I just returned from Rapid 2012 in Atlanta. I was closely involved in the Materialise fashion show, and also had some work in the gallery. It was a great experience, and the show was very well received considering the audience was mostly engineers! I will share more when I get a chance to edit some of the video together.
After teaching a class at San Francisco’s Fort Mason Center, I exited the building to see an unusual object in front of me. It was an interesting sight to see, in a completely empty courtyard, with no one around. I later found out that I was looking at the preparations for an art festival this weekend where this installation, called “Origin”, is being presented by United Visual Artists, with sound composed by Scanner.
The Cove Candle is an oil warmer with a natural theme. It was partly inspired by the Boboli Gardens in Florence.
The Cove Candle is designed to be made with ceramics or full-color 3D-printing. The ceramic material will hold up to heat well enough that paraffin tea lights can be used. The Full color material will have to use LED-based tea lights. As well as holding three candles, the design also holds six small statues. The ones I’ve designed for sale along with it are stylized mushroom and tree models. Any model with a 18mm base can be used.
The ceramic material is bright white and sealed with glaze. That will allow you to fill it with oil that will be gently warmed by the candles. The color material will not hold liquid at higher temperatures, so it is not suggested to use real candles in the color version. A diffusing reed can be placed in the central hollow, which continues the length of the trunk, down to the base.
The Morning Star looks incredible on its wooden base in the gallery at Rapid 2011! There are many other beautiful pieces on display, though photographing them is difficult with the LED spotlights directed at them. I will give that another shot today. My piece is exceptionally durable and I describe it as tactile art, so I worked with the curator to arrange it more accessibly with a sign encouraging interaction. The ball is actually zip-tied to the base, just in case. Huge thanks go to Bob, Tom, and Glen at ProMetal for helping to make this piece a reality!
One of the more impressive machines I saw at the event was EnvisionTec’s Bioplotter, which aside from being a solid piece of engineering, had some very unique capabilities. It could rapidly switch between five material cartridges, all loaded with various biologically compatible plastics for creating implants. The cartridge can also be filled with living cells in a nutrient solution for producing replacement structures using the patients own cells. Note the nozzle cleaning system in the front. A steel wire, a toothbrush head, and a wire brush. By far the least high-tech part of the system, but it does the job.
EOS presented their mature line of laser-sintering machines, and was also focusing heavily on software, with applications designed to create sparse mesh structures from CAD input. Their contribution to this common approach involves dynamic finite-element simulation to evolve a more efficient structure. They had plenty of examples of porous Titanium medical implants and other complicated structures.
I spent a good part of the day browsing the booths, but I’m not nearly done. In the evening, after the dinner reception on the show floor and chatting up the vendors, I took a walk though nearby Loring Park and stopped for a pint at Mackenzie.
I’m in Minneapolis this week for the Rapid 2011 conference and exhibition. The exhibition begins today, Tuesday, in a few hours. Monday was dedicated to set-up and a few workshops. The piece I am displaying was set up before noon, so I spent the rest of the day exploring downtown Minneapolis. The hotel is right on the strip, with plenty to see and do. Looking southward down Nicolett Mall, the signage boasts “14 blocks of culinary adventure”. To the north, pubs, grills and odd stores ensure I won’t be bored in my evenings here.
The main drag is pleasantly pedestrian oriented (which is what makes it a mall instead of an avenue, I suppose). After exploring on foot for a few hours, I settled in at Brit’s Pub to sample a few of the Minneapolis microbrews. I highly recommend Surly’s Brews, especially their Furious American IPA.