Make Architecture



5 Ball Bearings


To create two ball bearing sets which are connected to each other at right angles.

I began with a rhino model:

A detail of the cross-section profile (nb: all gaps between spheres and frame pieces were .002″):

Longitudinal section through the assembly:

The results:


The original model was approximately 8″ wide at its widest point (each circular ball bearing assembly was approximately 4″ dia). This was done with the assumption that other, smaller 3d prints could fit inside of the circles. When sending the files to the printer, the model was scaled so that it was approximately 3″ wide at its widest point (each circular bb assembly about 1.5″ dia).

In the original model, the gaps between the frame pieces and spheres was .002″ . When the model was scaled down, these tolerances went below .001″. This is simply too small for any of the 3d printers to articulate. The machine which printed my part has a minimum tolerance of .007″.


Tolerances must be kept to .007″ minimum, and probably more to ensure the wax can be removed between moving parts.

At this writing, the part is still soaking in the hot tub.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


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.


%d bloggers like this: