Make Architecture



08. Redo: 3D Print & Water Jet


For the redo week, I decided to edit the Triple_GEAR project and 3D print on both the Dimension and InVision machine.

3D System InVision SI2

From InVision, remove model from aluminum tray by scraping the bottom layer of wax deposit. Place model in a domestic oven and set to convection bake at 150°. Let model bake for 1-1/2 to 2 hours.

Remove carefully after majority of the wax have melted. Some joints may be a bit soft at high temperature. Place model in oil bath to remove remaining wax.

Strataysys Dimension Elite

From Dimension, slowly remove model from black plastic tray. Remove as much of the brown soluble support material carefully. This will reduce the amount of time it takes to dissolve the support material.

To access Stratasys WaterWorks, ask Tom or John to swipe you into E15-048. It takes 3 hrs to dissolve away every last bit of the brown support material.


Also, I decided to redo the water jet portion from the form work exercise. To begin, download the latest version of OMAX Layout. As it turns out, the problem I encountered regarding water jet cutting the previous week was due to using an older version of OMAX Layout. Import .DXF into OMAX Layout. Set line quality to 3. Set lead in/out by using autopath. Set tool path, and click on auto generate. Save file and open in OMAX Make. Set material to metal aluminum and thickness to 0.032″.

Move nozzle head to top left corner and set zero in both x and y direction. Click on “Begin Machining”.

The cut time is 11 minutes and 23 seconds.

Before starting, check to see that the water pipe and gas pipe are turned on. When both levers are aligned with pipe, it is turned on.

Next, lower the crank so that the nozzle touches aluminum sheet. Reverse the crank 1 full circle (1/2 circle kick back + 1/2 circle higher) to set appropriate nozzle height.

Finally, raise the water level and click start. Right click on pause after each path to remove cut piece. While this will make the process a few minutes longer, it will also reduce the chance of aluminum pieces 1. disappearing into the abyss or 2. floating around and interfering with the nozzle.


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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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