Thursday, April 24, 2014

3d printed metal multiples

My 3D printed stainless steel/bronze medallions are looking cool. It's great to see a number of these sitting on the bench. I do wish I had some extra ones that I could experiment with some patina on the bronze though. I have to finalized the engraving that will go on the black acrylic backing, but things look good so far. I am glad I extended the flange a bit on these. The hollowing on the backside reduced my material costs and I really like the addition of the lip that the acrylic will fit inside of. Look for the completed pieces in a few days.

hayley's hand: aluminum hex tensioners

I was just finishing Hayley's hand and decided that I did not feel comfortable with the small size of the hex tensioner pins as I think they might have the tendency to strip over time. Since Hayley is located in the UK, I figured that I should make something that is a bit more resilient and not likely to need maintenance in the future. 

I started with some aluminum hex rod in the size that matched the hex holes in the gauntlet I printed for Hayley. I ordered this from McMaster Carr. I chucked the rod in my lathe and center drilled the end. Then I used a drill bit to bore the hex to the required depth. I followed this by threading the hole with a 0-80 tap and then marked and drilled the end for the string hole. Once this was complete I cut the rod to the proper length and then repeated the steps four more times. The rods are strung/connected now and I have to admit that I feel a confidence in these that I have never had with the plastic hex tensioners when they are printed this small. I realize this isn't the most basic procedure for the novice who does not have access to such equipment, but I still feel it is worth mentioning as most Makerspaces have a lathe and it is within the abilities of most people to learn. Part of my thinking is due to working on developing a hand that is a bit more rugged for outdoor and sporting activities and I am looking at creating more of the components in aluminum for an active young boy named Evan.

john michael kohler arts center: arts / industry

We went to the John Michael Kohler Arts Center for Easter. There is a exhibition called Arts/Industry: Collaboration and Revelation. I have always had a deep appreciation for the work at Kohler since touring the factory and witnessing the Artist Residency program when I was in graduate school. Seeing a factory recognize the importance of industry and creativity and how they can coalesce on the factory floor was amazing; especially since I feel that much of my inspiration comes from my "factory upbringing". You will find no better place than a factory to temper your understanding of labor, material, process, and the value of the "worker" and the objects they create. I am glad to see Kohler is still recognizing the importance of this program. The work in the exhibition was celebrating the work that has been made in this program since its inception. I saw several familiar names and pieces. I believe this is one of the best exhibitions that I have seen in a while. Definitely worth a look.

Traveling up to the Arts Center is something we always enjoy doing as a family from time to time. We took some family pics outside the John Michael Kohler Arts Center for Easter.

medallion shadow

While cleaning my studio in preparation for our Open Studios event, I came across the laser cut acrylic and image above. The sun was shining into my studio early on Saturday and it created a great shadow of the laser cut lines across the image. Just thought I would capture it. I attached the video from this piece as I hadn't taken a look at it for quite some time.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

kenilworth open studios

The UWM PSOA Kenilworth Open Studios event was this past Saturday. I had a great time talking with people from the Milwaukee area, as well as seeing former students. I was swamped with tons of people coming by to chat; Such a good time. I always look forward to this event each year.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

solaris: steel velcro roller

Emily had contacted me about helping her to build a tool for her job at Solaris. They wanted a specific tool to test the velcro that they use in producing their compression wraps. We had the technical drawing shown above to go off of. She came by the studio and I helped her spec the necessary materials so she could order what she needed. On Monday, she came by again with the materials and we set to work making the roller tool. The testing materials stated that we needed to have the complete roller weigh in at 11 lbs. with a .25 lbs. variance. She did the layout and hole drilling of the frame, I threaded the frame parts, we pressed the bushings in the frame, I turned a slug and pressed it into the tube handle, faced it, drilled, and threaded it, I turned the axle shaft ends to fit the bushings. I turned the 4.75 diameter chunk of steel down to the proper width and then dusted the outer diameter surface to assure that it was smooth. We put everything together and then weighed the tool and it was at 12 lbs. even. This meant that I had to turn .5 lbs. off each side of the roller wheel section. The turning actually went pretty quickly and we were able to get everything built to spec. She emailed today and said Solaris was pleased and that they are thinking of buying a lathe. Go figure...

Monday, April 14, 2014