Defining Design Direction

The Brief : Use the technologies at PrintCity (other than FFF) and within the Department of Engineering Blue Room to manufacture three artefacts that share a common theme. (Above: Figure 1: PrintCity (Cotton, 2018: online)

These artefacts can be the same object, produced 3 different ways to communicate different aspects of the design, or three different objects that follow a general, over-arching theme.

We are also asked write an informal, illustrated report that chronicles each artefact from ideation to completion and reflects on how and why we have produced these artefacts.

I am usually very daunted by such a wide brief, however, the limits are defined by the equipment, and therefore materials that we employ. Therefore, I have decided to map these out as design guidelines, establishing what is possible within the realms of the project brief.

SLA/DLP – These Techniques have strengths in the intricacy they can achieve aswell as the high quality surface finish that they can produce with little post production, making the processes suitable for when tactile experience is a key attribute. These techniques can be used to print a clear, translucent resin, which may be interesting when designing objects that work with light.

Figure 2: Stereolithography (Sculpteo, 2020: online)

Multi-Jet Printing – Similar qualities to SLA/DLP prints, but can also print with dissolvable supports and castable wax, introducing new possibilities.

Powder-Jet Printing – Fabricate objects from gypsum powder, allowing a large amount of complexity and dimensional freedom as no dedicated support structures are required, since the printed object is suspended in the powder itself. This process can also print in full colour, inviting experimentation with more chromatically accurate objects, aswell as exploration with fabricating physical representations of mechanical and thermal stress analysis results from Fusion 360. Something like this might be effective when communicating a generatively designed part for example.

Figure 3: Fusion 360 Simulation (Wasserman and Roopinder, 2015: online)

Continuous Fibre Fabrication – Produces parts with materials such as fibreglass, carbon fibre and Kevlar core filaments, ideal for fabricating lightweight, high strength parts.

Metal Printing – Can produce parts from materials such as copper, Stainless Steel and Tool Steel. This is extremely ideal for parts that conduct heat or electricity, parts that need to be resistant to corrosion (Stainless Steel) or very hard parts (Tool Steel), aswell as parts that generally need to be strong/durable.

Figure 4: Generatively Designed Electric Bike Swingarm (Cohee, 2018: online)

Laser cutting and vacuum forming machinery is also available in the Science and Engineering Blue Room, which could be used if any flat or hollow parts are required for one of the artefacts.

Ideally, I’d like to produce three artefacts that expand upon what already exists in my portfolio, and really harness each technologies that I use, exploiting their unique strengths and abilities.


Figure 1. Cotton, P. (2018) PrintCity. Learn By Layers. [Online Image] [Accessed on 29/11/2020]

Figure 2. Sculpteo. (2020) Stereolithography. Scultpeo. [Online] [Accessed on 29/11/2020]

Figure 3. Wasserman, S. and Roopinder, T. (2015) Fusion 360 Simulation. [Online] [Accessed on 29/11/2020]

Figure 4. Cohee, R. (2018) Generatively designed electric bike swingarm. Autodesk. [Online] [Accessed on 29/11/2020]

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