and some disperse dye paper was left stuck to the plastic.
Sidetrack p1-12 Cleaned

Sidetrack p1-12 Cleaned


It was easy to rub off the paper in cold water.
I had softened and partly flattened the plastic before ironing with the dye, but the surface was still rough and uptake of colour uneven.
Sidetrack p1-12 Part mixed

Sidetrack p1-12 Part mixed


Part-mixed the plastic shows a lot of colour variation. Of particular interest are some thicker edge parts which remained pink and didn’t soften a lot when remelting. This suggests all sorts of possibilities for colour variation.
Sidetrack p1-12 Result

Sidetrack p1-12 Result


The final, cooled result was a rich purple – the mix of the pink and dark blue dyes added.
Being able to add strong colour like this really opens the polymorph to all sorts of applications, especially with the ease and flexibility of mixing colours.

Sidetrack sample p1-13. I decided to return to earlier crumpling experiments with ribs – see for example sample p1-13 (30-March-2015). Very happy with the result.

Sidetrack p1-13 Ribs

Sidetrack p1-13 Ribs


Sidetrack p1-13 Reverse

Sidetrack p1-13 Reverse


Sidetrack p1-13 Backlit

Sidetrack p1-13 Backlit

Unfortunately this session was cut short. Some ideas to continue with next time :
* Adding powdered colour. Not my dyes – bad / hazardous to use in powdered form. Other pigments.
* inclusions – How far can you go? What happens as it loses cohesion or structural integrity?
* Apply heat in other ways than immersion in hot water? Can one work more precisely?
* Tendency to catch to itself – avoid by wide / flat container
* adherence to other plastics -especially ABS filament?
* Can I write with 3D pen on to /from it?
* how would it react to scraps of filament included in it?
* would a stainless steel bar work better than a wooden rolling pin?
* can one cut/ pierce the hardened plastic – hot needle; awl; various knives?
* if it adheres to carrier plastic, can I smear it on to use as shaping support?
* I wanted to get lacey effects, but it pulls more like toffee. Accept this and go for gothic? Fight it -say use tools (awl?) while moulding?


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