Case Study: Sculptures by Antony Gormley

July 4, 2011

Case Study: Sculptures by Antony Gormley

My intention in this case study is to present some examples of the work and methods followed by sculpture and installation artist Antony Gormley in the creation of his pieces. My purpose is to understand his the evolution from traditional studio methods of casting his moulds in his early work, to his more recent use of custom made computer software as a crucial factor in the creation of three dimensional prototypes. The computer-generated models produced by tailored software allow him to visualize, test and create the complex large-scale structures that make up his latest body of work. But how can these new computer generated models maintain the human feel that characterizes his work and not become a generic structure?

Born in London, in 1960 Antony Gormley studied art history, anthropology and archaeology, at Trinity College in Cambridge from 1968 to 1971. He spent the following three years in a self-exploration journey through Sri Lanka and India where he engaged in a study of Asian culture and Buddhism. He completed his postgraduate studies in sculpture at his return, at the Slade School of Art, University College London in 1979. In 1981 he had his first solo exhibition at Whitechapel Gallery in London and since then, has exhibited his work in venues such as the Venice Biennale, the Sydney Biennale, the Kassel Documenta 8, Tate gallery among others. His sculptures and installations have been displayed in public spaces in the UK, Norway, Sweden and Italy. In 1994 he was awarded the Turner Prize for his work Field for the British Isles. *1

As an artist, he describes himself as a “maker” more than a scholar. He defines sculpture as the “art of the palpable that makes feeling intelligible.” “Sculpture”, he states, “has a dual nature: it is both a thing amongst other things and a picture of something; an embodiment of our sense of internal space and an occupation of space.” (Feeling into form). He combines concepts about the “shape of the thing” (progression of form, motif, image and symbol) from Erwin Panofsky with Henri Poincare’s making of our experiences of abstract space into something concrete to mould his ideas into actual objects. *2

Gormley’s large-scale installations, explore the relation of human body to space as well as the relations between the individual and the collective. With his work, he intends to build a relationship between the audience and his work, actively trying to shift the role of the viewer from a subject who experiences the work into an object being viewed. He questions “if art moulds our emotional life in the same way that logic or mathematics might mould our intellectual life, and given that life experience is so fluid and fleeting and difficult to remember, how can art be concentrated form of remembering? Can memory cohere in an object and if so how does it evoke memory in the viewer?” *3 Gormley tries to respond to these subjective questions of experience, feelings and memories through rational fields with the purpose of objectifying his responses. This is what leads him to laws of building, engineering, weight, measure and mathematics.

WJT Mitchell describes the two approaches of the traditional process of making sculptures as “carving or moulding from the the outside, and casting from inside out. *4 And classifies Gormley’s work in the second approach, as he casts his body in plaster to create a negative which he later uses to produce a positive. The process varies as he incorporates different materials and expands his ideas about place and body. In the following two case studies the “variable block” series and Feeling Material, I extract Gormley’s description of his methods in the creation of the pieces. In the third example, I base the information presented on an online publication by Lusas an engineering and consultancy service firm, whose team worked in collaboration with the artist to developed the software that would allow the creation of the model of “Quantum Cloud”.

The Process of making

Case 1. The “variable block” works: the Persipitate, Sublimate, Concentrate series.

In the following text, the artist describes the conceptual and the use of traditional methods of creating sculptures using casing techniques.

Figure 1.1 Sublimate 2004 Mild steel blocks 195 x 52 x 32 cm
Figure 1.2 Precipitate II 2004 Mild steel blocks 82 x 47 x 65 cm

“All of my work starts from the position of unknowing, from a position of direct, raw being. It is a moment of lived time taken out of time which is in same way a point of origin. I am naked covered in a layer of clingfilm and my living body is registered in a chemical and mineral way in plaster. This three-dimensional negative that shows the space of my body is then translated into a three-dimensional positive form. That transposition is then translated into a construction using four different block sizes, each block being eight times bigger than the one before. The idea of these algorithmic build programmes is to find a means of measurement that translates the anatomy of the body normally configured in the relationship between bone, skin and muscle, into another kind of matrix more familiar to mathematicians and builders”. *5

Case 2. Feeling Material

In Feeling Material, he still uses traditional methods of casting. Creates a negative that will be translated into a positive that will later be used to define the form of the sculpture.

Figure 2.1 Feeling Material IX 2004 Continuous rolled mild steel wire 273 x 158 x 212 cm

“I use three-dimensional positive as the core around which a continuous line of mild steel up to 800m in length is spun, so that the line makes an orbit around the edge of the body, then shoots into outer space, returning again to the bodyzone. So it might go around the wrist and then disappear into space and make one turn around the body and then re-enter the bodyzone at the chest, go out again, hit the bodyzone again around the neck. This continual orbiting from the surface of the bodyzone to its farther reaches builds up an energy field, a web, a net which can trap the eye of the beholder but also identify space. The work creates a kind of “feeling zone”. These works use tensile properties of he material to create a matrix that evokes the laws of motion, of subatomic particles circling a nucleus and more recent theories of worm holes and string theory”. *6

Case 3. The Quantum Cloud.

The Quantum Cloud is a large-scale sculpture that was commissioned by the New Millennium Experience Company. Described as a “30 metre high x 16 metre wide x 10 metre deep elliptical cloud sculpture which stands on four cast iron caissons in the River Thames in London”, the Quantum Cloud was the result of a collaboration between an engineering design team of Elliott Wood Partnership, LUSAS consultancy services and Antony Gormley.

Figure 3.1 The Quantum Cloud

The overview of the Structure as published by LUSAS Consultancy Service’s online website.

The sculpture, whilst visually random in nature, in fact consists of three distinct regions. A central structural core of 1.65m sided, tetrahedral steel units provides support for an outer steel tendril region that forms the cloud shape, and also provides the restraint for an inner body form structure. The structural core rests on a lattice of 533x210x92 Universal Beams via stools at every tetrahedral and lattice intersection. The steel lattice beams are, in turn, bolted to 1016x305x272 Universal Beams that span between the four existing caissons.

Each of the 325 tetrahedral units is formed from four, 1.5m long, steel hollow sections welded together. Every unit is connected to its neighbours by a unique casting to which it is initially connected via steel pins that are subsequently removed after the joints are welded. Each tendril is fabricated in one piece for bolting to a spigot on the main core. The body form members are threaded through the core and also held in place by spigots. Galvanised, steel, 70x70x5 Square Hollow Sections are used throughout the core and for the first member of the tendril that is welded to it. 70x70x3.6 Square Hollow Sections are used elsewhere. Grade 50 steel with a yield strength of 420Mpa was used throughout the structure with the exception of certain members at the base of the core where steel with a certified 25% greater yield strength is used. In all, approximately 5.5km of steel section is used, weighing nearly 50 tonnes in total. *7

Figure 3.2 Parts of the Structure: Body, lattice, core, tendrils
Figure 3.3 Parts of the Structure

The Process of making

In contrast with other previous works where the artist creates physical moulds of his body to create the structures, in the Quantum Cloud, the molds become virtual objects. Laser scans of his body create information that will define a 3-dimensional “domain of the body form”. This information is then acknowledged for the creation of a core structure that should support the piece when exposed outdoors. Custom-made software defines the location and form of a support steel lattice composed of a layer of randomly oriented tetrahedral units. As the layers are completed, the software uses the information previously generated to create new layers of information that will continue forming the structure. The full structure is composed of seventeen layers of tetrahedral units positioned and arranged in place using chaos theory and fractal growth techniques.

As Geoff Paice, Deputy Head of Engineering Services at LUSAS explains: “Our custom software converted the digital design directly into fabrication schedules and erection drawings, thereby minimizing the traditional paper-copy approach and virtually eliminating manual drafting requirements. This potentially saved the project months of CAD time and allowed the design to evolve while the fabrication proceeded.” *8

Through this process of creation, the model was analyzed, tested and the software was virtually molded to the needs just like a material sculpture would model. For large-scale structures such as the Quantum Cloud, where structure analysis for factors such as the materials and wind, computer prototyping becomes a useful tool in the process making. Digital prototyping makes testing and design complex structures feasible as it allows the isolation of the layers for its individual analysis.


It requires a full understanding of traditional methods in order to seamlessly incorporate new technologies, like rapid prototyping, in the making of successful sculptures.

“I try through my work to provide a means that Pointcare demanded to fix our position in space. He says that every human being has to construct first this restricted space and then is capable of amplifying, by an act of imagination, the “restricted space to the great space where he can lodge the universe”.

Gormley has literally constructed his position in space, from the inside, through his casted figures, and seems to have discovered the great space and has been creating a universe outside his body with the aid of digital technologies. His new forms, although are computer generated, still hold the principle of the body in space. And although his latest pieces have a mathematical feel to them, they still have share a core, that of the human figure that is still able to translate his ideas.

1 “Antony Gormley Biography”, last modified July 4,2011,
2 Antony Gormley, “Philosophical Transactions: Biological Silences,” The Royal Society 362 (2007):1513, accessed June 30, 2011.
3 Gormley, “Philosophical Transactions: Biological Silences,”1514.
4 WJT Mitchell. “What Sculpture Wants: Placing Antony Gormley,” (London: Phaidon, 1995 and 2000),
5 Gormley, “Philosophical Transactions: Biological Sciences,” 1516.
6 Gormley, “Philosophical Transactions: Biological Sciences,” 1516.
7 “The Design and Analysis of “Quantum Cloud.” last modified February 23, 2009,
8 “The Design and Analysis of “Quantum Cloud”

Project Three- Nicole

July 4, 2011

Design Thinking

I started this project out by redesigning my bowl from last semester. By using Rhino I could really push myself to create something unique in shape… more organic. I love the look of laminated pl wood so it was an easy choice when it came time to pick material but I wanted a challenge so I incorporated acrylic into my design. As I mentioned before in my last blog post my original project was inspired by Frank Gehry and last bowl was inspired by his love of fish scale. This time I wanted to distill his eclectic architectural style using visual tension, angles and tilting volumes.

original bowl

With this new bowl I wanted it to interact with its environment, the contours of the bowl to have contention with the fruit by pushing and pulling and having awarkard gaps between the bowl and fruit.  Also the colour of the fruit would be reflected in the acrylic whenever the sunlight caught the acrylic. I leveled the outer edge of the bowl instead of the inside as I prefer to carry something smooth when transporting the bowl. While that might not have been a good idea as it was pointed out to me during critque as the ridges could bruise the fruit. It also came down to a matter of time and I personally liked the contrast between the inside and outside. This problem could also be easily be solved by only placing thick skinned fruit in the bowl!



I decided to laser cut my design and then laminate it my design. I didn’t document the process very well with photos but assembling the bowl was quite easy. I submitted three files one for the plywood and two for the different thicknesses of acrylic.

When I got the materials back I sanded off the the burnt part of wood off.

Then I filed the outter edges of the bowl to make it smooth.

Next I used wood glue and clamps to assemble the bowl. After I used wood filler to fill up any holes. To attach the acrylic to the wood I used epoxy.


This project was a lot more time consuming and troublesome than I anticipated. First of all the availability of material, I ended up going to Rona and brought a 4×8 ft piece of plywood which was later cut into 2×2 pieces so I could transport it on the subway. I wanted to incoporate two different sizes of acrylic in my design so I brought a piece of 3/8″ acrylic from Active Surplus. But when I went to get it cut by the laser cutter it turned out what I brought wasn’t actually acrylic but lexan which didn’t end up cutting and left a big mess. I ended up buying plexiglass from Toose which was 1/8″. ( I was asked why I didn’t just laminate two piece of acrylic together. I didn’t want to do this because I’ve used resin bond to laminate before and I wasn’t very successful, I didn’t want to take the risk again since I had so little time to complete this project.)

When I started to file the wood down I realized the wood I had brought was very poor quality so it was constantly chipping and I would have to glue each individual piece back into place so I wouldn’t have a bunch of holes in my project.

The greatest problem I had was the assembly part. The epoxy was such a mess, it got everywhere and I ended up having to resand the whole bowl. The epoxy also got on the acrylic and there was nothing I could do to clean it up, making it look very sloppy.


Overall I’m not that satisfied with how it turned out aesthetically . After investing countless hours, the last step, applying the epoxy ruined the whole project, if I were to improve the project I would have just used plywood. If I had the suitable materials this project could have been fully realized.

