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Monday, November 23, 2009

Project Recap No. 9 - Alice Cups...


The Alice Cups, a set of cups which were manipulated to befit a select number of beverage consumption settings. Inspired initially by both D’Arcy Thompson’s On Growth and Form (1961), and the size and proportion related conditions of Alice in Wonderland (with perhaps a subtle reference to the book Flatland)...

An illustration from the book 'On Growth and Form' by D'Arcy Thompson, mentioned above...

Above and below - A few early sketches of Alice, and how she, as a changeable entity, could be used as a reference in this project...


The design set’s intention was to use and reflect on the capacities and methods, the manual parametric abilities, of CAD in the context of CAM, and to explore how by simple acts of stretching, pulling, flattening and selectively combining a core (genotype) cup, a variety of alternate (phenotype) functions could be achieved.

An image of a cup's STL (triangulated) CAD file...

The core cup was designed in Rhino (software), made roughly the size of a 1.5 decilitre teacup, which was saved as a STL file, and consequently manipulated to befit a number of defined functions, such as an espresso cup (shrunk), café latte cup (stretched vertically) and a cream pitcher (stretched horizontally). It was also made into a saucer (horizontally flattened and stretched), as well as a pitcher (scaled up, stretched vertically and slightly flattened). These were subsequently fabricated both through SLA and SLS.

Above and below - Two renditions of the cups, showing how they are all simultaneously both similar and dissimilar to each other...

The Alice Cups provided evidence that there is a viable way to use the technologies affiliated with Additive Manufacturing to produce objects directly and according to, even whimsical, parameters. The methods used could easily be applied to a number of alternate household or other items, and provide them with a straightforward means to be customized according to need or whim.

The Alice Pitcher on the Alice Saucer...

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