123D Users Kristina and Sebastian’s Felt Vase

123D Make users Kristina Larsen and Sebastian Martin are the 123D Featured Users for the week... they're also part of the Instructables Artists in Residence program AND they've worked at San Francisco's world-renowned science museum, The Exploratorium.  Talk about impressive resumes, these two are destined for greatness.  

The project of theirs that caught our attention is this beautiful, soft and fuzzy (yet surprisingly sturdy) vase.

felt vase

What's really great about this project is that it can be replicated by anyone.  Autodesk provides free software to make it all possible, you just need a little patience while you cut the felt.

Kristina and Sebastian used Autodesk's Fusion 360 to design the vase's 3D model.  While Fusion 360 is an extremely powerful 3D modeling tool we thought this was a perfect opportunity to reproduce a very similar 3D model in Tinkercad, and here's what we got in 5 just minutes: link to model.

The left side shows the egg and two shapes we used as "holes" to flatten the bottom and carve out the hole for the glass vase in the top.  The right side shows we then selected "download for 3D printing" to get the model to open in 123D Make...

vase in tinkercad

And here's a screenshot showing 123D Make slicing the vase.

There's a lot more information in two Instructables written about this project, we link to them at the bottom of this page.  We also asked the pair a couple questions about why this project and why 123D Make...

123D: Why this project?
K&S: Part of what we’re doing in our Instructables residency is experimenting with different techniques, with the intention of incorporating those discoveries into our fabrication repertoire. We like to let the inherent properties or characteristics of materials inform our work so will push on things to see what they do when treated in different ways. Early on we hit on the idea of using the waterjet to cut very thick, dense wool felt which is normally used for industrial applications.

Felt is such an amazing material, and has physical properties unlike anything else, but when you cut wool felt with a laser it smells really terrible, like burned hair, and then the smell is really hard to remove. Plus you really can’t cut dense ½” thick felt with a laser. Waterjet cutting seemed a viable alternative, potentially clearing a path to digital fabrication using big sheets of this material. The result is even better than we imagined -- the cut edge is nice and crisp, and there’s a really satisfying tension between the machined quality of those edges and the overall softness of the material.  People can’t tell what the vase is made of when they first see it, and are nicely surprised once they figure it out.

We used the simple vase shape for our first experiment to give the project some clear constraints, since there was a lot about the process that was unknown to us. Now that we’ve seen how it works and how the material behaves we can confidently incorporate the technique into the creation of more complex sculptural objects. This way the risk and experimentation lies more in anticipating the aesthetic impact of the final piece, and less in unexpected variables in construction. We’re working on a piece inspired by topography and geology, where the layered construction will reference subsurface geologic structures, and the felt will take on the kind of soft, sculpted forms you'd expect from wool, in addition to showing the machined edge featured in the vase.

123D: What brought you to use 123D Make?
K&S: When we started this project I figured we’d have to draw the individual slices after building a form in (Autodesk) Fusion 360 software, but then discovered the slice-generating feature in 123D Make. 123D Make’s ability to quickly generate slices of any form, for any thickness of material, is such an exciting and powerful feature. 123D Make draws the slices in real time so you can play with different angles, and it simultaneously shows you how much material you’ll need to complete the project. In combination with laser, waterjet, or other computer-controlled cutting technologies it opens up whole realms of possibility for generating three-dimensional structures. Really, the only limitation is that you have to use a material that comes in a sheet.

Awesome!  To find out more about Kristaina Larsen and Sebastian Martin - check out these links: the Project387 Blog, their web site Cloudear.com, and their two instructables on this project: Layered Felt Vase, and Cutting Felt with Water.

Would you like to be a featured user?  Apply here.  Thanks Kristina and Sebastian!

 

 

 

 

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