Week 13- Worker Bees of Manchester

On the 22nd of May, my hometown in England was subject to a terrorist attack, however this wasn’t the only terrorist attack Manchester have experienced. During this time, it hit a little too close to home, due to knowing many people who were in the area at the time of the horrific event.

After then working on my idea of the reanimation of dead objects, I became so sickened and upset over what had happened that I decided to take a dramatic move and change project ideas, instead focusing on the 22 people who lost there lives in this traumatic event as well as 119 critically injured.

Over the period of the bombing’s, Manchester came together and used the Mancunian Worker Bee , that has been around since the industrial revolution as a symbol that we (Mancunians) won’t give up and will come together even in great times of need.

Many tributes and respects were paid to the people who lost there lives during this terrorist attack, although I would like to contribute to respecting those that lost there lives while also displaying the determination and love of Manchester.

For my final installation I have decided that I will overlay and edit the sound of worker bees as well as counting out loud the umber of people (22) who lost there lives. The worker bees are a symbol of the spirit of Manchester and its location above has been created to make the audience feel immersed. I wanted to focus very closely on the volume elements as well as the layering of the sound to create a audio piece that pays respect to the 22 People who lost there lives as well as the fierce spirit of Manchester.

The audio piece will come from over head in a blackbox room as well as having a projector shining down and creating a white light circle as a marker for people to stand. A video of a bee has also been added into the circle using Premiere Pro as well as creating a masking tool in order to create the Spot light effect. I believe this will create a space that is completely immersive as well as people being able to listen distinctly to the audio that i have overlaid together.

Although this is a massive risk, I have created a tribute piece that is extremely dear to my heart as well as something I am extremely passionate about. Although my research from previous weeks, have focused on the reanimation go the dead. I didn’t want to touch that after this particular event.

I researched a lot of different sound installations including:

  • I liked ‘Sound forest’ by Minori Nagashima , because it focuses not only on the sound but how people interacted with the space and manipulated the sound- This is partly one of the reasons that I am projecting a circe and having the audio come from overhead, in order to create a spacial dynamic thats completely immersive.
  • This particular installation, really drew on the idea of worker bees, constantly being in the background of the audio piece I have created. Mischers ‘Curiousity cloud’ really works to draw in the importance of having multiple sounds but creating one message- which is one of the main obstacles I had to overcome in this final installation.
  • This installation created by Marie Sester also depicts why i have chosen to use a projector to cast a stark white circle onto the floor for people to stand in. I believe this, much like the video creates an immersive feeling because you are side the circle and you are experiencing the sounds that are being played above. I believe this is really important because I’m really trying to make people feel the spirit of manchester and pay respect to the 22 people who died during this horrific event. Its telling a story that I want people to be a part of.



I believe that the most influential week for me was Week 7 “Your uncertain shadows”, when we looked at remaking an artists installation. It was extremely valuable to understand the need for interaction and when interaction isn’t needed because simplicity prevails. Its the perceptions of others in which the art becomes valuable. Instead of trying to overdo the layering of the colours within the installation, we replicated what was already amazing and added to the concept tastefully.

Similarly to the the simplicity of having bees and voice over instead of a collection of audio. To keep it simple and really engage the audience into remembering each individual who lost there lives.

I have used the video of the bee spotlight to mirror the audio of the worker bees, that the spirit of manchester is always there. That mancunians will always stick together, to capture the significance of a spirit that creates a knock on effect around the world. The audio is extremely symbolic within this piece, the audio focuses on the 22 people that lost their lives within the manchester bombing. There aren’t just a number, they aren’t just 22 people. They are people within the mancunian community who have lost there lives, a  hole which can never be filled. Its the significance of these 22 people, that brought manchester and all those around the world together, to focus on the love for those around us and look at the threat of terrorism.

The audio is positioned above to again establish the idea of these emerging presence that is all around us. For me it is a powerful and person statement that shows how proud I am to be mancunian. I wanted to simplify my installation to give ample respect to those who lost there lives while also create the feeling of a forever working and growing spirit.

This installation has given me the ability to learn on Premiere Pro while also thinking about exploring a very complex and traumatic event simplistically, and trying to create something which gives respect to those who died while presenting the ever present Spirit of Manchester.


Week 12- Playing with Hearts

After mind mapping in Week 11 it was decided that both me and Huey would go in a seperate direction to the group. This was due to a number of reasons including the way the team weren’t working or collaborating together, as well as clashing ideas which limited our ability to grow and experiment. After Mats give advice, we went our seperate ways in order to experiment and create something meaningful. This week I sources a sheep’s heart and suspended it from the roof using fishing wire. This was extremely difficult to do by myself because the butcher previously cut open the heart and cleaned the heart before giving it to me. The fishing wire also had to be threaded through the Heart which proved difficult because the needle had to be thick and sharp enough to get through.

Research looked at in regards to the reanimation of the dead include:

  • Soviet Zombie experiments
  • A US biotech company which looked at reanimating the clinically dead 
  • This video also provided a lot of inspiration for thinking about ethics regarding the reanimation of the dead.
  • Frankenstein written by Mary Shelley is also a massive inspiration for the direction of the experiments undertaken through the session.

Question being explored: Is it ethically correct to try and reanimate the dead back to life?

Once suspended, I then aimed a green spotlight at the heart, to create the feeling of Frankensteins lair, a text I had been looking at specifically when looking at reanimating the dead.

“How can I describe my emotions at this catastrophe, or how delineate the wretch whom with such infinite pains and care I had endeavoured to form? His limbs were in proportion, and I had selected his features as beautiful. Beautiful! Great God! His yellow skin scarcely covered the work of muscles and arteries beneath; his hair was of a lustrous black, and flowing; his teeth of a pearly whiteness; but these luxuriances only formed a more horrid contrast with his watery eyes, that seemed almost of the same colour as the dun-white sockets in which they were set, his shrivelled complexion and straight black lips.”- Frankenstein (Chapter 5)

This experiment however, proved difficult, especially because the Heart started to smell through transportation and being handled with etc. As well as many students not feeling very comfortable looking at the organ. In order to create something meaningful and questioning the ethics of reanimating the dead I would have to think more strategically of how I could channel the idea into an approach thats worth while and that other students see the value.

Overall I came to these conclusions:

  •  I believe that the green light created the feeling of the frankenstein lair and worked well with the Organ.
  • There needed to be more movement to add to the questioning of ethics and the reanimation of the dead. (Perhaps add a projected image onto the heart
  • Sound would work well to create a greater depth of atmosphere.
  • The heart needed to be smaller and not cut open because I couldn’t securely hang it from the roof.
  • Finally, I believe the experiment was a success but a few elements needed to be changed in order to highlight ethics.


Week 11- Research- Mind Map Week-

During this week, we decided as per the conversation with Mat the week before that we would all sit down and map out our ideas, while bringing in research and Theorists. All other groups members other than myself and Huey, seemed to disappear when it came time to mind mapping, which probably worked out for the best- because me and Huey seemed to get on really well and have the same passion and direction of what we wanted to experiment with, direction wise through the reanimation of the dead and also nature vs mechanical.

Mat later came in to see how we were getting on and again advised that we should go our seperate ways so that we could progress. I allocated parts for the group member to each do to bring in for the next week however I doubt they were going to do that so I had a back up plan that I would work on if I was let down.

The mind mapping week really helped form my direction and also allowed me to collate my research and theorists including people such as:

Below are the results of our mind mapping:


Week 10- Projection on Jars// Projection with Swinging light (creating animation)

This week the group hit a major road block. The group, I believe isn’t working very well together. They aren’t pulling there weight evenly and I have been the person doing the majority of the work, which includes setting up all the experiments by myself every week, trying to form new ideas each week and allocating work in the hopes that collaboration will form each week as well as paying for the equipment we are experienting with every week. Attendance has also been a massive concern, how can we progress as a group while also collaborating new ideas if all the group members aren’t pulling there weight. This week I spoke to Jo and voiced my concerns, that after trying for 4 weeks now, I was worried that the group wasn’t progressing or working well. In which she advised me to sit down with the group and voice my concerns.

To come each week and have the group sit on the floor and text while I do all the work (while being criticised) as well as one group member joining our group in week 8 and not turning up for 3 weeks after, makes me believe that no progress will be made on our group.

After presenting the experiment this week which in my eyes, was not a work I wanted to be associated with, I again voiced my opinion in front of the class about the lack of energy and progress in the group, in which Mat advised that we should split from the group and conduct our own experiments as well as mind mapping next week and looking at research in which we could draw ideas from. Mat stated that if our idea’s and direction match then we go together and if they don’t we should branch away from the group and work on progressing in our own directions.

