Kinematics early sketches
This project began with a technical question: How can we create large objects quickly on a desktop 3D printer?
In the summer of 2013, we worked for Motorola developing “aesthetic generators” for accessories for their a new phone. The catch was that these apps needed to generate customized objects that could be 3D printed in under an hour on equipment that was being driven around the country in the MAKEwithMOTO van. Despite what you may have been told, 3D printing is not a particularly fast process. In fact, the more three dimensional an object is, the slower it prints. One hour is a very challenging print time to meet for an object of any significant size.
The question we asked ourselves was how could we create something that was nearly flat, but still took advantage of the new possibilities in 3D printing. Our solution was to print a flat design that could be folded into another shape after printing.
These are some of our initial prototypes that we designed and printed on our Makerbot Replicator 3d printer. They use a cone shaped hinge to create fabric-like parts from rigid plastic. All the parts were printed in place and there was no assembly.