Project Two- Nicole Yang

July 4, 2011

Line Drawing


Continued Idea – Shawn Cain

July 4, 2011

One of the interesting ideas that stemmed from this project was the idea to create an interface where people could mix & match pieces of characters to create their in-game avatar and print them out. I have been working on that same idea and have first created a prototype where you can create 3D models & renders or friends faces.

So far I have only rigged it to work with female facial geometries but soon I will have it work for males and bodies as well as you can literally ‘make friends’. (The systems works by taking facial dimension data and converting it into a cubic deviation from a default model of my construction. And textures are mapped using photographs as the source material; allocating areas via control points).

Project 2 – Shawn Cain

July 4, 2011

Project 3 Shawn Cain

July 4, 2011

Working with rapid-prototyping technology for the first time made this an interesting project and learning experience. Considering video-game design as the base for what would come to be a convergence of media where I could utilize another means of ‘bringing a character to life’, I sought to find a way to take something that was purely based in the virtual space and give it tangibility, value and context outside what it was typically meant for.

As I would discover, there would be many set-backs and restrictions to what was possible given the time. My initial character designs would prove too complicated or problematic for 3D printing and thus had to be tossed.

The problems I ran into mainly came from the software I was using. 3D Studio max is a rendering and animation 3D modeling program that (while having the capabilities of preparing for 3D printing) is not as integrated in its design for that purpose as Rhino or Solid Works is. This resulted in areas that could not be printed due to a lack of depth, uncapped cavities, and seams that stl files may read incorrectly. As well, the 3D also isn’t accustomed to printing a mesh comprised of pieces.

In the end it became less practical to fix what I had and work with a character that was far easier. Since this project was supposed to be constructed on the heels of a past work, I decided to utilize a character from the game project I had worked on in the previous semester. The characters from said game already had fairly simple models which meant as that was required to print them was a few fixes in Rhino that consisted of filling holes and seams as well as removing textures and simplifying the geometry even further.

Stripping the character and re-building his geometry in Rhino made for quick work and I when for the traditional or iconic T-pose (from its skeletal biped) as a bit of connective humor between software, media, and context. It was a game design convention that was almost unnecessary in what would become physical space yet interesting to utilize as a strange bit of humor as opposed to a posed or posable figure. (Though a posable figure was the initial idea but was scrapped due to time constraints).

While I still mapped its textures for future use and reference, it came across as a fairly useless application outside of the render.

In the end I was left with an accurate 3D, tangible representation of my character which lead me to my an alternate path of production that embodied the purpose or reasoning behind my entire idea. Just was the game world I created was built of simple textured primitives and had a level designer that was made for rapid level creation using these building blocks, as materials and objects in that world could be printed and brought to reality wherein the entire virtual space could be brought into the physical spaces as a reconstruction, reconstructible, representation or scene from the game. In this way, each piece acts as a building block for the construction of an overall piece. While this could not be accomplished due to price constraints, it opens up the door to a many branching possibilities for this application.

Special Thanks to: Geoff Lang, Bahalek Alpysbayeva, and Kasia Kazmierczak who worked on and helped build the actual game with me.

Game Brief Trailer – Check out this brief video if you are interested in seeing how how this ten week project culminated.

project 2 Jessie Lee

July 4, 2011

Janine Sindrey – Project 2

July 4, 2011

Flamingo Rendering

my friend 'baby chicken'

paper bear figure and drum set

Project 3 Jessie Lee

July 4, 2011

When I had my work from the 3D printer, there were a lot of wax inside of my object.

I needed to remove them to allow the chain to go through and also not to cast the wax which will result more silver(means more weight and cost).

 I deep the object into boiling water to remove the wax from the inside.

left one is how it came out from the 3D printing and the right one is after one dip from the boiling water

Most of wax is out from the long piece but still there are more wax left in the shorter piece. 

After removing all the wax it was ready to be cast and this is how it came into silver

The surface is not clean yet, I need to clean them

I need to remove the metal where the sprues(path where the silver can go in while casting) were with neddle file and clean the surface

Emery from 220-320-400-600 to make smooth surface which will create more shiness

Polishing from tripoly-white diamond- rouge

and here is the final work

I only casted one of them to compare how it can be look different only by the material.

because of the reflection of the silver it shows better angle and the edges

one of them is longer and both can be worn vertically and horizontally .

Janine Sindrey – Project #3

July 4, 2011

Automata Toy

So I had decided to design, model and build an automata toy as my final project. I modelled the toy to be laser cut and assembled in acrylic. It was a super ambitious project. First I had to research and learn the physics behind the mechanisms, then 3D model the acrylic box that held the mechanisms. I had also planned to design the paper patterns for the figures that were to go on top, but was onlyable to get one figure partly finished. I was hoping to have the project completed but half way through I realized it would be ambitious if I just got the acrylic box modelled, cut and built.

During the design process I researched various mechanisms and made small models so I could understand how they worked. The various cams chosen for the design were specific to the movement of each body part. The large cam wheel with close grooves reflects the quick, repetitive movements of the symbol hand of the drummer, for example.

The most helpful books to me were Karakuri by Keisuke Saka and Paper Models That Move by Walter Ruffle.


The laser cutting worked out well – however I ran in to a lot of trouble with the files. Firstly, the ai. files I created somehow kept creating double lines and so I had to go through and check each line individually and erase all extra lines – this took me about 4 hours since I had so many cuts. It seems that when I “exported selected” as an ai. file on a computer that doesn’t have Adobe Illustrator then it created these extra lines.

Then when I got home with all my pieces, ready to build, I realized that somehow while I was erasing those lines I had also erased lines that were super important – the inside cuts that hold the mechanisms and axle in place – so I had to find another laser cutting service that was open on the weekend. Luckily, Edgar at Toronto Laser Services was amazing and gave me quick turnaround on both Saturday and Sunday. His rates were also comparable to OCAD – (check out the website, which is also super impressive

I also tried to engrave some of the pieces but the lines weren’t deep enough to be visible – I eventually decided to rub black ink into the grooves so that they would show.

black ink rubbed into engraved lines


I built the acrylic toy using a plastic glue called Plastic Weld, which needed a lot of ventilation. While it works really well as a bonding agent, it also caused discolouration between the layers. Some of the acrylic I used is translucent so you can see the discolouration between the layers. In the future I would take this into consideration in the design. I also found the glue to be super messy, and it took forever to get the pieces clamped and fitted – far longer than I had planned for!

acryclic pieces clamped, taped and then glued

dis-coloured acryclic caused by glue

Having made many models though, I found that the accuracy of the laser cuts a relief. It was so nice to just be able to assemble pieces, confident that they would match and fit because you had already made sure of that in Rhino – although finding the pieces with missing holes was a huge issue! I will certainly be using he laser cutter in the future and have all sorts of ideas for it…

Making the model in acryclic posed some problems. I had based the design on some paper automata models that I had borrowed mechanism designs from and then altered to my needs. In paper it worked well, however the acrylic rods that move up and down would catch on the rigidity of the acrylic mechanisms. I had to come up with a solution and found that attaching glass 1/2 balls to the bottom of the rods keep them from sticking. The rods also run through larger tubes which keep them in line with the cams.

Plastic half-globes attached to rods

I also designed the toy so that the two automatas operate individually and then can be joined by the theatre banner.

theatre banner slides over back of two automatas to join them

I also made my intial prototype of the figure out of glossy paper, wanting the sheen, but the glue would not give a good bond and eventually I gave in to matt card stock, and was happy with the results.

glossy paper that doesn't bond well

matt paper holds bond

 Finally I finished the acrylic automata boxes and mechanisms. While I didn’t complete the figures, I felt the quality of the toys is high, mainly due to the precise cutting povided by the laser cutter, and the precision offered by Rhino.

Finished acrylic automata box

Rhino was an amazing tool for this design. Being in ED I am used to 2D designing of 3D objects and frankly this makes so much more sense. I find it difficult to design in AutoCAD, using it more as a drawing tool, whereas in Rhino you can actually use it as a design tool.

All in all I found this a time consuming project and would be feeling more positive about it if I actually had a finished product. I will finish it after the course is over since it’s a gift, but frankly I need a break for a couple of weeks…

Nataly Ouvarova – Project 2

July 3, 2011

Isometric Drawing and Rendering

Line Drawings

Seung Ly Lee- Project#3

July 3, 2011

Project #3 – The Table Salt & Pepper containers

I made the table salt and pepper containers. The center piece will be made from wood and covered with plastics which will bring more natural and also fancier product. I designed with the Rhino… I made cut the pieces of structures by using laser cut. To remove the burning traces in the wood, I did sanding the surface by sand paper. Then, I connected the front plastic pieces and back plastic pieces with the center wood piece by screws. Here is the processing steps.


The first step is the making the illustration files to be able to get processing of laser cutting. In this step, I learned when I made the illustrated files, object of outline must be green and inside line should be red in setting RGB color mode. The line thickness should be 0.01mm.


I got these pieces of plastic and wood. In this step, I learned that only the maximum thickness of material is the half inches to be able to get laser cutting.


The wood pieces need the sanding on the surface, because the laser cutting burned the surface.


I need to use the screws to connect between wood part and plastic part. I learned in this step that when laser cutting made the holes on the surface of objects, plastic and wood, It was not exactly what I expected the scales of holes. The holes are for space for screws to connect between plastic and wood. So, I used the drill to make bigger holes again on the surface of plastic parts and wood parts to prevent the cracks, when the screw fit in the holes.


After I finished until fourth step, I started to screw to connect between plastic parts and wood parts by hands. If I used the electric drill to screw in the pieces of objects, the thin plastic cover pieces could be cracked easily by the electric drill.

Finally, I got this the table salt & pepper container, successfully.

Seung Ly Lee – Project #2

July 3, 2011

Liane Vaz – Project Three

July 2, 2011

This piece not only took inspiration from Egyptian motifs and symbols, but also stemmed from a piece I had made in high school (see here). For this project, my goal was to utilize the precision and detail that Rhino can give me, which aren’t as easily achieved using traditional jewellery fabrication methods.

Here are the two MJM prints I got from Darrel. The first one, the smaller one, was misprinted so the second one, the larger one, was done. When Darrel was cleaning it, it snapped cleanly in two (which is weird because the smaller one is WAY more delicate and it did not break). I wasn’t too concerned about the break, as I could solder the pieces together later.

This is what my piece looked like after I got it from the casting house, Readymounts, in brass alloy. The wings arched up a bit instead of staying flat, and the sprues were in easy enough places to remove. 99% of the detail cast properly, which thrilled me to no end. I had given the MJM print to them on Thursday, and didn’t get it back until Tuesday afternoon because they wanted to do it right. My concern at this stage was the fragility of the piece. It was easily bendable by hand which means it would break easily.

Because it was so fragile, it was easy to hammer the wings flat. With a wooden mallet and a nice area of anvil, I went at it slowly until the wings flattened. Normally, I would anneal the piece (heating it up until it was workable – after the casting process the metal is quite brittle and prone to cracking) but it was already incredibly fragile and soft.

Tumbling is a process that work hardens a piece so it isn’t fragile. I wanted to tumble the piece before I finished it so I would break the wings. A barrel contaning your piece,  soap, water, and steel shot turns like a cement truck – the steel shot constantly bumping up against the piece hardening the molecules. Given more time, I would have tumbled for longer  – as the piece stands it is still quite bendable.

Sprues are channels added to a wax model in order for the molten metal to flow to the piece. Sprue channels fill and harden and have to be removed. I used a cutting disk on a flex shaft to remove the sprues. The cutting disk has sharp edges that rotate super fast on the flex shaft, cutting through the metal. I had to be careful not to cut through my actual piece.

Using needle files, I filed away the casting film and the linear lines that printed from the MJM wax. Again, I had to do this very carefully in order to not risk breakage.

Now for soldering. I cleaned the connection point with Scotchbrite, removing any oils and dirt. I painted the area with flux, a paste which keeps the piece free from any oxidization which would inhibit solder flow. Placing my pieces on a brick, I soldered them together with a flame and hard solder which gives the strongest bond but also needs the highest temperature to work. This part was iffy as I did not want to melt any of the detail but I also wanted a good connection.