This week we set up a number of objects to experiment with shadow work that is reflected onto the wall, we then set up a swinging lamp that changed the objects we the hopes of trying to created moving animation to the stationary objects. An example of where we drew the inspiration from came from this video:

This worked really well for Huey because his major work explores this in a meaningful way. I am glad that this experiment worked for him, however for me I struggling to see the progression of the direction I wanted to go with in regards to projection and reanimation.


Week 9- Projection Mapping of Organs onto Glass Jars

This week I was very disappointed that two people from the group didn’t turn up as well as the girls not bringing in any jars for our experiment. I brought in 3 jars but I was annoyed that I have been putting in a lot of effort each week, nevertheless, we worked with what we had as well as sourcing a cup and jug from the uni kitchen.

The projection didn’t work out as well as participated which resulted in us having to add liquid to the jars and paper. We focused on projecting one organ and setting it up correctly. We used a picture of a heart which I sourced and edited for the projection, while including the sound of the beating heart, however the projected organ didn’t look very realistic at all and wasn’t clear on the Jar.

When discussing with the class our experience, I felt extremely disheartened, Mat suggested that instead of trying to project images and videos onto the empty jar we should fill it with a milky substance in order for the object to become clearer. He also questioned why we weren’t just using real parts in the jars, and creating an environment for that. In which I referenced the idea of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley and questioning the reanimation of the dead.

I really liked this idea, as it questioned the ethics of reanimating the dead. After the end of class, I expressed to Jo that i didn’t think the group was working well together and I felt as though I was doing the majority of the work, as well as group members not turning up and bringing the required equipment in order for us to progress through our experiments each week.

Next week we decided as a group that we would experiment further with the projected organs as well as bringing in objects in which we could fill the jars with. I sent a message to the group of what each had to bring etc, and also made it clear that if they had any other ideas we could work on those next week.

Week 8- Facial mapping projection

As spoken about last week, we used a mannequin that I bought from spotlight in order to project different character faces onto the mannequin head. We also included songs that matched the character faces, merged them together and created one video that merges faces and songs into one, trying to replicate the video attached last week.

Some of these faces worked really well, such as a robot that I sourced from Youtube that changed automatically. The scaling of the faces proved difficult as well as trying to match the scaling of the projected faces to the size of the mannequin head and its features.

Upon discussion with the class, we also noticed that with certain faces, it looked good to have the face off centre from the mannequin head because it produced quite a different meaning as well as a different image. This corresponded well with the exploration of Satire which Huey wanted to look at. The discussion then turned into how we could project on different objects to explore different facial features.

From this week came the idea that we might project body parts onto glass jars that have been scattered at different heights in order to draw attention to specific body parts.

This week I believe that we could of been a lot more prepared, my and Huey worked together to produce all of the content used this week, and I bought the mannequin whereas the girls struggled to engage in the work. We also had Matthew join our group at the end of the class which brought our group number to 5.

I messaged everyone to bring glass jars/containers/ jugs etc so that we could experiment with projecting body parts onto the jars for next week.

Week 7- Olafur Eliasson’s Your Uncertain Shadows REMAKE

This week was known as the “Experimentation week” which allowed us to develop on previous artists works. Our group explored Olafur Eliasson’s Your Uncertain Shadows as seen in the video below:


Overall I was extremely excited about using interactive projection (something in which I am carrying across multiple subjects this semester). This particular installation proved quite easy and we produced a replica of the work that worked extremely well but I really wanted to explore its potential of interaction.

By using 4 different coloured lights that we lay in a line, we were able to replicate the layering and reflected effect as seen in the installation above. When a person walked in front of one light and blocked it, the other lights would shine through more prominently which would change the colour and interaction to a certain degree. The more lights we added, the more colour layers were produced.

To add to this design we hung the canvas screen in the black box and also shinned different colour lights from the back, this created an effect in which the person from the back was getting the same effect as the person from the front, but they could also see each others shadows to interact with. Another thing I noticed was the way in which the person from the back stood in the colour layers of the person from the front which added a sharpness to the colour.

Things to experiment with further- 

  • Sensor’s that play different sounds in relation to the interaction of colour
  • The depth of the lights- having lights set at different heights and distances

Below is our attempt at recreating the work:

Another group this week also experimented with the work but used projectors which i though was a really great idea. This produced a electronic feel as well as the colour layers being extremely sharp whereas ours was quite soft.

