3D Printing Studio

XinTianDi Style, Shanghai

Architect: Arthur Mamou-Mani
Lead Collaborator: Andrei Jipa
Local Consultant: Stephany Xu
Local Partner: Green City
Sponsors: HypeCask (3d Printers); Voltivo (3d Printing Material)
Special Thanks: Joris van Tubergen, MODX, XinFab, Maialen Calleja, Joann Siim, Madeeha Maham

The 3d Printing Pop-up Studio was a temporary installation enabling visitors to discover the world of 3D printing and the beautiful forms that can be created with this innovative technology. It took place during the Shanghai Fashion Week, between 25 September and 12 October 2014.

A development of Joris van Tubergen's work, the studio was made of 200 different modules which were all 3D printed with varying opacity, creating a beautiful lace-like forest of cocoons lit from the inside. The geometry of the installation at different scales is based on trigonometric functions: the overall shape, the components and the pattern on each component, as well as the parametric variations were all achieved using computational design tools and programming languages.

The fabrication process of the 200 components took place in Shanghai over a one month period, employing 3 Delta Tower FDM 3d Printers, using PLA bio-plastic. The machines continued to print during the event as part of an exhibition and series of workshops to explain the process to the visitors.

“We had been pretty intrigued by the novel way of using the 3D printer to create objects which have not a lot in common with the traditional objects created with FDM. Those lantern-like structures which materialised in front of our eyes had a much more textile and elegant feeling to them, looking like being weaved instead of printed layer by layer” Dr. Stephan WeiƟ, co-founder, Hypecask 3D Printers
July - October 2014

The pattern was achieved based on a variation of the parameters of the 3d printing process.

XinTianDi installation

Image by Arthur Mamou-Mani

Image by Arthur Mamou-Mani

Image by Arthur Mamou-Mani

The parametric process of populating a surface with the components and numbering them according to a rational assembly sequence

Early study for the overall shape

The spiralization process which produces the toolpath for the G-Code

The spindles are generated using a series of generator rails, colour-coded in red - green - blue in counter-clockwise order. These are translated in the 3d printed components to facilitate the assembly process.

A pseudo-colour render of a component identifying the variation in feedrates which influences the formation of the surface pattern.

Based on a polyline geometry, the parametric g-code is generated using grasshopper, VB.Net and custom G-code lines. On average each one of the 200 g-code files contains around 800,000 instructions for the 3d printer.

Any pattern can be sampled on the surface of the component using VB.Net scripts

A visualization script allows for 3d previews to be checked for errors in the g-code before they are sent to the 3d Printer

Connection rails were refined step by step through a process of 1:1 prototyping until a solid connection was achieved

The original connection rail concept on a 1:5 prototype

1:5 prototypes

1:5 prototypes

1:5 failed prototype

An early attempt to use a space colonization algorithm to populate patterns on the components

Polylactic Acid is a bio-plastic obtained from natural starches, bio-degradable and recyclable and has some interesting physical properties

Early design concept and 1:5 prototype

Artifact during the design process

G-code preview of a female component with a 2mm layer height

The first 1:5 prototype

Altering the parameters of the print changes the density of the surface pattern

Image by Arthur Mamou-Mani

Image by Arthur Mamou-Mani

Image by Arthur Mamou-Mani

Components in the XinTianDi Style installation

Components in the XinTianDi Style installation

The Delta Tower at the XinTianDi Style installation in Shanghai

Components in the XinTianDi Style installation

Freshly printed component at the XinTianDi Style installation

Components in the XinTianDi Style installation

The XinTianDi Style installation

The XinTianDi Style installation

Components in the XinTianDi Style installation

The XinTianDi Style installation

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