Monday, September 24, 2007

European Textile Network Conference - Friday 14th

Fascinating day of lectures and demos on Digital Craft at the LMU Digital Manufacturing Centre. Demos included Digital Printing and Embroidery and the possibilities of the Laser cutting equipment. The picture is of laser etching on leather (apparently very smelly). Gina Pierce used layering to trigger memories and association. Her research into old maps of Spitalfields is translated into multilayerd printed fabrics, the etching away of the top layer with the laser is like an archaeologist scraping away a layer of soil.

One point that came up in the lectures was that we tend to become selectors and editors when we use digital mediums but that we can use the technology to allow creative minds to innovate.

For me the highlight was the SLS machine in action. Selective Laser Sintering is a form of Rapid Prototyping where 3D items are 'printed' from Nylon, ceramic or metal powders. The layers of powder are .1mm thick and, in the machine we saw 'welded', by a computer guided laser rather like assembling an exceptionally precise 3d slice-form model. The picture shows a SLS 'egg' approx 6cm long.

More info on LMU Manufacturing Centre

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