Overall, a really good start to figuring out the direction to take projection and interaction. During the class discussion, people thought that the installation was really cool but often questioned the sound element as well as the potential to bring in projection mapping that disappeared once the person had moved or a tracking element that captured the silhouette of the person and stayed on the canvas screen for the next person to interact with through pre-recording. Another idea that came from this discussion for me was having two different entrances so that each person didn’t know that there was someone on the other side until they interacted with them once inside.

I really enjoyed making this work, the whole group got together and had fun as well as being on the same page. The installation opened many doors and acted as a springboard of what we could do to improve the installation in the next couple of weeks.

One idea that I though of was facial projection mapping through tracking as a way of projecting certain designs onto someones face much like this example:

Next week I will be bringing in a mannequin head for our group to experiment with in order to see whether the installation may be possible.


W11-Tedious Prototyping

During the last few weeks I have been working on my game design in depth through tedious prototyping. Although I haven’t gotten to the play testing stage of the game, the design of the game is extremely technical and unique to the market in regards to the transformation from digital back to analogue gaming. Through Marshall McLuhan’s concept  we can see the light (the medium) as a message through its use of space and environment as its critical function in playing the game.

I have overcome many issues in regards to 3D modelling this game. The first, being the scaling of the shapes as well as the thickness in order for the printer to efficiently print the base, hence the graft which you can see in the below images to ensure that the 3D printed lantern doesn’t stick to the machine (it ensures an easier and cleaner removal.)

After making a number of different models, it became clear that the height as well as the shapes that were being projected had to be strategically created to ensure that the shapes being printed were clear enough to be copied during the game by each player. The model that you see above took 4.5 hours to print. The initial draft took 20 mins because I had scaled the size of it from Tinkercad. One of the main advantages of this was the ability to go back through and rescale from 20mmx20mm to reprint another draft which is the perfect size (90mmx90mm) This also allowed me to test out the particular shapes that I have used in regards to the light projection and whether they were defined enough to be recognised once projected. One thing that I will have to change after printing this model is the lid which will have to be extended upwards. The lid will have to sit higher than originally anticipated in order for the light direction to project the shapes clearly. Below is my initial design of my lantern lid.

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Design mock for lid for the lantern

My diagrams can be seen in the below images when dealing with the light in regards to Newtons prism experiment which reflects the reason to change the height of the original mock up:



As you can see in previous weeks my design has been worked on early and I am still not 100% finished with this design. My aim therefore is to create the lid and ensure that I can create at least 1 lantern to test and play with to ensure that the angle of the light can project the shape etc.

I have many ideas to make this prototype better, which includes having panels of different shapes, patterns and images which can be changed like slides. Instead of having a fixed box. Therefore coding the structure with interchangeable slides. Here are some examples.

Overall I am extremely happy with my progress and will continue to tweak the issues with the hopes of introducing the product to the market within the near future once I can design the main lantern. I also believe that my prototyping has acted like my play testing stage throughout the weeks because I have constantly been showing different people and getting multiple opinions of how my game works through the piece I have created. All of these opinions have been documented within my dossier which has allowed me to build on different functions that need to be added and also the different features which I could add or change which I hadn’t of thought about.

Over the last few nights I have been tediously measuring my distance of light while also researching about Newtons prism theory. With a 45 degree trajectory,  the opposite angle should equal the same in regards to the light being easily distributed/projected. I have also taken apart a battery operated fairy light pack, cut the wires and refused them to create one led fairy light that can be switched on and off and is small enough to be inserted inside the lid, once constructed. This also allows for the batteries to be easily changed by the players if needed creating a game that can be easily self maintained.

Playtesting Notes: 


Watch this space for more updates!

Acrylic Custom Cranial Implant

The Out of hand: Materialising the digital display in Sydney, showcases over 60 designers, artists and scientists works which span across 7 main concepts or themes. When identifying these themes it becomes apparent which artworks cohere to one or more. These themes include ‘Analog to Post-digital, Modelling Nature, New Geometries, Rebooting Revivals, Pattern as structure, Remixing the figure and process.’ Anatomic’s Pty Ltd Acrylic Custom Cranial Implant made in 2016, stood out as an important transition in 3D printing in regards to its function.

The Acrylic Custom Cranial Implant is used as a supplementary bone structure to restore the shape of the bone that has been lost during severe trauma to the skull. Cranioplasty is a very dangerous and challenging procedure, with the introduction of 3D printing technologies the success rate of harvesting a compatible bone graft has increased significantly within patients when exploring the history of Cranioplasty to 3D printing.

Cranioplasty’s history can be traced to Incas in Peru and Celtic tribes in Europe during prehistoric time who operated on the cranium bone with gold, silver and Gourds as a supplementary bone structure. In the late “19th century and early 20th century significant advances were made in cranioplasty with several clinical and experimental reports on the surgical techniques and materials used. Autografts, as well as various metallic bone substitute materials, gained increasing popularity.” During the 1940s, the material methylmethacrylate (bone cement) was introduced, which is still used today in hip and knee replacements, however the issue of having to remove the implants after a number of years was still an issue until the mid 1990’s when biodegradable materials were used as ‘structural fixation until healing occurred.’

Below is a table taken from Jant Schantz, 2004, literature review, which shows the era of what materials were used in Crainoplasty.

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3D printing has changed Cranioplasty significantly, improving surgery time, reducing the risk of infection, reduction in cost and the surgery is deemed less invasive. The biggest improvement however is the ‘fit’ of the pre-made cranial implant. This eliminates the problem prior to the introduction of 3D printing when the surgery had to be performed every couple of years etc. Todays advancements also ensure that if a procedure has to be repeated post-procedure, that surgeons can get in and out efficiently.

After many different techniques and materials in the production of 3D printing, internal pore geometry was created which assists and promotes cell growth between the implant and the brain. This means that the new supplementary bone (cranium implant) will resorb in the old bones place and become a stronger bone structure. Computer aided software can also scan the brain and overlap the existing skull to produce an image which designs the best shape and place for the implant to be attached to the patients skull, (please see below table and figure) this allows a greater rate of compatibility as well as lowers risk for the patient.

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This table ‘presents the three basic mechanisms by which current 3D printers render implants’


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Figure 5 taken from here. 

Below is the 3D printed AnatomicsAcrylic Custom Cranial Implant model on display at the Out of Hand exhibition. 3D printing is described as an ‘additive process’ in which the object is created by adding layers

A skull phantom and mold are created with computer software to assist in the 3D printing procedure and interchanged with the 3D printer, the mold that is printed on the polyjet printer is then used to shape the acrylic implant.

Scott Crump developed the first FDM printer, a model that is used by most businesses in regards to 3D printing today. Crump then founded Stratasys which supplies 3D printers and from there. In 2000 the ‘Inkjet’ 3D printer was introduced to the market which is what this cranial implant was printed on.

PolyJet 3D printing is similar to inkjet document printing. But instead of jetting drops of ink onto paper, PolyJet 3D printers jet layers of liquid photopolymer onto a build tray and cure them with UV light. The layers build up one at a time to create a 3D model or prototype.”

The acrylic cranial implant, stemmed from the worlds first surgical removal by Ralph Mobbs in 2015 of two cancerous vertebrae. The reattached patient’s skull to their spinal column was high risk but made possible with a specific titanium implant made by anatomic’s.

This advanced them into using varied materials such as titanium, acrylic and now a porous polyethylene to decrease risk and enhance surgery. These materials were experimented on cranial, facial, chest, orthopaedic implants as well as other skeletal and soft tissue parts. Using the CT scans and 3D printing methods, surgical biomodels such as bone harvest templates, implant positioning templates were critical in decision making and planning.

Anatomic’s is a company based in Melbourne which has been in the manufacturing and surgical marketing business since 1996. Anatomic’s assists in the design and printing of the 3D cranial implant as well as many other surgical products, working with customers such as Neurosurgeons, plastic & reconstructive surgeons, oral & Maxillofacial surgeons, orthopaedic surgeons, ENT surgeons and Thoracic surgeons.

First a CT scan is taken of the brain to display “images of internal organs, bones, soft tissue and blood vessels.” The CT scan is also sent to Anatomic’s to provide measurements of the brain and skull to accurately design a cranial implant that will fit, the CT scan is a key component in providing them with a model they can work off when beginning to print the patient specific implant, “The cross-sectional images generated during a CT scan can be reformatted in multiple planes, and can even generate three-dimensional images.’ After the CT scan is sent to Anatomic’s, a scheduled meeting will take place using Anatomic’sC3D to discuss the patient and the implants design, function and fit with leading surgeons.


