All posts by harlie

Update: Final Project

*For original photos please refer to my first post:*

So I was asked to post some updates on how my material was drying/evolving/changing/etc. Over the following days/week, the bio-plastics I made were drying from the outside in, and splitting apart from the still wet core, creating plastic chasms along the surface.

These photos were taken 3 days after our last class:MatSpec_Update_AMatSpec_Update_BMatSpec_Update_B2 You can also see that bacteria was beginning to grow. I’m guessing that was due to the moisture still present.

These photos were taken a week after our last class:MatSpec_Update2_AMatSpec_Update2_A2MatSpec_Update2_B3MatSpec_Update2_B2MatSpec_Update2_B4Based on these results, at the moment bioplastic is not a viable option for creating more skull replicas. I am still interested in how to combine the different materials but I have some questions to consider:
1. How do I dry the plastic completely and efficiently as to not allow mold to grow and the cracking to occur, and to make sure there is no trapped moisture? Baking? Then what issue might occur during baking?
2. The plastic that I had created that I thought was too soft and just poured back out of the mold ended up drying hard as a rock–is there a way to utilize that mixture and maintain it in the mold while it dries?

Thanks for reading, Melanie I know you had asked for an update specifically so I hope this helps/interests you!


Final Project


So initially I had wanted to work with Kombucha and make a book, but that wasn’t going to pan out so instead I continued my midterm with materials and techniques from both parts of the semester.

Using 2 of my 3D printed skulls from this past winter, I created a two part mold. It was nice to be able to make molds at the same time because the prints are identical!

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Using the recipe that worked best last time Janni and I tried bio-plastics, my first cast came out pretty solid. Unfortunately, although using the same exact recipe I was not able to make another cast that was even remotely useable, and neither were the experiments. I thought that the issue was the shape of the face of the skull mold being too nonuniform and not allowing the mixture to cure properly. This doesn’t seem to be the case because I tried to make multiple casts in both molds and neither were successful.

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What is certainly successful was the rubber mold; it captured the detail of each layer of the 3D print which is interesting in terms of a cast object. The visual languages and technique are inherently juxtaposed. 
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SO in order to get a successful skull I made some in plaster:
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(Accidental combo of bioplastic and plaster)

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In the end I am pleased with the plaster casts, I think it would be interesting to try and combine the materials and see how they adhere/do not adhere/ create new textures. DSC00605 copyDSC00606 copy
To continue this project I would like to mix materials, make a large quantity of these and install them in a space.




BioPlastics with Janni and Harlie


Earlier this week Janni and I worked on making some bio plastics. The Instructables walk through we used was:

Other students used this one also and from the reviews last week did/did not have issues so we decided to try it out.

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The first recipe we tried was straight from the Instructable:
1 cup Corn Starch
1 cup Water
1 tbs Canola Oil
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The plastic was slightly jelly-like post 1:15 in the microwave –

For our next plastic we tried experimenting with other things in Janni’s refrigerator, which ended up being an egg, (since eggs can be used in cooking as a binding agent).

1 cup Corn Starch
1 cup Water
1 tbs Canola Oil
1 tbs of Vinegar
1 Egg

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The consistency of the egg plastic was gelatinous; a few days later it is still jelly like.

For our third plastic, we used the original formula but experimented with adding a dye. All that we had was tattoo ink, (which actually gave it quite a nice color).

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This plastic has dried very hard and solid. It has maintained the color very well and does not seem to have shrunk very much after several days. It seems to be the most successful of all experiments.


Harlie and Janni

HarlieB Midterm Progression


Initially I had intended to model and print a shoe, (a Stella McCartney shoe in particular), for my midterm as a commentary on the potential of 3D printing in terms of its affects on commercial industries and economies. However, because the MakerBots at school only print PLA, which is a super hard plastic, the idea of printing a rock-solid shoe that would be impossible to wear didn’t seem like something I wanted to look further into.

Janni and I have been experimenting with 3D printing on the MakerBots the past couple weeks and have found out some very interesting things.


This is my final from my CG1 class last semester, which I had always intended to print and so it seemed like a good starting point. When brought into Net Fab Basic, or any other program used to check for errors, the model looks like this:



We had no idea what was causing the issue and neither did the techs at the lab, (which was very disconcerting).  We decided to just try it anyway and this is how my skull came out:

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Later Janni had the idea that it must have something to do with the normals and sure enough it did: every plane that printed had normals facing inward, whereas the part that didn’t print had normal facing outward. After fixing this problem the print came out like this:





In using the MakerBots I have learned a lot about how to position your print in MakerWare and techniques for removing the supports. However, I have also become very interested in figuring out ways to print removable parts on this particular machine, for the way the machine has been engineered makes it very difficult to do so. For my new midterm I am going to model and print a series of characters with removable and interchangeable parts.





Right now the connections are very basic and I am looking at ways to make them stronger, such as this: