An open source app called Blender does the hard work of computing the relief’s geometry. Blender is used mostly by the animation film industry, and thanks to integrated scripting and robust physical simulation, it’s perfect for the project’s needs. Blender sends the data back to the 3dprinter on the FABMOBs rig where the model is immediately printed.
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We use PLA (Polylactic acid), a biodegradable thermoplastic derived from renewable resources, such as corn starch, tapioca roots, starch, or sugarcane. PLA is manufactured in a variety of colors, opacities and textures. But the tiles can also be printed, using outside contractors, using other materials such as metal, ceramics, resins or precious metals…
This simple solution has big ambitions: to develop a far reaching platform giving everybody, not just geeks, the opportunity to experiment with the potential of digital fabrication and environmental sensors. We want the platform to be capable of realizing any project that involves printing, sensors and the environment. If you’re an artist working on the bleeding edge, a serious Maker searching for inspiration for creative mashups, or a father and son (or mother and daughter) looking for interesting weekend projects for the 3d-printer that’s already sitting in your basement , FABMOBs will have a solution for you. We want to make the FABMOBs platform into a robust network that CAN make a difference in the 3Dprinting space.
We use either portable generators, municipal energy sources (when available), and for the ATMOStag project, we used the energy plugs in vehicles in Paris’s electric car sharing service, that is widely available in the region.
Now, the models we build using 3-D software have lives that go far beyond the screen. They give us the ability to fabricate physical prototypes on-demand using 3d printers. The design process enabled by additive 3d printing allows us to build a strong, innate connection between digital models and physical ones. With this new design workflow, we build spaces and objects as connected prototypes.
A relief is a sculptural technique literally meaning “to raise” an object. Historically, reliefs give the impression that the sculpted material has been raised above the background plane. “Reliefs are common throughout the world on the walls of buildings and… (as) a sequence of several panels or sections of relief may represent an extended narrative.”1 There are different degrees of relief depending on the degree of projection of the sculpted form from the field, high relief, where more than 50% of the depth is shown and there may be undercut areas, and low-relief (bas-relief).
A useful analogy for understanding these objects is to think of a graphical representation on a digital display. Photographs, graphics or drawings are clearly rendered on high resolution displays, patterns of color and light delineate discernable forms. But when we zoom into this digital representation, we understand that those patterns of color are composed of individual blocs each composed of a single color. A regular grid of pixels compose the global image as we visually perceive it. FABMOBs|ATMOStag is based on the same principle: the design is too big to printed using our 3dprinters, thus it is cut up into component parts. Each part or tile is a part of the large FABMOBs|ATMOStag sculpture, and a beautiful object on its own.
It is more than coincidental that the object produced by FABMOBs|ATMOStag, the relief, made use of the illusion that the sculptural material was being raised above the background plane. This illusion supported the sensation of immersion through the strange equilibrium that reliefs projected for over 1000 years in the world of art. With the advent of additive 3Dprinting, were material is in fact, successively added until the desired form is attained, relief really is being raised above to achieve its effect. Thus, additive fabrication is the true realization, after a thousand years of trying, of the ideal relief sculptural technique.
ATMOStag_tiles might not be very useful just yet… but they are unique, beautiful objects that can be produced in a variety of materials, colors, textures and topographies.
An atmosphere is the tone or mood of a place, space or work of art that is evoked by our feelings and sensations for this thing. Atmospheres are based on our perceptions, emotions and experiences of something material, but is expressed symbolically, as a painting, a photograph, a text or poem… This kind of atmosphere is both physical and abstract, and can be tense or relaxed, light or heavy, sad or happy… Using our 5+ senses, we can ostensibly feel the effects of an atmosphere, but we can’t directly see one. Atmospheres are an immaterial, invisible phenomena. FABMOBs|ATMOStag wants to reveal the forms and information that we cannot ordinarily see: to make the immaterial> material; that which is virtual> physical; that which is digital> concrete.