A Recipe for Glorious Failure

3D Printing machine gCode holds many opportunities for purposeful exploration of useless failure. This following recipe is meant as a provocation to help the reader on their way to gCode exploration.

  1. 3D model a 30mm cube and generate gCode for the model using any slicer software of your choice. Cura is a common free software for this.
  2. Open up the .gcode file in a text or code editor and realize how easy the code is to read. X and Y po- sitions are commonly in millimeters and are con- strained by the dimension of your 3D printer board.
  3. Randomly change the values of X and Y throughout the code keeping in mind the dimensional constraints of your printer.
  4. Save the file and print it. Enjoy and repeat.

In a short amount of time you will find it easy to manipulate gCode. You might even find yourself writing scripts, processing code or spreadsheets to make your own. (Just a hint, extrusion is cumulative.)

If you don’t have a 3D printer handy, try modifying the knit of an unloved sweater. A pair of scissors, alligator clips, and a crochet hook are all you need.

  1. Gently tug a yarn out of the knit with the crochet hook.
  2. Attach the two alligator clips on the yarn, count down a random number of whales in the knit /(vertical); Repeat.
  3. Cut the top yarn, gentle undo three stitches. Restitch the second stitch.
  4. Undo the stitches in the courses until you arrive at the bottom clipped whales.
  5. Clip and reattach the stitches. Massage the results back into the knit structure.

The result should be a slip in the knits that creates a unique hole. Feel free to repeat changing the number whales and courses skipped.

Troy Nachtigall
Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) Eindhoven, NL

Troy Nachtigall is a Marie Curie Research Fellow in the ArcInTexETN H2020 action. Troy investigates the programming of 4D material, form and behavior in flexible, wearable structures. Shoes are the most common expression of the exploration using research through design. Troy is part of the Wearable Senses Lab at Eindhoven University of Technology, Industrial Design. His background as a fashion designer in Italy has shaped his ideas of how a garment fits the user in many ways including physically and socially. Troy sees a future that goes beyond mass customization into data driven garments and accessories that some have called ultra personalization. His view on ultra personalization in fashion is that it defines something beyond soft weft tailoring/shoemaking, yet has the capacity to be democratic in its application. Troy’s most recent project is Solemaker.io, a computational (generative, algorithmic, parametric) shoe platform that creates personalized shoe files (gCode, .stl and instructions) from a foot scan. This project is currently participating in the EU H2020 WearSustain project exploring the possibilities of sustainable wearable technologies.

click here to read full submission


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