dapple generator

Ive learnt from 3D printing in colour that the more contrast the better as the material has a washed-out look to it. Dapples work really well, one of my first mickey prints had a simple one line of code to generate a purple dapple.

DC/ Wired.

Reading the Wired article on DC makes me want to reaffirm my intentions in writing. The articles leads the reader to believe that it was ‘illegal items that inspired the software’s creation in the first place’ and that contrary to that “his approach is one of non-involvement when it comes to the software’s end uses.”Its a real shame they did not pick up on the message delivered on my webpage for DC, the printed guns are not the issue I’m responding to, its the censoring of those files and potentially others, as well as harsh copyright profiteering and intimidating amounts of surveillance.

Internet censorship is a big problem, its become widespread and made legal across the world by new laws similar to the contested SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) that we recently all unanimously protested against. Unfortunately we allow the more controversial examples and language of ‘piracy’ (it could also be called P2P file-sharing) such as guns, child porn, and all the other things the vast majority of us would like to see erased from the world, to then blindly accept censoring. Today’s censored guns could be tomorrow’s censored or rights-managed humanitarian technologies and Harry Potter 3D fan-fic, who knows? Its best not to set an easy first defeat. 3D printed guns aren’t necessarily illegal in the US, but the US state department have by-passed that by cutting the supply at the source: our supposedly free and open Internet. The mickey-mouse remix I once had rejected by iMaterialise was for me a symbolic act of a company willing to define their own rule and judgement over copyrighted material, and same goes for Thingiverse for banning weapons. These conflicts should be resolved fairly in courts, not in the small print of T&Cs and closed-door boardroom meetings. 

I believe 3D printing is a unique case where censoring online has repercussions in the physical world, by permitting the censoring of these files we are also permitting the censoring of our built environment. 

So as much as I dislike guns, and other horrible things that scare us, I’m willing to make technologies that fight for online freedom as well as physical freedom. DC may not be the best technology to do so, but its helped start a discussion, so lets at least get the message right. 

Some fantastic news - after 9 months of trying to make an algorithm automate the generation of heads, I think I’ve finally hit the sweet spot that makes an interesting head on every single run. The solution was a to use OpenCV facial recognition assessing the output, a Genetic Algorithm, a population of 30 heads, a run of at least 8 generations, a high resolution mesh distorted with varying degrees of perlin noise (set to the right range to make peaks and troughs that could end up morphing into facial features). The GA blends DNA from successful heads (instead of the standard cut/paste approach). The successful head then undergoes further mesh refinement using one run of Catmull-Clark subdivision. This is followed by further mutation using a hill-climbing algorithm that performs some shape modification, followed by the hill-climbing task of copying the shader colours onto the mesh-face colours (giving that mosaic effect which I rather like). I intend to 3D Print some of the results soon. I guess in the end the solution wasn’t one sole algorithm but a complex sequence of algorithms that individually contributed something different to the process. I guess I should thank Ken Perlin, Edwin Catmull, Jim Clark, Frederik Vanhoutte, and all the other great minds behind the head. 

hello meshmixer, you’ve been nicely designed, I have no idea how to use you so I got this. I’ve never seen this aesthetic before, this could be frighteningly brilliant. 

Burnt lasagne

Yesterday I participated in a public conversation on the topic of 3D printing and got heckled by a member of the crowd on the millions of crapjects being printed, and for the over-hype of the technology. This seems a totally fair thing to do to an artist participating in this medium, but I later tried to imagine this happening in other fields. The most insightful scenario I could imagine would be that of a professional chef that uses a multitude of kitchen tools to suddenly find himself gaining popularity for some original recipes that happen to explore the use of an oven. This chef would then be invited to oven related events, oven-based food shows, and talks about ovens with everyone getting very excited about the possibility of people having ovens in their homes. Then at one public talk he hears from the back of the room a cynic point out “hey, did you know so-and-so chef used the oven way before you! And how do feel about all the burnt lasagne, flat souffles, and distasteful food people are now oven-baking in their homes? And what sort of chef are you if you’re relying on the excitement surrounding the use of an oven? No one will care in a few years time!”. 

I don’t have to apologise for my use of the 3D printer, or for all the wasteful things other people do with their printers. I just want to make good meals and sometimes, maybe 3 times a year, I need to use an oven. 

personal coding milestone achieved - importing colour data into Hemesh + Processing!!! Thanks Corneel Cannaerts for his HEC_FromObjFile class that I’ve hacked, and then for fixing my hack over an email to correctly lerp vertex colour to face colour. So to get from 3D scan to this you must:
1. Export 123D scan as obj file with texture.
2. Open in meshlab, do the texture color -> vertex color. Save as .obj 
3. Copy the HEC_FromObjFile into a .pde tab, change class name.
4. When it reads iterates through vertices getting parts 1,2,3 (x,y,z) tell it to also get parts 4,5,6 (rgb for vertex). Save that into an Arraylist of colors
5. Extend HE_Mesh class to store face color, iterate through faces, get face vertices, match vertex with colour data from your Arraylist. Lerp the 3 vertex colours to produce one face colour. Mesh.display()
6. Go to tumblr, let others know.

personal coding milestone achieved - importing colour data into Hemesh + Processing!!! Thanks Corneel Cannaerts for his HEC_FromObjFile class that I’ve hacked, and then for fixing my hack over an email to correctly lerp vertex colour to face colour. So to get from 3D scan to this you must:

1. Export 123D scan as obj file with texture.

2. Open in meshlab, do the texture color -> vertex color. Save as .obj 

3. Copy the HEC_FromObjFile into a .pde tab, change class name.

4. When it reads iterates through vertices getting parts 1,2,3 (x,y,z) tell it to also get parts 4,5,6 (rgb for vertex). Save that into an Arraylist of colors

5. Extend HE_Mesh class to store face color, iterate through faces, get face vertices, match vertex with colour data from your Arraylist. Lerp the 3 vertex colours to produce one face colour. Mesh.display()

6. Go to tumblr, let others know.

Not quite sure where I’m going with this.

Not quite sure where I’m going with this.

Another piece for Holo.

Another piece for Holo.

tortuous tortures. As 3D printers evolve so do their torture tests ensuring our perpetual disappointment. Derivatives from the original torture test.

Digital informal economies

During a recent interview I was stumped when asked to make predictions about the future commercial development of 3D printing, and the consumer / DIY divide. I don’t see myself as a futurist nor am I terribly motivated by commercial enterprise, but this one looming question has incentivised me to deliver some (hopefully) inspiring thoughts posted below.

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Sampling and remixing objects

Makerbot have kindly published my views on object sampling here. In summary I see a future in popularising a design approach of making variations, iterations and mash-ups of existing objects by combining 3D scanning, computational ‘remixing’ and 3D printing.

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Processing success with exporting color stl files, for the purpose of printing in multicolor which is on discount this month. Generative colour meshes/ objects coming soon :)

Processing success with exporting color stl files, for the purpose of printing in multicolor which is on discount this month. Generative colour meshes/ objects coming soon :)

tPot(); and tCup(2); at the Generator.x 3.0 exhibition at iMal

tPot(); and tCup(2); at the Generator.x 3.0 exhibition at iMal