Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Anish Kapoor - Grayman Cries, Shaman Dies, Billowing Smoke, Beauty Evoked.

Some months ago we showed our first print tests with little square and round objects to a friend of us and  she pointed out that it really looked like a scale model of a recent artwork by Anish Kapoor: Grayman Cries, Shaman Dies, Billowing Smoke, Beauty Evoked. While we do know most of the work by Kapoor (you might know him from his turbine hall installation at Tate Modern) we hadn't seen his latest work yet. Looking at the images below you can probably imagine our surprise when we looked it up. That does indeed look like extruded slurry deposited with a 3d printer! In fact it is concrete and after googling some more we found the company Factum Arte that pulled this together. Factum Arte is a workshop based in Madrid that works with major artists and institutes on the production and conservation of artworks using various techniques like 3d-scanning, 3d printing, milling etc. They documented the process very well on their website here and here. You can also find all the movies on their Vimeo
Lovely quote: The Identity Engine is a shit machine that farts and craps its way along its ordained path, transforming concrete into stigmergic, self-organised structures. Wounds and gashes, pleats and folds emerge at will and either self-heal or continue to rupture. (excerpt from Unconformity and Entropy)
Some observations:
-We would really like to know more about pumping systems. While a frostruder style syringe head works as a proof of concept printhead for testing materials and software settings, it is not a good solution for producing useful objects because you are very limited size wise in what you can print without swapping syringe, a procedure that brings a whole lot of problems with it. The first step will be trying a larger reservoir on the side, something like an electronic caulking gun. But we need to brainstorm with some more people on this, time for a forum thread!
-Delcam software is used to drive the printer.
-In one video a little piece is mounted on the nozzle to smear all the slurry that rises above the nozzle output, smart because in our experience the quality of the print decreases if there is material piling up around the nozzle.
-Its not printing continuously, they can start/stop the output fast. No idea if this is done by the pumping system or with a valve at the nozzle.
-Support material is sand thrown in by hand, funny :)

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