First a prototype is produced in collaboration with Anatomic’s and surgeons from the original CT scan which assists pre surgery preparation, this prototype allows for experimentation and testing to deem whether the implant will fit or have to be rescaled etc. A second CT scan is then taken of the BRT (Bone resection template) to guide surgeons in the procedure to follow during surgery, during this stage a Biomodel is also created to re-test the fit of the cranial implant on the specific patient. This process experience is key in breaking down barriers between surgeons, engineers and patients to identify what needs to be done from all angles. The collaborative program adds to the precision and compatibility to ensure that the process has eliminated risks from all angles.


The Acrylic used in the Custom Cranial implant is clear plastic, used as a shatterproof replacement for glass, “it’s a synthetic resin produced from the polymerization of methyl methacrylate.” PMMA undergoes particular strengthening procedures which is crucial in ensuring that the overall strength of the implant, made from synthetic resin, can endure lifetime fixture and durability.

“In modern production it is obtained principally from propylene, a compound refined from the lighter fractions of crude oil. Propylene and benzene are reacted together to form cumene, or isopropylbenzene; the cumene is oxidized to cumene hydroperoxide, which is treated with acid to form acetone; the acetone is in turn converted in a three-step process to methyl methacrylate (CH2=C[CH3]CO2CH3), a flammable liquid. Methyl methacrylate, in bulk liquid form or suspended as fine droplets in water, is polymerized (its molecules linked together in large numbers) under the influence of free-radical initiators to form solid PMMA.”- Taken from Britannica 

With its glass like appearance, the Acrylic implant allows the surgeon to see if there is a collection of fluid or a haematoma forming in the extra-dural space in the brain. Pre-drilled fixation, dural suture, fluid transfer, and temporalis muscle suture holes are pre-drilled to minimise operating theatre time which is one of the main reasons acrylic is specifically used today. Through the history of materials used to make implants, acrylic lowers risks and allows surgeons to see problems before it becomes catastrophic. The predrilled holes in the cranial implant allows for fluid transfer and easy attachment during surgery.

In short during the Cranioplasty procedure surgeons will make a small incision in the scalp and begins to clean the area for implantation. The implant will be attached using screws and the area may be drained of fluid. The area is then stitched back up.

Cranioplasty today is extremely efficient, Anatomic’s states the benefits of using acrylics are that there is Clear vision through the implant, it is Ready-to-use, it is CT and MRI compatible, Simple removal and it Beats Mixing with  “No need for cutting, shaping or mixing during surgery. This eliminates the risk of monomer release and damage of dural and sub-dural tissues associated with exothermic reaction during in situ preparation of an implant.”

3D Printing machines, were once expensive, but as they are becoming more and more popular, it has lowered the cost and increased production and manufacturing rates as well as created new potential. Already we are seeing scientists and engineers working together to produce 3D printed living tissue that can be deposited into the 3d printer and printed. This adds to the uncapped potential of what 3D printers can achieve. For instance, 3D printed living heart valves are being tested on in many medical centres. Bio-printing, could eliminate the shortage of donors and increase lives saved. (It is said that on average 21 people die per day because they don’t have a compatible donor) Through bio-printing patient specific living cells, scientists and surgeons will eventually be able to structure a living organ that can be implanted into the patients body with 100% compatibility without having to worry about the risks around incompatibility.

During my visit to the Out of Hand excursion, there were many different artworks which spoke to each other in different ways, there were many interactive ones that added to process and others that added to the experience of the artwork and themes being discussed, however the Cranial implant stood out to me the most due to its cutting edge design and such a huge advancement of 3D printing in the medical world today. Within DIGC310, one of my classes this semester, I have been using Tinkercad to 3D mock a game board piece which uses light as its mechanic. The use of 3D printing in the medical world grabbed my attention as something worthy of advancement and research. Encased in a box added to the idea of its importance within Cranioplasty and medicine. Although I would of loved to of picked it up and interacted with it in some form, just seeing it and knowing that it was designed using a 3D printer was enough of a feature as I became more inclined to study the way in which it performed and the materials they used. With a brief understanding of how 3D mocking works, 3D scanning added an entirely new element for me to think about in which you could produce and print a specific implant to match a specific patients skull which saves a lot of time in regards to correcting measurements on the 3D software.