After soldering a piece needs to go into the pickle – a hot solution of chemicals that remove the oxides that soldering created. Depending on how big the piece is and how dirty it became, the pickle time differs. More dirt, more pickle.
After pickling, the piece is neutralized in a solution of baking soda and water, then rinsed off with water.

I emeried off any excess oxides (the pickle solution was weak that day) and removed the file marks from the needle files. I went from 220 grit, to 320, to 400, to 600.

I wanted the grooves on the beetle and the interior spaces from the cuts to be a dark color to show contrast. I used a chemical patina called Gun Blue which colors brass a very dark gray, almost black. It’s a liquid that is painted on in layers, left to dry, then rinsed.

Emerying takes off patinas. I used 600 grit to go over the surface of my piece, leaving the patina only in the grooves.

I used several rotary tools (blue and green stone points, felt buffs with polishing compound) on my flex shaft in order to polish my piece without taking the patina from in the grooves.

The chain I bought was fine, and the smallest jump rings weren’t small enough. So I had to file them down until they were thin enough to fit into the chain links.

Two jump rings connect to the piece, and two jump rings went onto the end of the chain where I then attached lobster-claw findings.

Ta-da! All done 🙂

Liane Vaz – Project Two

July 1, 2011

John Cao – Project 3

June 29, 2011

So i decided to do a tealight holder that are made with pieces that would slot together and be taken apart.  I chose to laser cut the pieces because it was the best way to get precise cuts while maintaining low cost value.I chose to use 1/8” frosted acrylic because i wanted that nice translucent  look. I used a 22” by 17” acrylic board for laser cutting.

I started with these pieces i got back from the 3D print shop.

I began by peeling  all the protective material off of the acrylic.

Some pieces i got back were not able to fit properly becuase the original board was a little bent so the lasercutted pieces came out a tiny bit distorted. I had to use sand paper and sand the openings to make them fit a little more easily.

These are the 5 main pieces needed for my tealight construction.And i started building the tealight piece by pieces.

The final product is shown. Users are able to control different lightings to a certain degree by either adding or removing pieces and moving the centre piece higher or lower.

Project Three: Alysha Alexandroff-Appleton

June 29, 2011

Feather Process

As mentioned in my proposal, I have been trying to fabricate a feather in wax and/or silver, and have yet to create one that I am satisfied with. Below are some models that I have attempted in wax and silver.

After numerous attempts of saving and exporting my ‘799 piece’ feather, one file finally saved, and I was able to print off 3 feathers in the Rapid Prototype center. Unfortunately these feathers were paper thin, so I had to make them thicker in Rhino, and then get them reprinted.

This time, I printed 4 feathers. Three of the feathers were 25.5 mm and one feather was 35 mm. Unfortunately, the largest feather (R) was broken when I received it, so I was not able to cast it.

I consulted with Van McKenzie, (a casting professor in jewellery), regarding my feathers. Van suggested that I add some pink sprue wax to one side of my feather to increase the thickness. By adding the pink wax, I lost the texture on one side of my feather.

When I picked up my feather from Readymounts (the casting house), this is what it looked like. You can see the remaining silver (on the bottom of the feather), from the large sprue they cut off.

I weighed my feather to determine how much silver I started with and how much I will remove when cleaning.

I started the cleaning process. I put my feather into my ring clamp, and then used my flat file, half round file, needle files and miniature needle files to remove the rest of the sprue from the back of my feather. Once the sprue was fully removed, I used my needle files and miniature needle files to clean up the edges of my feather.

I then used 320 and 400 grit emery to clean up and smooth out my feather more.

Then I chose some rotary tools so I could clean the textured side of my feather.

Polishing Time! I used my Rouge polishing buff and Rouge compound to make my feather shiny.

I weighed my feather to see how much silver I had removed. (Almost 1 gram!)

I used some 0.4 mm wire to wrap around my feather. I then attached the other end of the wire to the dreamcatcher.

My dreamcatcher with feather is complete!

Project 2: Alysha Alexandroff-Appleton

June 29, 2011

After successfully crashing my laptop, and every accessible computer at OCAD in an effort to create line drawings of my feather and save a rendered version in Rhino…

… I had to work my magic on Photoshop and Illustrator. This is the outcome of my efforts:

John Cao – Project 2

June 29, 2011

Isometric + Rendering

Line Drawings

Project 3: Creating the OMNION

June 29, 2011

If you want to read more about how i came up with this concept + look at the renderings and line drawings, click here

If you want to learn more about how i made the OMNION, then continue reading this post!

First of all we lasercut the lamp pattern on plywood. Make sure that the plywood is as good of a quality that you can get so that you can give it a nice sandpaper finish at the end.

When trying to assemble the two parts together (slip one into the other) i realized that the sliths were too small! Another thing i realized is that the lamp socket was also too small! (all due to me rescaling it a tad bit in illustrator to fit the plywood that i bought… tisk tisk

I took the lamp wire and socket from my previous floor lamp and reused them in this lamp. However when i made my first two lamps, i bought all the parts from Active Surplus on Queen st and put it together. You can also just buy a used lamp and strip off its lamp unit.

So what i ended up doing was to buy some 100 grain sandpaper to create the snug fit that i expected it to have straight out of the lasercut machine. Note to self: triple check if the lamp socket and sliths are the measurements you want them to be!

I was also not too content with the burn marks on the surface of the lamp stand so i bought some finer sandpaper (180 grain) and sanded down the surfaces. As you can see above, the piece below looks so much nicer after being sanded.

I consider this lamp project to be a two step process. First make the base which we did, then follow through with some wicked lamp shades!

In the end, i created 3 lamp shades in total for this lamp. Two patterned ones and one plain one. The initial lamp stand design was suppose to fir three different sized lamp shades at the same time. But with some experimentation, i realized that capping it at two is the best since it becomes too cramped with three. The image above represents some problems i had with a lamp shade that had a branch pattern. Small twig pieces were sticking out and the whole design was quite fragile.

My solution to the problem was to rubber cement the whole design onto a sheet of mylar. I was hoping that the mylar would add a different light effect than paper but it didnt (and i spend 5 dollars on the mylar sheet instead of 1-3 dollars on a sheet of paper…) And the kicker is that the mylar is more slippery so the paper doesnt stick that well onto the mylar… My expectations is that it will fall off in a couple of months. To solve this problem, use a thinner sheet of paper on the inside instead.

Here is to the first time i tested the lamp with a normal sheet of paper.

Here is the combination of mylar and paper.

Here is a striped pattern on the outside combined with a normal sheet of paper on the inside. In this image, there are two lamp shades in use.

Some minor details of the lamp legs… sexy!!

Random tidbit for reading this far, the name OMNION came from combining omni and onion. Omni represents its light qualities and onion represents its layered lamp shades! The more you know haha

Samantha McAdams: Project 3

June 29, 2011

My ring was inspired by how shapes are known to conventionally sit on the body. Through tradition and comfort certain forms have been adapted to Jewellery to only be used in certain areas, such as the circle for rings on fingers or the oval for earrings. I wanted to experiment and challenge these ideas to find a new way to explore different shapes and incorporate them into an unconventional but successful piece of jewellery.

I was very inspired by Lily Yung’s work and her use of rapid prototyping processes. Her felt neckpieces and laser cut acrylic rings are perfect examples of challenging conventional forms and finding accessibility through technology. She was able to use appropriate and comfortable materials while making fast changes to her models and creating multiples and different sizes with ease.

A compilation of Yung’s work:

I was also drawn to Art deco furniture and architecture for influences. The wide variety of distinctive shapes used to assemble buildings was very influential to the pentagon form I picked for my ring. The shape stands out amongst traditional settings and will have a bold image while anyone is wearing it. The decorated but refined modern look I have in my piece is attributed to art deco style and the influences many sharp and industrial shapes had on my design.

A close up image of the Chrysler Building in New York:

I began my process by creating the model in Rhino and 3D printing 2 copies of it, one for reference and possible future casting, and one for this process to be cast in brass. It was also very helpful to have a model to play with first to make sure my ring size was accurate and on its was to being a wearable piece.

When picking up my ring from being cast, I found a major sprue error from the casting house and was faced with much porosity on the surface and especially the rounded top of my brass ring. Either than the divots and large gaps on the top, my ring was solid and seemed to be successfully burnt out otherwise.

I then began the process of cleaning my piece. Because of a delayed burnout from the casting house I was left with a very small amount of turnaround time to properly clean and polish my ring, however I did my best and the result was better than expected. I carefully sawed off the single sprue on the side and I used my large half-round file and even out all of the larger edges. I held my piece in wooden ring clamps and concentrated on keeping the corners relatively sharp and then used my smaller needle files to smooth down the surface the best i could where there was the most casting damage. I wanted to keep the general shape and streamlined form and worked with the flattened file results to have a smooth surface texture.

After smoothing out the surface and bringing the porosity to a more minimal state, I used emery paper to even out the surface of the ring, on the inside and out, then began to satin buff. I placed my ring on the bench pin and used my small, medium grit satin rotary buffs on the flex-shaft in the jewellery studio to give the piece a more polished finishing.

After the satin buffing had been completed, i washed off the grease from the ring and kept it in a safe place to minimize scratching the surface.

Final product:

In my ring design, I thought of aspects of comfort and style and integrated them into the final. The piece sits on top of my fingers for just enough comfort and wearability. It also rises slightly above my index finger to show the diamond and pointed components of its form. I chose this create this design with rapid prototyping because of the many benefits that come along with it. I am able to make multiples of the ring so I can cast in different metals, and I am able to perfect the sharp and symmetrical base to further enhance the size and generally shocking look of the piece. I made an effort to streamline the lines and keep all aspects symmetrical in hopes to not overwhelm the viewer but to intrigue them with the thought behind the form.

In the future, I will always consider the cost, time and labor benefits of rapid prototyping in my own practice. The results, though still fresh and in the learning stages for myself, can be hugely rewarding in the ability to create endless multiples of a piece in a fraction of the time and for less labor costs for the customer.

Project Two & Three: Emmanuel Palmero

June 29, 2011

Small Table / Side Table

I wanted to make a small, collapsible furniture that can easily be stored and assembled by the user. I decided to make a small side table that is inspired by traditional Spanish furniture.

My initial sketches. My final rough sketch for my design would be the one on the right.

The best machine to use with the design that I made for my table would be the CNC milling machine. Due to the tight budget that I had for the material that I wanted to use I decided to fit all of the parts of my table in a 15in. x 48in. plywood that is a half inch thick. As I made the appropriate measured drawings in Rhino I made a 2D template similar to the size of the wood to make sure that all of the parts to be cut fitted perfectly in the space that I had. The picture on the left shows the offcut and the parts for my table. When I got the pieces off I sanded each one using a 150 and 180-grit sand paper not only to make the surface smoother but also to make them fit much easier for assembly.

The final rendering of my table using Keyshot 2. I decided to name my project “La Mesa’, which is the Spanish word for table just to make it interesting.

Samantha McAdams: Project 2

June 29, 2011

Line Drawings:


Projects 2/3: Ethan Lee

June 29, 2011

This is my original tea light holder design that I wanted to modify using Rhino. My intention was not to improve it, but rather develop a different take on the form. The most important thing was to retain the curvature of the form, and from there I let the limits of laser-cutting dictate the new design.

These are the pieces that I started with; I chose to use quarter-inch white acrylic

So my new design basically consisted of a base, several rings, and a series of spines holding everything together. I started the assembly by attaching all five rings to a single spine.

After that I began to attach the remaining spines, followed by the base until everything was completed.

Here is my new design beside my old one.

In action

My final render I made with Keyshot

My two posters

I would say Rhino is definitely a useful and efficient tool, especially for industrial design. With laser cutting specifically, it was challenging and fun to think about how to create a three dimensional form with flat pieces. I wish there was a bit more time for experimentation, but I’m satisfied with my final result. The new design is quite a departure, but I was able to keep the original character of the original form.

Gloria’s post

June 29, 2011

The process.


My original idea was to create a pattern (and I will quote my previous blog post) “inspired in things and places that I might see or experience in my daily life, like a pile of rocks, the damaged pavement, water, a wrinkled paper cup, a photograph, etc.

I began by printing (just to see what kind of result I would get from a printed JPG) an image of water and a photoshop manipulated version of it.

I was pretty unhappy with my outcome.

So then I decided to use one of my photographs instead of a random download from the internet. I chose one taken with my webcam, hoping that the resolution would be low. My idea was to get some pattern or texture out of the bits of information that compose a digital file, but the resolution was not so bad. I took the image to photoshop, zoomed it, resampled it, and tried different filters. I chose the Stained Glass filter option, no specific reason.

From the series of images, I decided to work with the fourth version (the first image in the second row). I took a bmp version of the photograph to Rhino and traced it, the shapes I got from my trace were too rough so I resampled them and tried to arrange them in a way that I could figure what to do with them. I extruded them, selected “important ones” like the mouth or those corresponding to the eyes… But I was getting nowhere. I couldn’t treat the pieces like a puzzle because all of my units were different, therefore they were to stay where they were. Time was running, and people were printing projects and I was stuck with this “pattern exploration” thing.

So then I decided to fit my shapes into an object, I decided to make them coasters and actually use them. So I did the following. (Click to enlarge)

Personal level of satisfaction after completing first part of the project : VERY UNSATISFIED

+ I “finished something” I could use to show in class presentation
+ The object although had no connection to the original photograph is something that I can use
– The units were useless since I could not move them or re arrange them into something
– Coasters??? My original plan was to develop an idea not make an object
– The whole thing just feels wrong

Part 2. CONSTRUCTING: Structure and Form

There was a moment (while I was preparing a case study) when all the information I have been reading and seeing made sense. I was studying and analyzing works by Anthony Gormley and Brian Jungen and realized that what attracted me about their work was their structure and form. I decided to start again.

This time I looked for my images in a book called Glitch: Designing Imperfection

Novacity, Digital Images, 080.001

Compression Series, JPEGs 1996

Back to Rhino, I decide to make units that I can use to build. If you zoom a photograph into its pixels, you will see blurred squares, also, fitting squares with each other is easier that fitting spheres, therefore I decided that the units had to be square shaped.

I came up with the following prototype shapes that I intend to use to construct a 3D version of what could be seen as a pixelled photograph. I have printed them in a small size (each cube within the shape is 1cm3) but its final size will depend on the dimensions of the the work to be produced. The idea is to build on top of a photograph a sort of sculpture with these shapes, the pieces would be hand painted depending on the photograph or image that is being recreated. I would like the viewer to see the image from the front view and think that it is a low resolution image, and only when then get closer and change angle to realize that it is composed of little bits of information, just like any digital file.

Level of Satisfaction: Very satisfied

+ I was able to print and see results from a printed JPG, a laser cut and 3D printing.
+I have a very good understanding of what can be done in the shop and I feel confident enough to use it
+I was able to solve the question of “How can I integrate this technology into my art practice (photography)?”
+I feel more confident with Illustrator
– I wish 3D printing was not so expensive, I will have to figure out how to cast if I want to have many pieces
– The mental process was long and slow, and the summer course is quite fast and intense. The idea happened, but the final product is not fully developed.

What are some of the advantages and limitations of CAD/CAM technologies?
+Makes wood (and other materials) cutting easy (for people like me that have no clue or skill when it comes to actual tools)
+It is possible to draw with accurate dimensions and create quick models and prototypes of ideas
-One would think that everything is possible, but translating single forms from Rhino to Illustrator sometimes is very difficult.
-It is expensive to 3D print
-you never know what the outcome will be with different materials so you have to test (I bought a board of different types of woods, like a composite, and not only did it not cut properly but it burnt.)

What implications do these technologies have on the future of design practice?
I believe that this technology can be effectively used as a tool to support different fields, the key is to identify the most appropriate software that will allow the materialization of ideas.

How might your own emerging practice incorporate these technologies?
I am now thinking about the idea of “building”, so I might start using the principle of building units to build a sort of collective memory.
I might want to use the laser cutter machine to create displays for my work (like a lightbox, or display cases).

Other influences.

from Pamphlet Architecture 27. Tooling.

“Carapace” Brian Jungen
Following two images are works by Anthony Gormley

Gloria Caballero

June 28, 2011

Victor Mok – Project Two + Three: Modular Ring – Process

June 28, 2011

Original Prototype

The problem with this ring was that the locking system was much too small. The three body pieces of the ring printed perfectly but the pegs on the sliding piece were missing then I received my print back. This meant I had to up the size.

Second Prototype

This time, all the important parts were there, but a few of the pegs broke off. I had two copies printed and sent off the best parts to be cast.

After Casting

At first I was relieved that it has casted at all, but upon close inspection, there were a few problems. A peg or two was missing on one of the pieces of the body, and the holes didn’t get cast into the other. The center piece cast almost flawlessly. The sliding piece was on an acceptable level.

Cleaning Process

^Tools of the Trade – Files and Emery Boards^

First I cleaned up the two sides of the body, but then half way through, I realized that two of the locking rails didn’t get cast properly, which ended up being cast almost as a solid piece. With it filled, the sliding piece wouldn’t, well, slide. I decided to borrow from the second copy of my prototyped ring and swapped out the two sides of the body. At least these two printed perfectly. I didn’t bother to finish cleaning the swapped out silver pieces.

I finished cleaning the other two silver pieces, but to make sure they fit with the two RP’ed pieces, I had to ‘mangle’ them somewhat to fit perfectly. I didn’t put a high finish on the spine piece mainly because I had emeryed too far into the ring and it was folding into one of the holes for the pegs. I also didn’t put too much effort into cleaning it up all the way mainly because this is pretty much a successful sample but a failed final. A proof of concept if you will. One thing that irks me is that the seat doesn’t sit straight. It tilts forward for some reason and creates a rather large and unnecessary gap between the body and the seat.


All in all, this was a good exploration into the uses -and limitations- of rapid prototyping. In the future I will definitely keep a size restriction on RP’d pieces to around a millimeter so everything will turn out. I will also continue to revise this design until I can produce a perfectly working piece straight from the casting house.

Nataly Ouvarova – Project 3

June 28, 2011

For this project I wanted to create a unique version of an already existing object. The first idea that came to my head was to make a skull shaped piggy bank simply because I really like the shape of the human skull. After researching a little closer I realized that this would not be a good direction for my project because it doesn’t bring anything new to the table and has already been done too many times. Eventually I came up with the idea of a multi-surface piggy bank. The design is very minimalist, but anybody looking at it is able to recognize the traditional object. I wanted to make something distinctive that could also be marketed in stores such as Indigo or Urban Outfitters. One of my main objectives was also to explore the icosahedron and dodecahedron shapes in Rhino.

After experiencing many challenges with the first project I was able to learn from my mistakes, which helped me complete this project without too much difficulty. I created 3 piggy bank versions in total: one references a traditional round design, the second references a dodecahedron, and the third is derived from an icosahedron. While the round version has a very organic feel to it, the two geometric piggy banks are more separated from nature with very straight surfaces and sharp corners.

The most challenging part of this project was creating the dodecahedron and icosahedron shapes. I accomplished this by setting polygon shapes on a specific angle and patching the surfaces. This took a lot of trial and error because the shapes came out different every time and the measurements needed to be readjusted. After the design was complete I 3D printed a scaled version of the piggy bank in resin, then glued the two halves together, used spray primer, and finally paint.

As a graphic design student I feel that this project benefitted my education in many ways. I created many packaging designs and advertising posters in the past and this time I was able to make an object that can actually be packaged and sold. It was important for me to understand the 3 dimensional aspect of design because I believe that in the future it will open more doors for all graphic designers familiar with this software.

1. Splitting the model in half to prepare it for printing
2. 3D printing on resin plastic
3. Gluing the two pieces together
4. Spraying two coats of primer
5. Painting the surface with metallic paint

Victor Mok – Project Two + Three: Modular Ring

June 28, 2011

Line Drawings

Body Breakdown


Todd Jeffrey Ellis Project #3

June 28, 2011

Prototype at scale


The Process 

The attached pictures show the process of cleaning and assembling the prototype medallion into the gentlemen’s line of jewellery. 



Casting with Butts attached


 The first step was to have a cold mold made of the prototype, in this way I retained the model for future use. Molds are only good for about 150 to 250 pieces before you have to make a new one, and because I have the original model there will be no loss of detail in the next mold. Next I cut off the butts from the casting spur, and then filed and emeryed the point where the butt was attached.



 I learned that with the rapid prototyping process you must pay close attention to the support structure created by the machine. It needs to be cleaned completely or it will show up as thin line on the bottom off your piece which is difficult to remove evenly.

Medallions cleaned 9 out of 10


3 steps of emerying 240,400, and 600 grit


Next, I emeryed the medallions to remove the mold lines, and take off the casting haze. A rough polish on the buffing wheel allows me to see if there are any deep pits or scratches that need to be emeryed out. 

            The medallion was made with a setting on the top. I deepened this with a 1mm bur to solder in place a 14 carat gold ball I had made on nine of the medallions. The medallion on the ring has a 2-point black diamond instead of the gold ball.

All pieces were laid out for assembly, checked for fit, then soldered in place on each piece. They were then tumbled and given a final polish.


 Polished Tie clip

Prototyping with Rhino gave my work a level of fine detail that would be nearly impossible to achieve by carving wax the traditional way. I can see a multitude of applications for the use of Rhino in my shop to produce everything from charms to custom rings with out the need for wax work, or the need to re-carve a model if it did not suit the customer.

Once the prototype is made the process of producing the piece follows traditional methods. Where time and money can be saved is in the ability to try ideas and make mistakes without incurring the costs of valuable gold or silver materials. 






Finished Gentalmen's line


Project 2 and 3

June 28, 2011

SketchsketchSketchInitial sketches for the model(stool)

For this project, I wanted to make object with spiral shape, which is my favorite form. Spiral shape represents ‘circulation’ and ‘progress’.

I had a rough sketches for stool using spiral shape that I drew last fall semester. Project two was good chance to bring out the form from my sketch book.


The left one is ideal shape. However, FDM machine was not available to use and I had to find a way to make spiral shape by using only laser cut machine.

I explored other possibility, other form that shows spiral shape directly or indirectly. Using laser cut allowed me to use only 2D shape.

I had to make 3D form (multi-curve) with 1D/2D. That’s where I got inspiration for the final solution. Turning linear lines into diagonal line creates illusion of spiral shape.

For the purpose of this object, I looked around my desk and I realized I am using starbucks cup as pen holder.

So I decided to use my object as something I will use well. Twisted linear string holding a pen might be interesting, I thought.


For model making I used wood but for rendering I applied ‘fancier’ material; plastic. I used ‘keyshot’ (aka bunkspeed) for rendering.

The best merit of using CAD, Rhino is that I can preview the complete form in advance. The visual information that rhino provides is outstanding.

It is too bad that rhino doesn’t have physic-engine. Since my object requires some mechanical part and movement/motion, it could make me

much easier to plan and make it if Rhino had physic-engine. It was first time to make something in real from computer screen using

laser cut for me and I earned some confidence using this technology and making mechanic parts for later time. It really helps to

communicate 3D form with other people, to project imaginary shape in my head  to outer world.

Todd Jeffrey Ellis Project #2

June 27, 2011

My original post for project #2 shows a ring with a medallion on it. The medallion I have used in a number of different application for a line of gentlemen’s jewellery containing classic pieces like cuff links, a stick pin, ring, money clip, etc. I am also in the process of enlarging and manipulating the piece to become pendants buckles and other pieces needing a larger or different shaped medallion.

n e s t s

June 25, 2011


s i t e:
 scarborough bluffs

 s i t e:
 july – lake ontario 

s i t e:
november – 8:30 am

s i t e :
july – gully

s i t e:
november – gully

s i t e:
gully – morning

s i t e:
walkout from gully – sunrise

s i t e:
gully [morning]

t h e s i s:
site plan [nests]

t h e s i s :
nests [elevation]

t h e s i s:
conceptual model [nest]

t h e s i s:
conceptual model [nest]

t h e s i s:
conceptual model [nest]

t h e s i s:
conceptual model [nest]

t h e s i s:
conceptual model [nest]

t h e s i s:
conceptual model [nest]

 t h e s i s:
conceptual model [nest]

p r o d u c t i o n:

p r o d u c t i o n:

p r o d u c t i o n:

p r o d u c t i o n:
r h i n o  s k e t c h

p r o g r e s s:
c n c  a t t e m p t  [1]

p r o g r e s s:
c n c  a t t e m p t  [1]

p r o g r e s s:
c n c  a t t e m p t  [1]

n e s t s

June 25, 2011

n  e  s  t  s….……………….

