Make Architecture



05. 3D Print: Triple_GEAR

The goal of this project is to make an object / unit with operability using the 3D printing machines – InVision and Dimension.

Make Time:

  • 2 hours – Design / Template .STL File
  • unknown – 3D Print
  • 3+ hour – WaterWorks @ 110°

Tools and Components:


DESIGN. The gear unit is designed to be 2-3/4″ long x 1-1/2″ wide x 1/4″ thick, a triple gear combination that translates rotation from one to another. Using gear generation code from Rhino plug-in, select pitch circle and determine the number of teeth, module, pitch, press angle, bevel, and accuracy of gear. An offset of 0.001″ or larger is used in between all moving parts.

3D PRINT ON DIMENSION. The Stratasys Dimension Elite 3D printer uses ABSplus production-grade thermoplastic in ivory and a soluble support technology (SST) in brown as support material. Its precision is 0.007″.

Twist the black board to remove model.

Place 3D print model into Stratasys WaterWorks to melt the brown support material.

3D PRINT ON INVISION. The InVision SI2 3D printer uses VisiJet SR200 plastic, a natural translucent acrylic plastic, and VisiJet S100, a wax-like substance, as support material.

To remove model from aluminum plate, scrape at the base of the model and slowly lift it up.

The strap was too thin and broke while removing the 3D print model.


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Instructor: Nick Gelpi TA: Skylar Tibbits TA: Varvara Toulkeridou
Class Times, Monday, 1-4pm - room 5-216
4.184 is an intensive introduction to methods of making explored through a wide range of brief but focused 1-week exercises. We'll engage the real and leave behind representation in the focused context of this class gaining skills for utilizing a range of fabrication machines and technologies from lasercutting, waterjet, 3D printing, welding, formworking-molding, casting, gears, joints and composites.
In this workshop we'll constrain ourselves to the territory of the 1:1. Students will represent architectural constructions at full scale and develop a more intimate relationship with technology by engaging the tools and techniques that empower us. We will gain access to the most cutting edge machines and technologies in the MARS lab at the Center for Bits and Atoms.
The second layer of information for this course will be to look at a series of case studies in which construction methods and technologies have played a dominant role in the design process .
Over the past 20 years, architects have focused on the technology of representation to create new ideas of what architecture could be. Looking back today, much of that research failed to substantially change the way we design buildings by focusing on apriori formal configurations. This class makes the contention that this failure comes from a lack of considerations of the potentials within fabrication knowledge. We look to the future of what building might become, given the expanded palette of personalize-able technologies available to us as architects. Students will participate in curious technological and material investigations, to discover the potentials, known and unknown, for these various technologies.
The sub-disciplines of what's drawn and what's built have been compartmentalized and disassociated as the representational tools of architecture have distanced themselves from the techniques of making. At the same time the technologies for “making” in architecture have provided us with new possibilities for reinventing how we translate into reality, the immaterial representations of architecture.


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