Overall 3D printing is becoming more and more popular, it has lowered the cost and increased production and manufacturing rates as well as created new potential especially in regards to Bio-printing in the near future within the medical world. It has changed the way surgeons perform and enhanced the success rate of the procedure undertaken during Cranioplasty. With a collaborative program introduced by Anatomic’s, the 3D printing process becomes smoother as well as ensuring that all angles of the design increase compatibility for the specific patient. The printing of the Acrylic implant has overall managed to reduce surgery time and improve visibility for the surgeon through the acrylic used and the way the implant has been designed to “fit.” The Polyjet 3D printer is extremely important, not only in regards to medical advancements but also for patients who may eventually have to go through the surgery in the near future.





3D Printing in Gaming

My last post, ‘Let me project you back in time,’ explored the history of projection as a means of gaining a better understanding of the potential of projection with close reference to the game I am designing in DIGC310 which uses projection as its main mechanic.

In Marshall McLuhan’s book, 1964, ‘The medium is the message’ he states “A light bulb does not have content in the way that a newspaper has articles or a television has programs, yet it is a medium that has a social effect; that is, a light bulb enables people to create spaces during nighttime that would otherwise be enveloped by darkness.”

Over the last 7 weeks I have been experimenting with my projection game, Reflectand have begun to understand the value and potential of projection. In attempting to construct a draft of my game, I have been experimenting with different light sources, light directions and materials, which have all highlighted the challenges and positives of using light. One of the main positives I found was the ability to create a social effect through the use of projection, creating a specific environment, this works well in highlighting (for players) the potential of projection as well as the spacial reality it creates.

In drafting my game, I discovered that the best way to create my version of the ‘Magic lantern’ was to 3D print the pieces, so that each piece could be detached and each player could have there own mini lantern to play with, while also creating a multifunctional game and having the pieces stacked on top of each other to create something new. Without 3D printing this wouldn’t at all be possible, so within this post I am going to be researching 3D printing within gaming in order to link the history of projection which I have already spoken about and my mechanic that I am in the process of making.

In reversing the idea of digital to analogue, I am exploring the potential of gaming as a tangible object rather than digital to highlight McLuhan theory, ‘The medium is the message,’ as well as showcasing the potential of projection in analog gaming.

There is much debate today surrounding 3D printing within the gaming world, many believe that 3D printing is beneficial in the sense that 3D printed objects can be easily shared for free and collaboratively worked upon in order to discover its potential, whereas others believe that with 3D printed objects becoming ‘free,’ gaming companies may lose a significant amount of profit due to IP and licensing deals.

A company called U-dimensions seems to understand this problem and states, “U-Dimensions’ goal is to make it easier for game companies to develop and expand their merchandise line, and allow them to gain extra profit from games,” the company says. “The unique, and free platform makes it possible for game companies to reach a larger audience, and allows for a variety of 3D printing merchandise options. Our software allows for company’s 2D or 3D game elements to be automatically converted into 3D-print ready elements. The free model also allows game companies to gain commission while U-Dimensions take care of production and distribution.”

U-dimensions suggests that they are helping in generating profit for gaming companies, the website also targets the low quality of mass produced games. In opening up a 3D market in which game companies can use to generate their own customised pieces, it reduces or even eliminates the problem of gaming companies losing attainable profit while making a higher quality game.

On the other hand U-dimension limits the potential of gaming mechanics/pieces to be manipulated by its audience. For instance, my game, Reflect, could come with generic pieces but people can also create or download additional pieces in order to add to the game and change the difficulty and aesthetic etc.

Digital leisure Cultures mentions Cubify and Shapeways (3D printing companies) which “offer objects for sale and provide digital files of their prototypes for download by people who may want to fabricate them for themselves or learn from their design.” Its important here to mention that these websites encourage collaboration and creation in order to help further the potential of certain mechanics in gaming as well as helping people learn about 3D printing.


This got me thinking about the marketing of Reflect, do I want to give the files to the public in order for them to 3D print the game for free? It sounds selfish but for something I have worked hard on, I believe there should be some recognition much like many other 3D games that you can print for free on the internet. After looking at the above companies and the different ways they approach the gaming market however, I see a lot of value in people being able to access files and add to the potential of the game. It also adds to the idea of the ‘ecology of gaming’ which focuses on how we participate as gamers, producers and learners. Therefore, if I was to market Reflect, I would sell the original game with generic ‘starting’ pieces but also create other pieces which people can download and manipulate for free in order to add to the potential and aestetic of reflect as well as helping people learn about the design of the game.