- Currently, 3d printing is widely used in the aeronautics, automotive, and electronics industries, as well as for medicine and dentistry: big, high tech industries were precision, speed and customization in the manufacturing process are competitive necessities.
- But 3d printers are also widely used at another scale of production by designers, makers and increasingly by small businesses for making jewelry, toys and even food. This is the economy and scale of the growing 3d printing culture that is engaged by this project.
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.
3Dprinting is the transformation of information and data into physical objects through the direct conversion of a digital 3d model into a physical object using some form computer assisted manufacturing, such as extrusion, sintering, curing, printing, complex mold making…
Digital fabrication also involves the technological and social developments from the research, experimentation and production involving a convergence of different disciplines, economical interests and critical initiatives.
Additive digital fabrication will become a natural extension of The Craftsmen’s toolbox. Sometimes the printer will stay in the studio, and the printed object will be delivered to a client1. Sometimes, the printer will follow the craftsman2 in-situ, to be a part of the printed object’s3 or building’s4 milieu. Despite the bulk, unreliability, and energy requirements of today’s 3d-printers, we can easily imagine the imminent evolutions in 3d printer technology 5 to afford the gains necessary for mobile printing, especially for industries such as customer service and construction sites6. FABMOBs | ATMOStag anticipates the evolution of digital fabrication by building a constructive design fiction7 activating scenarios based on mobile networks, open hardware and software platforms, and embedded capture+transmission of data in relation to 3D printing.8
- Freight Miles: The Impacts of 3D Printing on Transport and Society by Thomas Birtchnell via academia.edu ↩
- Framework for bringing 3D printing into the construction industry (PDF) via Stanford.edu ↩
- A self-referential link to the FABMOBs | ATMOStag project as an early example of 3D printing in a milieu. ↩
- 3D Print Canal House is printed on site, room by room, and will be assembled on-site into a house. It will act as a space for research into architecture and additive construction. ↩
- Trend Evolution: 3D Printing Trends by Shane Taylor via 3dprintingindustry.com is a recent thought piece on the evolution of 3d printing that considers “the wider context” to assert its findings. ↩
- ibid (PDF) Stanford.edu ↩
- Using “fictional scenarios to envision and explain possible futures for design.” What is design fiction? via Quora ↩
- Lisez ce texte en français ↩
The cultural, technological and scientific forces resulting in the development of additive digital manufacturing are, as the historian Lewis Mumford would qualify, “the interplay of technologies with the specific social circumstances they arise from and lead to.” Mumford called this technics: the art, skill and interplay of a social milieu and technological innovation leading to change1: the result of the wishes, habits, ideas, goals of the industrial processes of culture. FABMOBs | ATMOStag is a new model: technics fabrica2.3
“…the interplay of technologies with the specific social circumstances they arise from and lead to.”1
Technology is rooted linguistically in action (techne), or craft: making something versus knowing about it. Craft is about building things, and about building relationships. The vision: technology = craft + relationships — is a very contemporary idea of technology, observing it transcend the scientific, reaching across to its potential as a cultural force2. It is the harbinger of a shift from a knowledge based culture, towards the New Craft Culture, or “crafty knowledge”.3 Craft based cultures (and craft-based niches within a culture) depend on the direct interaction between craftsman and project: the materials, the tools and the professional environment. FABMOBs | ATMOStag is a hybrid media emerging from a natural convergence between automation (manufacturing) and customization (artisan).4
- Technics and Civilization by Lewis Mumford ↩
- This blog post of a lecture by Adam Greenfield recounts one example/story about the “diffusion of technology into human culture” based on a study of the adoption of the electric guitar. ↩
- Tom Boellstorff, Crafty Knowledges, University of California. ↩
- Lisez ce texte en français ↩
Some of the differences between traditional manufacturing and additive 3d printing that are key for the FABMOBs|ATMOStag project are:
- complexity, customization and variety are free benefits to objects designed and prototyped using 3d printing.
- 3d additive printing favors low volume, high value production runs.
- There’s zero lead time between the design and fabrication process, and no assembly required of printed objects.
- Also, of particular concern to this project’s environmental activists, additive 3d printing produces less waste for our environment.
When we start to think hard about the convergence of 3Dprinting hardware, software and networks, we understand that it enables real objects to travel over networks. This not only transforms the way physical goods are (re)produced, but how they can be transported. This happens by sending the 3d model in an email or Skype, then fabricating the object using a local printer.
But another way to think of materials is in terms of design synergy: the essential interaction of the fabricated object’s organization—form and material—to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate parts. FABMOBs is a creative process whose goal is to imbue the fabricated object with meaning through a combination of its form, and the texture, color and intelligence of its materials. The geometrical transformations that give the tiles their form, is informed by the physical environment of the printer1, as expressed by material composites2. Data is used to create specific geometric transformations, based on pre-determined algorithms, representing local environments; tile form is based on the combination of forms to create unique designs. FABMOBs | ATMOStag uses dynamic local atmospheres to form and inform design decisions: living systems imbuing materials with life.3