Office of Undergraduate Research

Rapid Prototyping and 3D Scanning in the production of Art

The field of Metalsmithing has a long tradition of functional jewelry, adornment, and utilitarian objects. In my research I have been interested in exploring the social implications of modern utilitarian objects and the effects of technology in the design and creation of those objects. In the future, there is no doubt that computers will be used to automatically manufacture objects, products and systems of every description and kind with no limit to complexity. The inputs to these fabrication systems will simply be raw materials and data. This technology will be reminiscent of desktop publishing, but instead of documents and printed matter, the diverse products that we need or desire to use in our lives will be manufactured for us on the spot. The future of design, whether for a mass produced product, an affordable custom prosthetic designed to allow one child to play outside with friends, a fine arts object, or for a piece of jewelry sold at your local jeweler, is going to be forever changed by these technologies.

Tasks and responsibilities:

The student will be responsible for assisting in the 3D scanning of objects and will also assist in the production of new one of a kind art objects. Specific tasks will be setting up objects in the 3D scanner to be scanned, running software that aligns scans, manipulating the digital model, assisting in the creation of programming cutting operations on a CNC mill, creating bonded sand molds for casting, and the actual pouring of molds. This requires a student that has significant experience in mold making and casting.