All posts by melanie

Final project

For my final project, I wanted to explore further the possibilities of making molds with bio plastic. On my first approach I had problems with shrinking process after cooking the bio plastic. I read that “wood flour” or “saw dust” should prevent from it. Additionally, I wanted to explore food colors and tattoo colors.

First I printed a new 3D object on the Makerbot and made a mold out of it:






Comparing to my last bio plastic experiment, my second attempt didn’t went out that well.
I figured out that the colors I used delay the drying process of my bio plastic. Last time I used special sculpture colors. Furthermore, the casts were extremely brittle.

The recipe I used was: 
1 table spoon | Corn starch
1 table spoon | Water
2 tea spoon | Glycerin
1 tea spoon | Vinegar

Ingredients Properties
Vinegar | Less brittle
Glycerin | Flexibility / Moldable
More Starch | More rigid
More Water | Less consistent

The colors I used:

Without colors:

Red food color with “wood flour” / “saw dust”:

Cast with red food color:

Cast with black tattoo color:

Another tattoo color:

Cast with only food color:

Biodegradable Plastic Option From Shrimp Shells

The Harvard Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering went looking for a different bioplastic base. Chitin was an obvious answer. Most famously the main ingredient in crustacean shells, it also appears in the wings and armor of many insects and the cell walls of fungi, making it, according to the Institute, the second most common organic material on Earth. It can be thought of as the invertebrate version of keratin, which mammals use to make fur, claws and fingernails.


Melanie – midterm

My midterm project is all about exploring the making process of toy figures with a 3D printer from creating joints to building a model and experiment with materials.
The chicken action figure uses the facts of modern production farms and creates a satirized figure. The superpower of the action hero is based on mistreatment through current methods of raising animals for food. The goal of the project is to raise awareness about animal raising in the food system by using a playful toy.

I started my midterm project by exploring joints in 3D modeling. I was experimenting with the clearing distance between two parts and looked up different joints of toy figures.



My first attempt was to create a ball joint for movable arms and a rotational joint for linear movable parts. I decided to build little characters like chess figures.

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As for the next step, I wanted to explore different materials. I wanna create a mold out of a 3D printed object. I was interested in that part, if I would need the same part multiple times and to explore other materials instead the ones 3D printing offers. Materials I thought about are latex and polymer clay as for the mold silicone.
For this part I modeled the top part of a chicken action figure.
I used the Objet24 3D printer. Parts are printed in a rigid VeroWhitePlus opaque photopolymer plastic. This kind of material is a very strong and durable plastic.

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While waiting for the print, I experiment with different outlooks of the chicken. I draw the outline for this one with Adobe Illustrator, exported it as a SVG file. Afterwards, I imported it in Blender and extruded the area.

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Final Objet24 print:







Melanie – Midterm progress

For my midterm project, I am interested in modelling and print different sort of joints as part of my Major Studio project. For my Major Studio project I am researching 3D action figures. One of the first steps is to discover joints and hooch much distance should be there between two moving parts, like clearing distance.

As for my Material Spectrum assignment, I thought about an army of joints, like little characters they look funny but have a specific research purpose for me.

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I’m Melanie, a first-year MFA Design and Technology student with a BFA in Visual Communication focused on New Media from the Universität der Künste Berlin; but I was born and raised in Switzerland. Prior to my time at UDK, I completed an apprenticeship in information technology and worked several years as a Web Designer and Web Programmer.