          As an expansion of my fourth year environmental
          design thesis at Ocad, I would like to construct a
          full scale “nest” pavilion to which one or two
          individuals can reside in temporarily.  
b a c k g r o u n d .…………

          For my thesis, I focused on redeveloping a building,
          situated in a forest at the Scarborough Bluffs
          in built form (the building) and the natural
          site surrounding it. (forest, water,bluffs,
          beach) The project was about exploring the
          outdoor site and the building served as
          home base to return to during the evenings.
          The thesis program was  a retreat where
          guests could reside for extended periods
          of time while mentally taking a break
          from our busy downtown core. 

          Numerous site specific installations/
          pavilions were designed to capture
          “moments” of the sites characteristics
          and allow one to reside in the moment
          for an extended period of time, thus
          becoming further connected with the
          site. Site specific installations
          responded to site elements such as
          wind, sun, water,sound, seasons, time
          and texture. “Nests” were a proposed
          pavilion located within a small gully
          in the forest of my site. My intention was
          to create several nest/cocoon like pods
          suspended from the trees for one to
          experience that area of the site. Concepts
          such as a rotating vista, bouncing,
          protrusion of natural light into the
          structure, movement due to seismic
          forces, suspension and the feeling of
          being in a “nest” within the forest
          influence the structure.
 c o n t i n u a t i o n…………
         Rhino modeling has allowed me to
         create a three-dimensional
         abstracted skeleton of a nest formation
         which I was able to explode and examine
         its individual components. The ability
         to see my creation three dimensionally
         and simultaneously two dimensionally,
         aided in creating pieces to which I would
         later cut out on the cnc mill. While this
         process could be done by hand without any
         CAD/CAM technologies, the program allowed
         me to preview my finished product before
         beginning its actual construction and to
         create the structures components
         quickly and accurately; assumingly much
         faster than by hand with traditional
         calculations and drawings. What was challenging
         for me, was my level of comfort
         with Rhino and how this impacted the model I
         created. Ideally, I would have
         enjoyed creating various and diverse
         skeletons for the nest formation, however I
         felt limited in my knowledge of the software
         to model these at the time. The conceptual
         nest models I created during thesis proved
         to be more natural and organic. The combination
         of technology and machines, I felt limited this.
         Knowing the CNC must be flat one one side and
         the dimensions of the bed size influenced my
         finished product. I am also curious to explore
         these technologies with metal
         and other materials.  

         For me, today, these technologies prove to
         have numerous implications and
         inspirations for my future design work.
         My plan it to study landscape design and
         merge this with my environmental design
         background, and the industrial design
         influence in which field I am currently
         working, exploring the creating of
         custom lighting installations, furniture
         and commercial interior design.  In
         time and with experience,  I would like
         to be a landscape architect. I am
         interested in creating structures and
         installations that introduce people to
         their surrounding environment on numerous
         scales (a connection of person and
         place); from understanding the patters of
         the sun on a specific tree and its
         diversity throughout the day and season and
         year, to understanding the wind
         through witnessing its control over a
         fabric installation, dancing and blowing
         uncontrolled as a reaction to its forces.
         In essence, I would like to plan +
         design formations and structures that once
         completed are free and unmonitored
         to play with their surrounding site.

         Because the form of many installations I
         would like to create may be abstracted
         and organic, these technologies aid in
         creating them first hand before beginning
         construction and allow me to merge
         “man-made” with “natural” materials. The
         technologies further allow me to translate
         abstracted forms into sound,
         technically sufficient structures.  Rendering
         tools such as lighting is extremely useful in
         predicting the feeling and mood of the future space.

         Currently, the software has been useful in 
         modelling and creating custom light fixtures
         and furniture. The drawings and 3-C camera both
         are very helpful in illustrating an idea to a client
         and contractor before prodcution begins.

Project Two and Three: Final Presentation and Critique

June 23, 2011

Small Object Design wraps up this Wednesday, June 29th. We’ll be gathering in Room 550 at 08:30 (a different location than usual). I’ll meet you there and we’ll get the room arranged as appropriate. Please be on time (I promise I will be) so that we don’t leave our guests waiting. Our guests will be Robert Mitchell from Material Art & Design and Roderick Grant from Graphic Design, and possibly others.

Remember to bring or upload the following:

  • Your line drawings and renderings, plotted on a total of two 11” x 17” pages (Project Two),
  • Your line drawings and renderings, posted to the blog (Project Two),
  • Your 3DM and PDF files in a folder named with your name (Project Two),
  • Your Small Object, curated as required for presentation (Project Three), and
  • Your illustrated explanatory blog post about the fabrication procedure of your Small Object (Project Three).

Note that I’ve revised the brief for Project Two slightly: I’ve eliminated the requirement to submit an STL file because it wasn’t universally applicable.

In some cases, it may be appropriate to present additional material, either physically or on the blog: sketches, intermediate production steps, previous iterations of the concept, etc. You’ll only have a few minutes to speak about your Small Object, however, so please curate your presentation carefully. So long as the posts are well organized, there’s no limit to what you can post on the blog: use it as a place for any pertinent extra material you’d like to share.

Remember that the drawings should be whatever combination best represents YOUR project and process. Do not automatically defer to my Project One example.

Lastly, please ponder the following questions:

  • What are some of the advantages and limitations of CAD/CAM technologies?
  • What implications do these technologies have on the future of design practice?
  • How might your own emerging practice incorporate these technologies?

As much as possible, I’m going to frame the critical conversation we’ll be having around these questions.

See you Wednesday!

Project Two: Enhanced Drawing and Rendering Examples

June 23, 2011


June 20, 2011

I am not sure if everyone knows why I post messages in the blog more than anyone else, most of you might not even get a chance to read them or might find them irrelevant to your ideas or your ways of working. I am though, required to post my thoughts and document the process of learning and trying to incorporate the new skill into my art practice.

1. My background

As you know, my background is in photography. I am also interested in traditional printmaking and film. I began my photographic explorations by reinterpreting people’s images of their own family albums. The work that followed is more autobiographical, still reflecting on images of my own family album, I try to shift between the present past and future to convey stories. The everyday life is another aspect that marks my work, since this is the time when I am actively reflecting on ideas that are of my interest. I like documenting time and culture through photography and film. Although I have not defined a final thesis, I want to continue giving importance to the aspect of temporality, creating images, stories or objects that like photographs serve as reference of a time and culture. Like reminders or post its for future reference.

2. So where does Small Object Design fit in this plan? Why did I decide to take the course?

I was attracted to Small Object Design because I was interested in learning a new technical skill that I could possibly incorporate into my art practice. Also this course was in the 300 and 400 level that I was required to take as part of my program.

During the course of this term, my challenge has been to figure out how to apply this technology into my work. With this approach in mind, it has been harder for me to decide what to make, what is my final object that I want to create. To answer this question I have searched online, checked out some books from the library, understanding and learning how this technology is used in architecture, fine arts, crafts and museum displays. I am trying to somehow find a use or link between 3d printing and photography that is not necessarily that one commonly used by architects or designers as a way to visually represent their prototypes. So then another question that I have been trying to solve is, how can I integrate photography and 3d printing to create something that is useful to me?

3-D Printing @ The Economist

June 13, 2011

Just as nobody could have predicted the impact of the steam engine in 1750—or the printing press in 1450, or the transistor in 1950—it is impossible to foresee the long-term impact of 3D printing. But the technology is coming, and it is likely to disrupt every field it touches. Companies, regulators and entrepreneurs should start thinking about it now.

(“Print me a Stradivarius: How a New Manufacturing Technology Will Change the World.” The Economist, 12-18 February 2011: 11. Print.)

Perhaps the most exciting aspect of additive manufacturing is that it lowers the cost of entry into the business of making things. Instead of finding the money to set up a factory or asking a mass-producer at home (or in another country) to make something for you, 3D printers will offer a cheaper, less risky route to the market. An entrepreneur could run off one or two samples with a 3D printer to see if his idea works. He could make a few more to see if they sell, and take in design changes that buyers ask for. If things go really well, he could scale up—with conventional mass production or an enormous 3D print run.

(“The Printed World: Three-dimensional Printing From Digital Designs Will Transform Manufacturing and Allow More People to Start Making Things.” The Economist, 12-18 February 2011: 77-79. Print.)

CNC Milling

June 13, 2011

What it is. . .

CNC Milling machines use a computer to controlling a rotating cutter mounted on a moving head to subtract material from any substrate (the stock). Typically this is restricted to three axes (X, Y and Z); four, five and six axis machines exist in industry. Output is adjusted via the translational speeds of the milling head (the feed rates), the rotational speeds of the cutter (the speeds) and the type of cutter installed (the mill).

CNC Milling is a very broad topic, so the thoughts and tips below are only an introduction, and are generally specific to OCAD’s Techno-Isel 3-Axis CNC Router.

Things to think about. . .

  • What’s the area of the cutting bed? OCAD’s is 4′ x 4′; 5′ x 10′ or larger is available industry. It’s also possible to move the material instead of or in addition to the milling head.
  • What’s the maximum allowable height of the stock? This dimension varies depending on the mill being used.
  • What are the limitations on feed rates, speeds, and mill types, and what are the implications of these limitations?
  • What mills are available? What final finish do they create? Does the job require multiple mills? Multiple passes?

To CNC Mill. . .

  • Provide an STL file. For the purposes of CNC machining, this file does not necessarily need to be watertight. The file should include a model of your stock, and a model of your job, arranged such that the stock fully engulfs your job.

Laser Cutting

June 13, 2011

What it is. . .

Laser cutters use a laser (typically a CO2 laser) to cut or etch sheet material. Typically this is restricted to two axes (X and Y), with limited control over the third axis (Z) by modulating the intensity of the laser beam. Three axis and even six axis machines exist in industry. Laser cutters can be set up to interpret both vector and raster data; output is adjusted via the speed of the laser head and the intensity of the laser beam.

Things to think about. . .

  • What’s the area of the cutting bed? 18″ x 36″ is typical in research facilities; 4′ x 8′ or larger is available industry. It’s also possible to move the material instead of or in addition to the milling head.
  • What’s the maximum allowable thickness of the material? 3/8″ is typical in research facilities; 1″ or more is available in industry.
  • If cutting, what will happen to the edges of the material? Will they burn (e.g. wood) or melt (e.g. acrylic)? Will the burning or melting affect the surface of the material?
  • If etching, what will the final finish be like? Will it be burned or melted? Can sharp lines be maintained, or are details degraded?
  • Is the resultant off-gassing noxious or carcinogenic?
  • How can the object be resolved into flat parts and re-assembled? Two possible strategies include stacked-and-pinned parts, and interlocking frame parts.
  • What are the implications of the laser kerf (thickness and angle)? The laser is focused on a particular elevation (Z-dimension): the thicker the material, the more out-of-focus the laser, and the less perpendicular the cut will be to the surface.
  • What advantages/disadvantages does laser cutting have over comparable processes, e.g. water-jet, plasma cutting, flame cutting, die cutting? Things to consider: accuracy, speed, set-up cost, unit cost, implications of heat-affected zone. Click here for a comparison of these technologies as applied to metal.

To Laser Cut. . .

  • Provide a vector file (for cutting or etching) or a bitmap file (for etching). Vector files include .pdf, .dxf, .dwg, .ai — check with your provider.
  • Provide only the information required for cutting or etching.
  • Place all vectors on appropriate layers, e.g. one for cutting, one for etching.
  • Ensure that all information is 2-D, i.e. has no Z-dimension. (In Rhino, run the Project2CPlane command)
  • Ensure that the object is scaled to the correct size.
  • Ensure that all part outlines are closed.
  • Ensure that there is no duplicate or overlapping information.
  • Arrange the information in a rectangle that is the same dimensions as your material (and is smaller than the cutting bed)
  • Arrange the information so that different cutting jobs are easily distinguishable, either as separate files or as clearly labelled rectangles in a single file.

3-D Printing

June 13, 2011

What it is. . .

3-D printing (3DP for short) is an additive manufacturing technology where a three dimensional object is created by the successive layering and bonding of material. There are many different systems, employing many different processes and materials, including:

Things to think about. . .

  • What’s the volume of the printing bed? 9″ x 9″ x 9″ is typical in research facilities; many volumes are available in industry (e.g. D-Shape)
  • What’s the minimum allowable thickness of the material?
  • If your object is hollow (a typical cost-saving strategy), does it require evacuation holes to permit unused material to escape? How big do these holes need to be?
  • Does the printing material require treatment after the fact? For example, starch powder-binder printed models are usually sealed with cyanoacrylate.
  • Does the printing method create support material (e.g. FDM “scaffolding”)? If so, how is the support material removed? Possibilities include a sonic bath (FDM), an oven (MJM), a solvent tank , elbow grease. . .

  • What is the resolution of the printing method? (The resolution of OCAD’s MJM machine is 0.025mm — Rhino’s default Export > STL setting is 0.01mm). What sort of texture does this resolution create? If necessary, how can this texture be removed? If not, how can this texture be oriented relative to your object?

To 3-D Print . . .

  • Provide a closed (“watertight”) polygon mesh object, usually as an STL file. Single surfaces or objects made of surfaces with gaps or holes will not 3-D print. Click here to download a detailed guide to preparing files for 3-D printing (my apologies for the atrocious grammar and graphics).
  • Ensure that all normals are pointed outwards (this is normally always true with closed objects).
  • Ensure that the object is scaled to the correct size.
  • The machine will follow the polygons exactly: turn on “flat shading” in your modeling program to see how the object will look.
  • The minimum thickness of any unsupported element should be no smaller than the suggested minimum. Ranges from 0.1mm to 3mm, depending on the process: check with your provider.

Jewelry Production

June 11, 2011

This video shows how jewelry is manufactured today.
(click on the right of the page)

The division of labor is pretty extreme.

Can anyone tell what program they are using for the 3d models?

Project 2: Help!

June 10, 2011

I thought it would be helpful to generate a summary of OCAD’s machines + brief descriptions with a corresponding price list… Maybe we can also add a list of appropriate materials that correspond w/ the machines and what is available at OCAD.

I will try to contact Daryl for this but if anyone has info, please post!


More Affordable 3D Printing Emerging

June 9, 2011

Bre Pettis showing off the \'Makerbot\' 3D printer on The Colbert Report

\"Ep.1 Application\"

Makerbot Official Website

Project Two Proposal: Samantha McAdams

June 9, 2011

For project two, I hope to create a single version of the geometric rings below. I came up with this concept in first semester but never had time to complete it. The design is simpler than what i usually choose, however i feel that with the help and planning of Rhino I can create a clean, unique ring that is geometrically different than the traditional form of rings. The form is composed with several rectangles, capped of with spheres, fitting differently than a normal rounded band ring does. The large shape created on the outer lining of my ring will be similar to a pentagon or a diamond. In the finishing process, i hope to utilize contrasting polishing and patinas to further enhance the geometric look. I am drawn to this formality, and hope to use rhino to my advantage to create a geometric but formally pleasing ring composed of many shapes.


June 9, 2011

isometric rendering and orthographic line drawing

I had alot of trouble with this but here it is, sort of. lol. Takes way too much time, congrats to the rest of you.

Project 1 – Coping Saw

June 9, 2011



Isometric Line Drawing / Rendering

Orthographic Line Drawings

Jessie Lee

June 9, 2011

This is an epitaph design I have done in one of my jewellery courses.  I had a lot of problems while I was making because of the structure and the angles.  The original design was longer than the piece but because it keeps breaking when I was making (if one of the angle wasn’t right it breaks because I keep twist them to make it fit ) I ended up with this.   It is always hard to add details in small object and especially in jewellery there are so many limits that I can done.  I want to re-try this design with rhino.  I thought it would be easier to adjust the angles in rhino and could pull out better result.

Project Two Proposal: Alysha Alexandroff-Appleton

June 9, 2011

For project two, I would like to make a feather. I have been working on a line of dreamcatchers, and have been unable to fabricate a feather in wax and/or sterling silver, that I am satisfied with. I am hoping that Rhino will let me achieve the detail and scale that I can’t accomplish in wax (without singeing my fingers), and/or the 3 dimensional structure in sterling silver sheet and wire.

Below is a photo of some models that I have attempted in wax and sterling silver (the wax feathers are approx 3cm, and the sterling silver feather is approx 1.5cm). It is obvious that I need to re-think, re-visit, and re-do the feather, in order to incorporate it into the design of the dreamcatcher.

Project 1 – Bolt Cutters – Janine Sindrey

June 8, 2011

Project 2 Proposal: Ethan Lee

June 8, 2011

For the next project, I’d like to revisit an assignment from second year where I had to make tea light holders in metal, plastic, or wood. Using Rhino, my intention would be to refine the form and eventually bring in ceramics – another class that I’m taking this semester. The current design was built with styrene, and not appropriate for the candle flame. Ceramics was originally the intended material and hopefully I can incorporate it this time around.

Project One

June 8, 2011

Project One: Alysha Alexandroff-Appleton

June 7, 2011




Locking Pliers Project 1 Todd Jeffrey Ellis

June 7, 2011

Project 2 Proposal

June 7, 2011

I would like to make a chain link watch out of cow bone. I was introduced to bone as a material while doing a luthier’s certificate (the bone is used for the nut and saddle of the guitar). I prep my own bone; I find it absolutely disgusting, but when used in a product I find the final result interesting. It can be polished to a very high gloss, and is valuable because it involves using all of the animal that was killed for food. I know this might be unrealistic to complete in the time given for the course, so I am going to give myself until the end of the week (I have already started on it) to decide if I should pick something else.

project one

June 7, 2011

Reflections on Project 1.
Approximate time invested in the first project : 20-something hours
Level of knowledge of
Rhino: 75% first manual completed
Illustrator: 0%
Photoshop: Very good which helped me deal with illustrator

I began this project before I finished the exercises of the first part of the manual. I don’t think that affected much, since my piece was very geometric, I did though, read the exercises (without actually doing them) to get an idea of commands I could possibly use. My main problem was starting, getting the image from Photoshop in an accurate size was not difficult but I managed to do it wrong, so when I brought the file to Rhino, the dimensions seemed -and were-wrong.
Working on the piece was a matter of patience and making sure that every part was carefully drawn (to avoid naked edges, or uncapped surfaces) and I think I was pretty successful. I was happy with my tool.

But what went wrong then? The post production process (setting the isometric view and the cameras as well as creating the illustrator file) was longer than I expected. It is not difficult, it just takes time if you haven’t done it before. I must say that having the online reference and detailed instructions was great.

Comments for Jesse:
Make a small booklet for future courses with the instructions and tips you have posted in the blogs, they are GREAT REFERENCES that would be nice to keep.

Tin Snips 2

June 7, 2011

Tin Snips 1

June 7, 2011

Project One: Emmanuel Palmero

June 7, 2011


project #2 proposal : Seung ly Lee

June 7, 2011

Idea development;

Originally, I was planning to make a plant pot which I got inspiration from Crystal Collection by Pour les Alpes. The one of the pieces from Crystal Collection has multi-faceted shape, which has metaphysical form and seems like modernism. From the inspiration of multi-faceted shape, I was planning to make a multi-faceted plan pot. Then, later on, I have thought that multi-faceted shape can also provide somewhat more luxurious feeling than a plant pot. Therefore, I thought a perfume bottle will be more suitable to represent my inspiration. Then I planned to make a connection between a body and a cap as a female and a male screw part which interlock smoothly. And this idea developed into the idea that I will make a couple bottle, one for a female and the other for a male. Finally, I have decided to make a salt and pepper bottle, which has two face shaped bottles, looking at each other, and these bottles can be settled in the center piece. From the multi-faceted shaped, I developed this idea into the curve shaped pieces.

This is my final proposal for #2&#3!!!

(second proposal) Project #2 proposal: Seung ly Lee
“ A perfume bottle”

June, 11th, 2011

I have decided to make a perfume bottle for the project two. The dimension of the perfume bottle will be L(4inch) * W(2inch)* H(0.5inch). So, the perfume bottle will be a portable size to be easily carried around by hands.

I will make the multi-faceted perfume bottle by using FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) machine. The connection between a cap and a body (male and female screw parts), needed to be interlocked smoothly, will be designed by using Rhino. The wooden textured paper will be glued on the surface of the bottle, alike a piece of wooden sculpture.

Here are the examples of images which I got an inspiration for making a shape of bottle. Crystal Collection by Pour les Alpes. He called Crystal Collection, plants appear to grow out of a crack in the surface of each pot.


(old)Project #2 proposal: Seung ly Lee
“A plant pot”

I have decided to make a plant pot for the project two. A plant pot can be place on a desk, a dinner table or a coffee table. So, the plant pot will be the portable size to carry by hands easily.

I will make the multi-faceted clear plastic or wooden plant pot. I will use a laser-cutting to make the multi different flat polygon planes. I think I need to create minimum 11 planes to maximum 15 planes. Then, I am going to put the multi flat polygon planes together in order to make a single multifaceted solid plant pot.

Here are the examples of images which I got an inspiration. Crystal Collection by Pour les Alpes. He called Crystal Collection, plants appear to grow out of a crack in the surface of each pot.

Bar Clamp

June 7, 2011

Project One: Liane Vaz

June 7, 2011




Project Two – Nataly Ouvarova

June 7, 2011

Orthographic/Isometric Line Drawings

Project 2

June 7, 2011

For project two I would like to make a piggy bank in the shape of a simplified human skull. It will be challenging to me because my Rhino skills are very limited, but I hope I have enough knowledge to accomplish this. I will be using 3D printing and the traditional method will include sanding and packaging the final piece as a marketable object.

Project Two: Proposal – Victor Kam Hei Mok

June 7, 2011

Ring Prototype

One of the things I am obsessed with is customization in jewellery. The ability to modify and personalize a ring, a bracelet or anything else to the style and preference of the wearer is an aspect I think is vital to the evolution our trade. To achieve this, a few methods can be applied but I am mainly going to focus on inter-changeability of parts and modularity. For a while now I’ve been thinking of a ring where the wearer can change the stone without the use of any tools by the method of a removable seat. I have considered a few methods for the removal and replacement of this section of the ring and the forces that are required to secure the stone. So far I have not developed a simple enough locking system that’s also strong enough.  For this project, I will be developing a secure locking system through several reiterations of the rings structure.

Project One: Victor Kam Hei Mok

June 7, 2011

[Crescent Wrench]

Orthographic Line Drawings

Line Drawings

Isometric Line Drawing and Rendering

Isometric and Rendering

Project 2 Proposal – John Cao

June 7, 2011

  • I ‘m deciding to redo a project from my second year core class. The project was for us to create a tea light holder that was made from either wood, metal or plastic that demonstrated our skills in knowledge of materials.
  • I have previously chosen metal because i wanted to experience working with something that gave the feeling of coldness while maintaining the balance of warmth with the tea light fire.I was not happy with my final result so im deciding to do it again.
  • This time i want to work with either wood or plastic to enhance that feeling.
  • I want to try out laser cutting so i will mostly likely have flat shapes.
  • I want my object to have interlocking shapes. It would be best that they could be fitted together nicely and create a balance object.
  • Another objective for this project i want to achieve is to enable the user to somewhat play around with the position of light and allow them to control and move around the pieces to some degree;allowing desired lighting effects.

Project One: Hacksaw By Samantha McAdams

June 7, 2011

Project One: John Cao

June 7, 2011

Utility Knife

Isometric Line Drawing & Rendering

Orthographic Line Drawings

Project One: Ethan Lee

June 7, 2011

Slip Joint Pliers

Orthographic Line Drawings

Isometric Line Drawing & Rendering

Project 2 Proposal – Emmanuel Palmero

June 7, 2011

I would like to create some sort of furniture, maybe a chair or coffee table, that would represent Canada or maybe my country, the Philippines. We had a similar project for my core class back in 2nd year where we were asked to design a product for IKEA that would best represent Canada or in other classes, the country of your choice. I wasn’t satisfied with the shelf that I made so I’m taking this project as an opportunity to redesign that project. Wood would be the material of my choice but I wouldn’t mind adding some plastic or metal to the overall look of the furniture. I’m looking forward to making something that’s collapsible.


