As a result of my last mini project creating organic forms with Grasshopper AAD, I stumbled on my next 3D printed offering to the world. I have been thinking about designing objects for sale on 3D print marketplaces for awhile but have not been inspired until now. Tapping deeply into my nerdiness, I have learned a whole lot about 3D printing and now trying to push this technology as far as I can beyond its current application as a rapid prototyping tool or to make simple toys, I want to use it to make stunning end use products. I have decided to start by designing lighting because it's universally appreciated by potential buyers plus the huge range of new high end filaments (rolls of plastic filament is the equivalent of what ink is to regular paper printers) available in almost any colour and texture you can think of, plus the rise (or rather fall in price) of super bright/low power LED lighting technology, in my mind, is shaping up for a perfect storm of really really cool 3D printed lighting products that you can download and fabricate yourself in your own home. How amazing does that sound?!
So to kick things off, I present... Mantra Rays (a work in progress). A study of the manta ray's beautiful forms perfected by eons of evolution in the sea. I am also trying to blend in the notion of the mandala (a circle of spirituality) because I believe beauty is found in nature and geometry. I am committing myself to not sketching any ideas that cannot be physically printed so it may come as no surprise that even this early sketch is totally printable. I'm currently testing a Single Wall/Vase Mode printing technique which will produce incredibly economical and lightweight parts. Nerd rating for this project is: 4
What is single wall/vase printing mode I hear you ask fellow nerd? It is a way of optimising designs and setting up the printer to make totally hollow parts with super thin walls.