New Media Printmaking using the Makerbot
by tjatkings, published
Printmaking is experiencing a Renaissance these days.
In January, 2013, I was introduced to some new work in the media involving CNC machinery to create relief blocks, and I thought â€“ what about the 3d revolution? I am new to thingiverse, and my collaborator Dr. Jon Bath encouraged me to post my researches on this website.
Before I begin, I noticed a post has been made earlier which will serve as a much better introduction to experimentation in this new media, see Jasonwebbâ€™s designs here:
I work in a format much larger than the Makerbot would allow, so I have integrated into my designs interlocking tabs (1/16â€ allowance) which allow for the creation of a puzzle-piece type assemblage. This technique could possibly be used to create larger blocks in a similar way. As my experiment progressed, I abandoned this technique and began to favor multiple press runs of the same block; inking and replacing the block for different colours, orientations, etc.
I have included some samples of the work that I have done. I enjoyed the â€˜roughâ€™ aesthetic that is the byproduct of the Makerbotâ€™s process, and did not attempt to finish or polish the blocks.
There is much potential for this technique as a new frontier in printmaking. The block itself I have found to be quite strong, and able to withstand many printings. Smaller pieces may snap off with repeated printing, but this could be solved by reducing the relief depth or increasing the size of the injured surface on a future design.
Please feel free to use my block designs, and I would be very pleased to see other work being done in a similar vein.
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I have uploaded the blocks I used for the patterning in several pieces. It is a snowflake-type pattern seen on rugs and the like. I have produced several pieces using a mixed media approach, as you will see above. There are many ways of approaching this new media.
The blocks I have used so far have all been design using Google Sketchup and then converted to the .stl using a plugin. Stay tuned for a detailed description of my printing process.