The first stage of the Materials Migrations Project is almost complete. As the design process for the 3D sculpture draws to a close, Tom Lomax explains the final steps of this operation:
“Once the drawings generated in CAD have been exported to the STL file generating software, we can see on opening them that the form, though a coherent surface, can not be printed as the form has an incoherent volume. The 3D printer would not be able to print such a surface as it is too thin or non existent. By this I mean it is a true 2D surface without thickness, so it is without any real spacial displacement.”
“This is denoted by the red coloured surface. The yellow line surrounding denotes the edge of the surface indicating it has no volume.
I have separate the component parts so one can see how each part can be dealt with.”
“This second illustration shows each completed component with coherent forms. To achieve this each form is analysed for overlapping edges, bad edges, splits, holes, cross meshing, and duplicate surfaces. Once these have been removed and the form is ‘water tight’ the STL file is complete and ready for printing.”
“This illustration indicates the dimensions of the finished product.”