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Embracing Errors: Exploring Deviations in 3D Clay Printing as Design Generators

As advancement of 3D printing materials expands, materials with more unstable tendencies are being explored that require higher understandings of material and fabrication relationships.

Published onOct 24, 2019
Embracing Errors: Exploring Deviations in 3D Clay Printing as Design Generators
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Abstract

As advancement of 3D printing materials expands, materials with more unstable tendencies are being explored that require higher understandings of material and fabrication relationships. Clay is one of the materials of interest due to its local availability, sustainable properties, and quick prototyping, but it is yet to be widely used as it carries unpredictable deviations and behaviors that present challenges in the manufacturing process. However, these ‘errors’caused by natural material tendencies, once embraced, can become opportunities rather than obstacles in generating new design forms and fabrication strategies more in tune with the material. Therefore, the presented paper explores 3D printing as a medium to examine deviations of clay FFF between the digital and physical outcome as the inspiration of design for an architectural masonry facade system. For precise finding of results, an iterative craft based method of documenting and analyzing was crucial in finding ‘errors’ between the digital and analog, as currently there is no applicable strategy to predict the deviations of clay. The precision of new manufacturing methods like 3D printing and associative modelling, combined with an inquisitive engagement of material processes presents opportunities for learning, material expression and authenticity beyond purely traditional or digital methods.

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