ESCAPE HASH – 3D Printed Sculpture – Tactile Touchable Art

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W/O Limits Exhibition
Beginning the assembly.
The final step of the assembly.
screenshot in blender

My 3d printed tactile artwork ESCAPE HASH is being shown at W/O Limits: Art, Chronic Illness, & Disability at the Artists Archives of the Western Reserve https://www.artistsarchives.org/event/w-o-limits/
I’m glad to contribute a touchable artwork for the exhibition, as it is one of many other accessibility and adaptive measures to be most inclusive of the disabled art viewing public.

I would approach the design, with an architectural/engineering methodology. The 3d printed sculpture is made from 80 individually printed interconnected blocks. The blocks are modular, designed to fit together in multiple ways. With a master block that all the blocks are derived from, its shape is a rhombohedron. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhombohedron

Strategies I employed to make it accessible to the visually impaired are 3 things; contrast, pattern and relief to make it tactile to the touch. The blocks alternate between hash symbols in negative relief and positive relief form. Primary colors and black and white provide bold contrast between the parts, making them more visible. The deep cuts into each block project shadows making it both tactile and with a sharply delineated pattern also making it more visible.

The blocks were printed at Think[box] at Case Western Reserve University. Each block took 11 hours to print at high resolution. Director of Prototyping, Ainsley Buckner ran 6 printers simultaneously for over two weeks. Thank you Ainsley!

Hidden between where the blocks connect to each other is a wooden dowel that fit into holes in the blocks. They are alignment pins, assuring that the blocks fit precisely together and align properly. To adhere them, I used 3m VHB Tape, a super strong, super thin double sided tape.

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Artwork in W/O Limits: Art, Chronic Illness, & Disability at the Artists Archives of the Western Reserve in Cleveland

Here’s my work in the exhibition W/O Limits. I don’t yet have pictures of another piece in the show, a 3d printed hash tag. I’ll post them later. To read about this special art exhibition, click here.

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ASTERISCUS III, 2021
uv cured inkjet on acrylic mounted to composite aluminum and cut out on a cnc router,
dimensions variable, 54.5″h x 41.75″w overall, edition 1 of 3
photo courtesy Stuart Allen Pearl
OCTOLUX I, 2021
uv cured inkjet on acrylic mounted to composite aluminum,
47.5″ X 47.5″, edition 1 of 3
photo courtesy Stuart Allen Pearl
photo courtesy Stuart Allen Pearl
TEN BOXES ON A BOX, 2022
uv cured inkjet on acrylic mounted to composite aluminum and cut out on a cnc router
dimensions variable, 72″h x 30″w overall, edition 1 of 3
photo courtesy Stuart Allen Pearl
photo courtesy Stuart Allen Pearl
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HASHES AND A RHOMBOHEDRON – II: CNC Cut-out Print on Acrylic

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HASHES AND A RHOMBOHEDRON – 2, 2022
(orthographic projection view from a 3d model)
uv cured inkjet on cnc cut acrylic/composite alum, mtd. 2″ off wall
dimensions variable (45″h x37″w overall), edition of 3

This new series is kind of a hybrid artwork. It begins in 3d and transforms into 2d.  I use the 3d modeling software Moment of Inspiration (MOI) and blender, an open source 3d program. I do the 3d modeling with MOI because it’s easy to navigate and it’s very responsive and fast. I then go to Blender to render the 3d model.

This is a cuboid shape that has hash symbols carved into it, one on each of the 6 sides. This exposes another cuboid inner cuboid (in red). Now the cuboid is a special shape, what in Euclidean geometry is called a Rhombohedron. A rhombohedron is a cuboid with 3 pairs of rhombi. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuboid

This view is if my virtual camera eyes were hovering above and me turned upside down and looking down. I played with the light source, a source that mimics the rays of the sun, at different positions as it makes its arc through the day. The artwork hung on the wall looks to be upside down but in reality it was me that was upside down in virtual space, capturing a snapshot of it from my upside down vantage point.

The virtual world is dynamic where I can move in space with no regards to gravity. Up and down is relative to my position in virtual space. 

I chose not to do a perspective view but rather an orthographic view. From Britannica:
Orthographic projection is a common method of representing three-dimensional objects, usually by three two-dimensional drawings in each of which the object is viewed along parallel lines that are perpendicular to the plane of the drawing.

Orthographic views are often used by engineers and architects to explain a design in the form of construction drawings.

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