June 7, 2011

I would like to create a pattern and use it for the creation of a decorative object (base, bookend, etc). This pattern would be inspired in things and places that I might see or experience in my daily life (like a pile of rocks, the damaged pavement, water, a wrinkled paper cup, a photograph, etc). Although my idea is not clear yet, I will start by thinking “PATTERN” and go from there.

Project 1 – bin hur

June 6, 2011

Project 2 proposal – bin hur

June 6, 2011

I am thinking to make a stool that I sketched during the last fall semester. It only exists as rough sketch in my sketchbook and my mind, so i’d like to visualize more solid. It has spiral leg with round seat. This may be simple shape but I think it would be pretty complicate shape to make it with rhino. (Hard to draw the shape by sketch….)

The material would be wood or plastic. This is one body stool, no assembly required, more like artistic piece of work.

Fixed Proposal

Spiral  shape is very interesting to me but it is very complicate shape.  By using 2D material,

I want to explore the way to make this spiral shape (or at least  gives that ‘feeling’, ‘spatial-visual effect’)

By using laser cut, Ill make base, structure with exact cuts and measurement.

Creating 2D Outlines for Illustrator

June 6, 2011

I might save some of you tons of time on your Illustrator pre-linework with this handy command.

Instead of trimming an already created outline from the “Make2D” command, try this method.

First go to the tabs up top and click Mesh –> Render Mesh Properties… Then tick “Smooth and Slower”

Secondly select your polysurfaces that create the outline and type  “MeshOutline” into the command line (if it crashes/takes too long, hide some objects that arent a part of the outline). It will then create a 2D outline of the view you are in. I tried doing it through the trimming method prior to this and it would have taken me forever…!

P.S You will have to rotate them to the top view

Project 2 Proposal – Liane Vaz

June 6, 2011

I see that everyone so far is redoing a piece from their OCAD years…but I’ve chosen to redesign a bracelet I made in high school. Yes, I’m very lucky my high school had a jewellery/ceramics/glass program.

Because of an extreme interest in Egyptian culture, I wanted to do something with a scarab beetle. Not knowing the techniques of how to do it in metal at the time, I attended a flameworking workshop and crafted a glass scarab beetle. Then did what I thought at the time was a good bezel set for the beetle and made the unsoldered chain as well.

Let’s just say after jewellery at OCAD I haven’t looked at anything I made in high school.

Now I must redeem myself! I would like to make the beetle out of metal this time, maybe a locket or some sort of articulated piece. What I’m going for is a grooved and domed surface that would be hard to represent through fabrication alone.

I plan to have it 3D printed and casted in separate pieces to then be riveted together.

Project 2

June 6, 2011

This is a fruit bowl I made last semester for my core class. It’s suppose to be Frank Gehry inspired but I ran out of time and didn’t have a chance to think through the project so I made the bowl out of abstract fish scales.

When I redesign this bowl I hope to incorporate geometric forms and shapes and create a sense of movement in the piece. I will also have to reconsider scale as the bowl as the one above was larger than I expected.

Project 2: Redesigning the egg lamp

June 5, 2011

The renders and line drawings of project 2. Download the PDF here. (note: its 65mb in size)

In my first year at OCAD i made this lamp out of egg cartons. I think it turned out quite well but there are some aspects which i feel can greatly improve through 3D modeling.

  • Some things i have been thinking about are modules, perhaps it might be a way for me to make the lamp conform to its surroundings. It might become like a “make your own lamp” kit!
  • Also with the ability to custom make every single modular piece, perhaps the pieces itself have the ability to control how much light comes through (like aperture, perhaps some might have bigger holes than others)?
  • The positioning of the lamp, perhaps it could be a hybrid floor/wall lamp?
  • The size of the lamp, since its modular, all you need to do is get more parts to make the lamp bigger?

2nd entry

After thinking about how close/not close i want my new iteration of the lamp to be, i came to a conclusion (when looking around my living room/hearing nathan and jesse talk about site specific objects) that i have to make it work with my living room! Recently our landlords told us to take down our lamp fixture (we had wires hanging out of one lamp socket which strategically lit up certain places in the living room and she was scared that it would burn down the e a fire hazard…(this is after we had the lamp up for 3 years!)) Sooo currently we are stuck with one of those regular ceiling lamps.

Since i already have a wall lamp and a ceiling lamp, what would work with the living room is a floor lamp. To tackle light in certain areas, it would have to be portable. I would also like to be somewhat true to my initial project so ill bring certain elements over to the new lamp (like using modular units of something)

A thing that i previously did not mention about my lamp is that i made two versions of it! The one you see above hanging on the wall is the more successful one. The one below is a floor lamp and is the lesser successful one. I have slowly come to a realization that this failed lamp is at the roots of my reasoning for making a floor lamp for this class. Like a dark sheep in my memory that i had to overcome, i fought it off with a better floor lamp. Ka-pow!

Project 2 Proposal – Janine Sindrey

June 3, 2011

Baby Chicken Egg Cup


This summer a friend of mine is getting married. Her nickname is ‘babychicken’ (I didn’t come up with it!) I’d like to create an egg cup that looks like a baby chicken, inspired by the muppet egg cups I have, especially ‘Sam the Eagle’ (below).



Okay, so after much consideration I decided to change my project. Still inspired by my friends wedding, I’ve decided to design, model, laser cut, and build an automata. My friend is an actor and dancer and her partner is a drummer so I am planning on designing an automata toy which represents them (and their nicknames!).

Paper Automata

Automata are often made from wood and paper. In Japan, Karakuri is the name given to automated toys. Basically these toys have moving parts, their movement controlled my mechanisms either below or behind. These mechanisms, such as cams, gears, cranks etc., are aligned on an axle and rotated by a force. This force is often a handle which is turned by hand, but can also be gravity, or wind as in a whirligig, or other types of force. In other words, I have had to engage in an intensive crash course in physics in order to wrap my head around all of it.  Once I figured out which moving parts I wanted I then had to design the mechanisms to make them move in the way I wanted. Now I have to model it to get the proportions right and to ensure the pieces line up and are to scale. This is where I believe 3D modeling is useful in this project – to replce the usual paper model that would be created. To have the model in a digital form allows for changes and alterations without having to start from scratch.

Wood Automata


Once I have the model completed I will extract the components into a 2D format and have the pieces laser-cut and then assemble by hand. The materials I have chosen are acrylic and paper – I want the model to have some durability but I also wanted a modern and transparent feel. Often durable automata are done in wood, but I felt that material was too traditional for the people I’m creating it for.

Project #2

June 2, 2011

I would like to continue working  on a ring design that I started last year.
Hopefully to add precious square cut stones to the outer bands and 1 point stones to the ends of the 12 part cross and one 3 point bezel set stone to the centre.
ring copy

Project One: Evaluation

May 31, 2011

Project One is evaluated as follows.

First, I take a look at the Rhino 3-D model. I look for adequate and accurate detail of all external and (where possible) internal parts, arranged in a well-organized system of layers. Since the model must be watertight, i.e. it must be constructed entirely of valid closed polysurfaces, I perform the following set of analyses:

  • Turn off all 2D layers (all 2D geometry should disappear)
  • SelBadObjects (nothing should be selected)
  • SelClosedSurfaces, SelClosedPolysurfaces, Hide (all 3-D geometry should disappear, and nothing should remain)

Next, I take a look at the STL file. If the 3DM was watertight, then I don’t expect any problems, but I perform the following analysis regardless:

  • Set to Rendered View
  • SelOpenMesh (nothing should be selected)

I also check to make sure the tessellation is suitable for 3D printing. Note that Rhino’s default Export > STL settings are generally suitably accurate.

The drawings and renderings are to be plotted on two 11″ x 17″ pages, and uploaded to the blog as a single PDF. In the drawings, I’m looking for:

  • Appropriate lineweights applied to appropriate lines (Make2D is limited: you should be filling in gaps as necessary)
  • Correct layer order, such that the heaviest lineweight lies on top
  • Appropriately assigned and composed dimensions
  • A correct selection of orthographic views and a correctly established isometric view

In the rendering, I’m looking for:

  • No blown-out highlights or underexposed shadows: basically, no pure black or pure white
  • Reasonable colour selections for different parts of the object (materials are encouraged but not required)
  • Object-appropriate lighting (generally from above)

Good luck on Project One!

Project One: Tips and Tricks

May 31, 2011

On creating an accurate free-form 3-D NURBS model. . .

A good Rhino 3-D model:

  • Includes all necessary details up to but not including surface texture
  • Makes use of labelled layers to distinguish between different components
  • Is constructed entirely of valid closed polysurfaces that correspond to the different components
  • Contains only coplanar components, not overlapping components
  • Contains no naked edges (Analyze > Edge Tools > Show Edges)
  • Contains no invalid or bad objects (Analyze > Diagnostics > Check)

Typically, you will model all components of your object several times before you get it right. Strive for a minimum number of surfaces, and employ additive methods over subtractive methods wherever possible. Take breaks, drink water, and get enough sleep.

On creating a dimensioned orthographic line drawing. . .

Click here to download selected excerpts from Francis Ching’s Design Drawing, which reviews technical drawing conventions.

You are not draftspeople; you are not expected to generate technically perfect dimensioned drawings. Still, you need to be able to communicate your designs to the technical experts who will help you fabricate them. A reasonable set of dimensioned orthographic drawings:

  • Includes only those views that are necessary (typically Top, Front and Right)
  • Is dimensioned to an appropriate level of accuracy
  • Does not include any duplicate dimensions
  • Does not include any dimensions that overlap on the same side

To generate the basis for a set of 2-D drawings, use the Make2D command, selecting 4 View (USA), Show hidden lines and Maintain source layers. Note that the fourth view is whatever arbitrary position your Perspective viewport is set to. Create an isometric view instead (see below).

On creating an isometric line drawing. . .

The isometric view is the least visually distorted of the axonometric projections, and is commonly employed in the representation of small objects. The isometric angle of view is approximately 35 degrees above the ground plane.

In order to create an Isometric viewport (to use in place of the Perspective viewport when generating 2-D information):

  • Create the geometry required to align the camera and target with the correct angle of view (see — or better yet, steal from — the sample Project One).
  • Right-click on the Perspective viewport window and select Viewport Properties; select Parallel Projection, and Place the camera and target
  • Right-click on the Perspective viewport window again and select Set Views, Named Views and save the view as Isometric
  • Be careful to reset your Isometric viewport before outputting your rendering or 2-D information via the Make2D command.

On enhancing a line drawing using Illustrator. . .

Adjusting the appearance of your 2-D information in Rhino is awkward at best. A better choice is to export your 2-D information as an AI file (File > Export Selected > Adobe Illustrator). Advanced Illustrator techniques are beyond the scope of this course — but you’ll need to know the following to get through Project One:

  • When exporting your 2-D information, select “Snapshot of current view,” unless you need to make scaled drawings (for Project One, you don’t).
  • When you first open your exported 2-D information, you’ll need to set up your Artboards (Document Setup > Edit Artboards). Make two 11″ x 17″ sheets, landscape format.
  • You’ll need to scale your 2-D information using the Selection Tool. Hold down Shift to constrain the proportions of your lines.
  • Next, you’ll need to adjust the line weights and colours. Note that the Illustrator maintains whatever layers you set up in Rhino. To select all of the objects in a layer, click beside the circle in the Layers pane, and a box will appear. Change the layer’s Stroke and Colour as appropriate. Check the sample Project One for suggested line weights and colours. Note that the layer order determines which lines are on top. If you cut-and-paste in Illustrator, make sure “Paste Remembers Layers” is selected, otherwise you’ll lose the layers you created in Rhino.
  • Chances are your dimension text doesn’t look right. Select one and then all of your text elements (Select > Same > Appearance), and adjust themas you see fit.
  • Don’t forget to insert your rendering (File > Place). Embed the image into your Illustrator file.
  • Print to PDF to generate the file required for both your printing and linking. Export to JPEG to generate the files required for viewing on the blog.

On creating a rendering using Rhino Render. . .

Just as in a photography studio, a good rule of thumb is to use the minimum number of lights that ensures that all visible surfaces render neither pure white nor pure black. A typical initial setup includes two spotlights 90 to 120 degrees apart pointed 45 to 60 degrees down towards the object (see — or better yet, steal from — the sample Project One). Adjust the intensity of these lights via Properties. Under Render Properties, make sure you have an appropriate Resolution setting, and consider using a Transparent background in order to facilitate a clean layout (File > Save As > PNG).

