COURSE FULL – 3D Printing Material Optimization

Prof. Panagiotis Michalatos & Andrew Payne (DDES)
Jan 7 (M) 9:00am-1:00pm at GSD; 2:00pm-5:00 site visit to Objet Headquarters in Bellirica, MA; Jan 8 (T) 9:00am-1:00pm at GSD; Jan 9 (W) 9:00am-1:00pm at GSD
Topology optimization is a form finding technique which seeks to optimize a certain material distribution within given boundary conditions (i.e.. types of supports and loads). It departs from standard form finding techniques in that it assumes that a volume of virtual material can continuously vary its stiffness or density throughout space. With the advent of multi-material 3D printing technology, designers can now optimize material variability for both structural and aesthetic qualities.

This course will look at new techniques in form finding optimization and 3D printing technology. This workshop is being generously supported by Objet Technologies, an Israel based 3D printing company (with US headquarters in Bellirica, MA) whose high-resolution multi-material printers offer unprecedented technological precision in rapid prototyping. We will start by introducing a series of new digital software tools (developed by the instructors) to facilitate form-finding optimization and new methods for fabrication output (raster printing). On the afternoon of the first day, we will take a site visit of Objet’s US Headquarters facility to get a first-hand look at their rapid prototyping machines. The following two days (Jan 15th-16th) will be used to develop digital models, exploiting the creative potentials of these new forms of software and materials-based investigations. Each student will develop their own designs (based on a problem statement given to the students at the outset of the workshop) which will ultimately be sent to be 3D printed at the culmination of the course.