Bookends

Story

These bookends are the culmination of a year-long quest to replicate a growth pattern that occurs throughout nature. Responsible for patterns ranging from zebra stripes to fish scales to coral ridges is a process called reaction diffusion. A 1952 paper by Alan Turing was the first to identify this extraordinary phenomenon...

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Pushing the envelope: a tensegrity structure composed of a single interconnected piece of plastic

Subtler gestures would reign supreme. Some surfaces (note the underside of the chalice and the topside of the tower) would have a soft, fuzzy effect, akin to a napped fabric. 

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Fuzz effect

Other surfaces would forefront the printed layer lines, nearly a millimeter thick apiece, akin to a tiny coil pot. 

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Layer lines should be celebrated, not hidden

These minute effects, ironically enough, presented the biggest challenge of the collection. Homing in on a pleasant fuzz took dozens of prototypes involving a delicate interplay between CAD geometry and slicer settings. Achieving thick layers required me to rebuild my printer’s extruder to force through more filament, plus figure out a new approach to slicing. 

 

The final challenge was aesthetic: develop a coherent style, a consistent geometric vocabulary. This meant walls that are multiples of 4 mm thick, fillets in the shape of aerofoils, silhouettes arising from extruded rectangles and intersecting arcs, and various other ‘nouns’ and ‘verbs’. 

 

So. Could these products have been produced using a traditional manufacturing method? Absolutely. Would this imbue each piece with a personality arising from the hand of the artist? Absolutely not.