Material Experiments


Why stick to the frame?

Use drawings from drawing machine to set new “frame”…this could be fabric hung at different points then dipped with same motion. Iterations become the placement of the hanging points…and density of fabric.

Timeline of testing:

Silicone and string tests(with frame) > wax and string tests (with frames) > wire spiral (hand bent) > pendulum drawing machine > Pendulum drawing machine with motion obstruction > Pendulum drawing machine with topography > dipping machine (earlier version) with wire > dipping machine with obstruction and flat 2D Grid tests > final machine with wooden cubes (with different string density) > final machine with wooden frame tests at 1/8 ” and glued wires for density tests > final machine with random objects > final machine with wire tests in attempt to recreate accidental form from midterm.

the successful model used for architectural prototype due to its unexpected grouping of stalactites.


Metal Dips Board
Metal Dips Board

Wire Frames:

Version E, we decided to re dip in another direction to see if we can produce our exciting results. Not really.

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Test “D”

Test “A”
Test “C”


Interior of test “C”


We did our initial “B” test earlier in the semester. This is yet another set of fails in attempt to reiterating the webbing that first accumulated onto the wire frame. We though our fan and heating methods would help this effect but were wrong (fan did cool off wax on frames and surface of wax bucket but caused the wax to build up into bulkier forms). So we tried heating the wax and turning off the hot plate as we did originally. Also basswood material absorbed some of the wax and built up more around the square frame.

Testing Random Objects:

Here we tested dowels hung from the top and middle, a plane dipped vertically and horizontally, a single, double, and looped string. We also tested a solid piece of wax to reverse the additive process. However, buildup occurred on top of wax instead of melting away at the set temperature we have been using so far (130-140 F). Finally we tried to reproduce the webbed and unexpected conditions we had in one of our first models. Turns out, the wooden frame produced a different buildup of wax. Also older wax behaves differently from newer, less reheated wax. The newer wax allows for slimmer/webbed stalagmites and surface texture is shinier.

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Field Condition:

Combining the angles into a field work.

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Dipping of empty frame:

To show control of angle and its influence on the openings of the frame.



First (straight) Angle


Second Angle


Second Angle



Third Angle


3/4 Review Catalogue of Iterations: String Density + String Tightness

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Board below displaying all iterations and dipping motion:

Dunking loop was repeated 48 times for each cube. 1/8″ Basswood sticks and twine with paraffin wax and a deeper bucket.

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Dunking in action: 45 degree dipping




Cube Iterations: Angle + String

Material used for framing:

Twine + 1/4″ Basswood Sticks + Glue


Angle of dunking is done by shortening 1 end of the string to a specific length for all angled pieces(1″).

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FAILURES: Most likely due to changing the type of wax used.6-07 5-06


12 iterations, those dashed are placed at an angle.


Highlighted in red are shown in labeled images above

Obstacle + Grid Density



Picking a site, around 42 street and Bryant Park. And 2 angle types for obstacle.

I ran out of wax (blue) and switched to a vanilla scented candle (yellow).

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Subtracted Grid

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Regular Grid

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Compressed grid


3D Prints to be dipped. Left being most regular, testing densities by subtraction/compression.


Dipped with an obstacle. It scraped off most wax on one side making overall buildup to one side.

Dipping done with the CNC machine:

First try at using machine to do the work. The movement slowed down as the wax piled onto the form. This also allowed for the wax to cool a lot more and soon formed a surfaced skin that was picked up by each dip.

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View of machine dipping into wax bucket only. The whole form does not submerge. As wax piles on the amount of “submerging” decreases.

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Left: You can see the layering of the wax as it goes less and less deep into the wax bucket.


Basic set up for wax dipping:

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Version 1:

Spiral dipped in wax for 20 min, slowly.


Final Result

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Left : after 20 dips build up (lots of it was melting away). Slowly built up.

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Left to right: As wax was cooling and there was more material on the wire, it was easier to pile on.

Spiral dipped in wax then water. Originally we thought just by dipping the wax into would cool the material faster. But it also produced a different effect, more of a bubbly texture.

Dipping into wax then water. For 30 min.


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Left: Dipped in wax. Right: Dipped in water.

Start of crystalizing


Turns into bubbling
Final Result
Final Result

3D Grid with PLA for Dunking:

I have to look over the Gcode, although this should be quite simple. It was printing Diagonals, not extruding enough (check distance ratio). Grid 1 and 2 below. The decrease in density as they move up in z. One has “strings” in both directions, each one pass with the extruder. Thin enough to be affected by hot wax. Tried printing with Ninja flex, set at right temperatures but was not sticking to the bed AT ALL (raised bed temp, tried glue) also used a rhino file for that print).



String Experiments:

Wax block heated in a water bath. Basswood frames are then slid into shallow pan of hot wax.

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3 versions, exploring density and distribution of strings. First version had loose organization, just wrapping each point to the next multiple times.


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Frame with Less Density:

Less dense and loosely woven frame. Wood parts also came apart in previous model so tied ends with string.

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Re-dunking two woven frames (one of the less dense ones at the bottom) to see how they attach together. Material starts to sink in center.

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String in just linear fashion.

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Week 3:

Thinking of how we can apply material test. Machine could wrap string around. What if you had multiple layers that then get smushed by another machine to see were string attaches to other layer.

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