On enhancing the rendering using Photoshop. . .

Photoshop is an essential tool for most high-impact renderings. At the very least, use Photoshop to make adjustments to the tonality, saturation and contrast of your rendering. Photoshop is also where you’ll typically add context, people and sometimes texture. Advanced Photoshop techniques are beyond the scope of this course.

On outputting a file for 3-D printing. . .

The correct filetype for most 3-D printing applications is the STL file (File > Export Selected > Stereolithography). The default STL settings are appropriate for most small objects. If your file is unwieldy, try increasing the tolerance setting to generate less polygons; if you require a great deal of precision, try decreasing the tolerance setting to generate more polygons.

In order to successfully print, your STL must be watertight, which typically requires a watertight 3DM constructed entirely of valid closed surfaces or polysurfaces. Open your exported STL, and double check that your mesh is contains no naked edges (Analyze > Edge Tools > Show Edges). Repair any naked edges as necessary (FillMeshHoles).

Project One: Jesse Colin Jackson

May 31, 2011

Below is a sample blog post for Project One. Note that the small object I modelled is considerably simpler than the ones you’ve been assigned.





Below are samples of the files that you are required to submit for Project One. Note that yours should be delivered to me on a USB key in a single eponymous folder (a folder named by your name).

Click here to download the line drawings and renderings of my small object. Note that these have been compiled into a single two-page PDF file: yours should be as well.

Click here to download the 3DM model of my small object.

Click here to download the STL model of my small object.

Below are samples of two intermediate files that were created in the process of completing my Project One sample. You do not need to include either of these files in your own Project One submission: they are included for your reference only.

Click here to download the Illustrator document used to generate the drawings and renderings.

Click here to download the PNG rendering from Rhino used in the Illustrator document.

e-mail recieved

May 29, 2011

E-Mail recieved at my studio shows there are people using what we are learning.

From: <>
Date: May 26, 2011 3:04:45 PM EDT
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Subject: One of a Kind Craft Show.


My name's Jeff.  I was at the spring One of a Kind Craft Show and had a close look at the work your company was selling and I was really impressed with the workmanship and designs.

I had hoped to chat with you but there were many people purchasing and I felt it best to just take a business card and contact you once the show was over.

I'm a 3D modeller with over a decade of professional experience as a production artist from the entertainment industry and I'm starting my own business.  In the coming months my early projects will be detailed on my website so that designers and artists can better understand what I do.

I would like to offer commercial designers and jewellery producers my help to bring their production piece ideas from the design stage through the 3D modelling and 3D Printing stages to help get your work to market quicker and with greater ease and less expense.

As I am in the early start-up stages, I am currently developing my website and service offerings.  In the coming months my early projects will be detailed on the website.

In the mean time,

I have a few questions regarding your experience in creating production pieces:
  • Have you had a chance to work with 3D modelling and 3D printing for your production jewellery work?
  • Would be interested in learning more about the process?
  • If you have used these techniques in the past and what challenges have you encountered?
Thanks for your input as I grow my business by helping artists grow their designs!
I have attached a picture of a recent model I completed for a client.  It's a pendant size model.  30mm tall.  The client runs a singing business and wanted a special gift that she could give her graduating students.  Her company logo is on the base and the entire pendant is designed from the image on her business card.

Even if you're not interested in using my services, I am truly excited about combining technology and art and am happy to answer any questions you may have regarding the digital modelling process, 3D printing and casting.
As an extra thank-you for your feedback I will be offering those who reply a highly discounted rate on any of my services as I begin to grow my client base.


~Jeff Timothy.

Director, MatterMaker Creative


"proudly located in small town Uxbridge, Ontario Canada, helping other people make things."


Moving on.

May 28, 2011

I have been able to reach the rubber duck exercise this weekend. I also started sketching and tracing my tool for the first project. Although I feel that I am still moving slow, I will try to keep a constant pace. As for this blog section I have decided to not get into deep analysis of texts but rather present artists that use rapid prototyping and 3D techniques in their work. I figured that at this point it is better for us to learn about creative possibilities than the theory and history of processes and techniques. So I will start with a few artists and will be adding more as I keep finding them.
(Click on the images to enlarge or go to the artist website by clicking their name).

3D Bodyscans and Rapid Prototyping. 1:9,6 by Karin Sander.
Karin Sander

Figure 1. Stills from CT scans
Figure 2. Installation view of
Female, 25 year old, surface anatomy A
Polymer wax
18,41 x 16,99 x 22,08 cm (scale: 1:1,33)
Iñigo Bilbao

‘pouring bowls LOM models’, 2000, 30x25x15cm (largest bowl), laser cut layered paper
Justin Marshall

The following two artists and some others can be found in the following link
Ceramics Research. SSHRC Emily Carr University

A radical new piece that combines actual and virtual experiences, currently on show in Lab Craft,.
Michael Eden

“Quartz” collection for Vista Alegre, tall vase & large vase
Bartek Mejor

A slow beginning

May 25, 2011

Okay, so it has indeed been a very slow beginning for me. Installing Rhino in my computer was more painful than I thought it would be, first getting Windows, then digging my boxes to find my Mac OS installation discs now I feel this powerful need to backup my computer before it suffers a mayor Windows hard attack 😛 This is where I am now. As for the exercises, I am too embarrassed to tell you were I am, and more embarrassed to tell you how slow I am moving. But I am on it, not giving up because the more I learn about this 3D printing the more I want to learn it.

As I mentioned earlier, my interest in Rhino was more of an open approach to learn something new than a specific interest. My challenge in the class is not only to learn the software and learn how to fabricate something, but more to learn how I could integrate this knowledge into art practice. As I mentioned before, my interests are mostly photography, cinema and traditional printing, so my first question is how can I integrate this technology to create something that involves photography, printing or cinema? I know that 3D and photography have been used in Architecture for years now, but I am not that interested in architecture or commercial design.

In my first search (3D printing for fine arts), I found some youtube videos that later directed me to the Centre for Fine Print Research part of the University of the West of England in Bristol. The following are very short videos, less than 5 min each, they give a small intro about the technology, scanning objects and designing in Rhino.

3D Printing at the Centre for Fine Print Research – Pt 1, Professor Stephen Hoskins

3D Printing at the Centre for Fine Print Research – Pt 2, David Huson

3D Printing at the Centre for Fine Print Research – Pt 3, Dr Peter Walters

Finally I would like to include the link to the Symposium and Exhibition: 3D Print Technologies and their Creative Application in the Arts and Crafts that was held in Bristol in December 2009.
The visual presentations can be downloaded along with the audio files.

Noel’s Intro

May 24, 2011

Name: Noel Moore

Discipline: Industrial Design

Reason why you are taking this course ?

I need to learn Rhino for the ID Program. I want to use CNC machinery more because it is very precise, reliable, and obviously much cheaper than making things by hand.

Level of confidence

I know CS4 fairly well, I am not sure if there are similar learning patterns or similar systems used… I have taken AutoCAD and Solidworks training in the past, but it was low level.

Introduction- Hyunjin Jessie Lee

May 19, 2011

HI, I am Hyunjin, or call me Jessie

I am in MAAD, majoring jewellery and just finished my third year.

I have no experience with any of the computer programs except for microsoft words and power point. Yes.. I am definitely having a hard time…:( Please help me guys!! (btw thanks Shawn for helping me out today)

I am sure Rhino will be extremely helpful in my future also in OCAD.

I will save my time on hand fabricating all my work!! So exciting 😀

Introduction: Emmanuel Palmero

May 19, 2011


Industrial Design

I’m taking this course because I want to further enhance my 3D drawing & modeling skills and know more about Rhino.

I only know the basic functions in Rhino. I also know a bit in Photoshop. I have no experience using Illustrator and InDesign. I have slight experience with wood, plastic, and metal fabrication.

Introduction: Shawn Cain

May 19, 2011

  • I am a Graphic Design Student (Video Games)
  • I am taking this course to build on the 3D modelling skills I already possess, as well as aspire to learn new concepts and software that I may find useful as I continue to expand my knowledge and skills in this area of design.
  • Studying video game design, I have come to be quite familiar with technology and 3D modeling in particular. Modeling tools I have used in the past include: 3D Studio Max, Maya, Blender, Poser, DAZ Studio, Quidam and POV-Ray (though I am most proficient in 3DS Max, Poser, and POV-Ray and have some knowledge with the other software mentioned).

Introduction: Alysha Alexandroff-Appleton

May 18, 2011

Discipline: MAAD, major:
Jewellery + Metalsmithing

I have been at OCADU for 4 years, and will begin my thesis in Jewellery in September. I started in Graphic Design at OCADU, and after a year and a half transferred to MAAD, and I haven’t looked back since!

I am taking this course so that I can learn to create accurate 3D models, that I can cast in metal. Rhino will be extremely helpful for designing pieces that I can’t easily fabricate by hand (in metal or wax). I recently started my own company, creAAAtive, and I am hoping that Rhino will allow me to bring a new technique to my business.

I am pretty comfortable with Photoshop and Illustrator, and have some experience in InDesign and Elastic Reality. I have used Rhino before in a limited capacity, in the joint OCAD/UofT Holography course (2009). I’m looking forward to expanding my skills.

Introduction: Seung ly Lee

May 18, 2011

I am in industrial design program. (Going into 4th year)

I need to learn the 3d modeling program to improve my representation skills for my design project. I think this class will be perfect for self-development of 3d modeling skill.

I am familiar to use the photoshop, illustration and sketch pro.

introduction: jaclyn kaloczi

May 18, 2011

j a c l y n k a l o c z i
OCAD DISCIPLINE....................
environmental design. alumni
AutoDAD - 8/10.
SketchUp - 8/10
Revit - 0.5/10
Photoshop/Illustrator - 7/10
Rhino - 0/10
? WHY AM I HERE ? ................
to intersect technology:
+ craft + hand
+ industrial manufacturing
+ detailing small objects
+ to learn something new

Introduction – Bin Hur

May 18, 2011

Studied Solidworks and Rhino by self, pretty comfortable with rhino but I’d liketo know more advance or some othercommands that i might don’t know

I’d like to practice more to make model faster and more effectively

Introduction: Nicole Yang

May 18, 2011

– Industrial Design

– I’m taking this course to add to my portfolio and further my understanding of Rhino

– I have experience with Photoshop, Illustrator and Rhino

Introduction: Liane Vaz

May 18, 2011

Jewellery (going into 3rd year)

While being competent in Photoshop and Illustrator, I have no experience whatsoever when it comes to Rhino or AutoCAD.

I am taking this course because I think it is extremely important that I keep up with changes in technology that could potentially relate to my practise. At the end of this course I wish to be able to represent my designs in a three-dimensional aspect for both clients’ and colleagues’ ease, and also to learn different pre-fabrication processes that may widen my conceptual and design parameters.

Introduction: Ethan Lee

May 18, 2011

-Industrial Design (going into 4th year)

-I’m taking this course to improve my skills with Rhino; 3D modeling an important part of the design process

-Pretty comfortable with technology; I’m familiar Photoshop, Illustrator, and Sketchbook Pro

Introduction: Andrew Richmond

May 18, 2011

I’m graduating from Integrated Media (June 2nd convocation) and starting a post-grad certificate in Material Art & Design.

I’ve used a computer my whole life, my rank is Legend in Halo Reach, in terms of software I’m proficient in Final Cut, Photoshop, Painter, however, I have very little experience with 3d modeling software. I have some knowledge of electronics and programming for Arduino.

I took this course because I am interested in being able to prepare software files for fabrication in a laser cutter and rapid prototyping machine. Also i’d like to be able to scan an object to have it printed at a different scale or with other modifications. It would be great to incorporate elements from this process into my artworks (kinetic sculpture).

Introduction: Samantha McAdams

May 18, 2011

-Material Arts and Design (Jewelry)

-I’m taking small object design to learn how to create intricate and precise 3Dimensional models of my work in metal

-I have very little experience with any modeling software, but have briefly worked with adobe illustrator and photo shop to make templates for prototypes and to create and edit images.

Introduction: Nataly Ouvarova

May 18, 2011

1. Nataly Ouvarova

2. Graphic Design

3. I took this course to become acquainted with a 3D modelling software.

4. I have advanced knowledge of Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign.