Study of Six Design Elements

By Joshua Killen

Bang a square peg through a round hole and know my process. This codex is my first illuminated manuscript crafted with the help of 3D printers. The resulting six plates each represent a study of a design element of art.

The following are data extracts detailing the build process for each plate accompanied with process analysis and abstraction:


Light line from third eye

Pulse, twists, flabbergasts my marks

Around red center

<initiate design_10> (*/intent declaration) Push handmade line drawing through digital conversion and 3D print it.

<_10> (*/action) Start drawing with red ink on paper, then follow with a black line around the red.

sub_ (*/command protocol) Encircle the red abstraction with a curious probing line, thick and conspiring.

<_11>Make second attempt.

<_12>Upload and trace in Illustrator.  

<_13>Export (.svg) to Fusion 360. Extrude image. Export (.stl).

<_20>Slice and Print on MakerBot 5th Gen. [i]

<_21>Fasten to Acrylic sheet, prime and paint.

<_30>goto Book Assembly.

</abstract_10>The three-dimensional line tickles and licks the edges of a two-dimensional space, an allegory to my efforts to abstract drawings into a 3D printer.

The vision of the book is clear, I intend this to be the cover and the remaining pages completed separately and in chronological order. All the prints were to be mounted on 1/8 acrylic sheets and assembled at the end. Primed and painted white with intent to make the top layer black; however, I change to just white after appreciating the aesthetic. Center left unpainted, red showing through from back of the plate creating slight depth and refraction. Perception considered for next plate.

[i] Choice to print was precipitated by technical issues when CURA failed to slice the object. Original design parameters were calibrated to fit the LulzBot build space; however, after errors the slicing process was tested successfully with the MakerBot slicing software. MakerBot build space is smaller than Lulzbot resulting in the current reduced size of the original design.


Seal of Solomon

Wicked demon caught and bound

Six-pointed star seal

<initiate design_11> (*/intent declaration) Capture a demon and trap it with a six-pointed star shape just like King Solomon.

<_10> (*/action) Design star in Fusion 360. Note detail of lines overlap creating infinity loop.[i]

[i] Research conveys infinity effect useful for binding demons as it mesmerizes them as they search for the endpoint of the shape. Ironic coincidence, the moment the design was completed, live coverage of the Justice Kavanaugh confirmation hearings broadcast AZ Senator Flake announcing more investigations.

<_11>Conjure and assemble demon in visual construct.

<_20>Export (.stl). Print on Lulzbot.

<_21>Bind demon construct to back of clear Acrylic sheet.[i]

<_22>Attach printed star shape to front of Acrylic sheet.

<_30>goto Book Assembly.

</abstract_11> An endless throat lined with sharp fangs, torment and hunger down an infinite pit. Clear acrylic an allegory to Solomon’s bottles, finished customarily affixed with his seal. Choice to leave seal unpainted made from the clear printing material and the translucent aesthetic. [ii]

[i] Research conveys learning a demon’s true name increases one’s ability to control them.

[ii] Initial demon conjuring occurred on the other side of the paper, the shape was strongly vaginal. I forced the design back into a more rounded shape as I wanted it to balance with the hexagonal shape of the interior of the star. Look closely at the back of the plate and you can still see the impression.


Golgotha black earth

Stacked skulls made into a pile

Eye sockets black pits

<initiate design_12> (*/intent declaration) Low-key value composition using only ink pushed through digital conversion. Value scale used to determine actual vertical extrusion of drawing on 3D printed surface.

<_10> (*/action) Draw design on paper.

               Sub (*/command protocol) Use only black ink and water to create monochromatic value scale.

<_11>Make second attempt. (Image not available)

<_12>Photograph and digitize.

<_20>Convert photo into 3D mesh relief by importing directly into Cura slicer and print.

<_21>Apply heavy ink wash [black].

<_22>Dry brush remaining monochromatic values and apply acrylic seal.

<_30>goto Book Assembly.

</abstract_12> Wall of skulls without jaws. Probably 4th or 5th incarnation of Golgotha image set from previous works, first one incorporating 3D elements and using ink. Low-key value scale use was intended practice and exploration of Tenebrism. Post completion first illustrated attempted printed for a separate project.


Splitting Gamma Rays

Puncture flesh, blood, brain, and bone

Pain, suffering, hot

<initiate design_13> (*/declare intention) Illustrate critical error occurring with brain function (massive migraine experience) and create a 3dimensional texture piece describing the experience.

Sub (*/command protocols) Initiate survival automation subroutines, Illustrate experience onto a visual format.

<_10> (*/actions) Draw design on paper.

<_11>Make second attempt.

<_12>Make third attempt. Expressions of suffering eminent, thicken media elements for increased durability.

<_12>Replicate conditions and techniques in second attempt in VR sculpting application Medium.

<_20>Export (.obj) and print on LulzBot.

<_21>Mount print onto acrylic plate.

<_22>Prime with red spray paint. Mix dry brush and washing ink to highlight textures.

<_23>Extract four shapes from paper based second attempt illustration and mount on top of plate.

<_24>Seal with acrylic spray.

<_30>goto Book Assembly.

</abstract_13> Wet red flesh pierced with white gamma ray particles. Combination of actual, simulated, and new textures created by part physical paper and printed plastic designed in a virtual reality (VR) environment. When the intensity of the experience was being translated into VR, the virtual object melted like a virtual plastic sheet under a magnifying glass and burning sun.


Tagger, Street Artist

Bright colors, layers cover

Sign my name J K

<initiate design_14> (*/declare intention) Explore street writing techniques and incorporate a 3D element using my initials as subject.

<_10> (*/actions) Write initials as practice for final form.

<_11>Repeat attempt

<_12>Repeat attempt

<_13>Repeat attempt, assess final form for digitizing.

<_14>Create three layers of transparencies and colorize each with paint pens. All relate and compliment final form of letters.

<_14>Upload and trace final form in Illustrator.

<_15>Export (.svg) to Fusion 360. Extrude image. Export (.stl)

<_20>Slice and Print on MakerBot 5th Gen.

<_21>Fasten to Acrylic sheet, prime and paint.

<_22>Attach transparencies to printed plate in alignment with translated Final Form.

<_30>goto Book Assembly.

</abstract_14> Stylized letters made of energetic and bright lines. Final image made to be deconstructed as transparencies can be lifted and the image explored layer by layer. This is an exploration of street writing techniques where a work is created in layers and the spray or paint pen medium easily covers on top of the previous medium.


Spinning old theatre

Zoetrope as printed form

Loops a beating heart

<initiate design_15> (*/declare intention) Create a 3d printed zoetrope and make it the final element of the book.

<_10> (*/actions) Create final design file in Fusion 360 incorporating Time design and structure for the book.

<_11>Utilize ball bearings in design, create Zoetrope objects. Export (.stl).

<_12>Extract heart animation from online resource in Photoshop. Export (.png).

<_20>3D print zoetrope on Lulzbot.

<_21>Attach to acrylic base plate.

<_21>Print pictures on paper printer and assemble cells onto zoetrope interior surface.

<_30>goto Book Assembly.

</abstract_15> A beating heart pumps and flickers in a small spinning space. This plate was a connection to my past and flirtation with the discipline of animation. [i] I chose the subject of a beating heart and the use of MRI images as a connection to my previous electronic medical record career.

[i] Original project concept was to emulate the 3D printed zoetrope model invented by Akinori Goto. His work is a brilliant adaptation of the classic zoetrope design that incorporates the moving image as part of the whole printed shape. Due to time constraints the design was altered to the classic design.

Book Assembly

<initiate design_16> (*/declare intention) Combine all the plates into a book form where each plate is essentially a page.

<_10> (*actions) Complete design for Book structure. Each plate framed with support pieces, all of which are attached to connectors pivoting on a cylindrical fulcrum.[i] Export (.stl)

[i] Final Design was to incorporate an additional cover and lid over the pages; however, after consideration of mechanical limitations from the initial design, I decided to forgo the cover. Future designs will have radically different page structures allowing for more complete looking pieces.

<_20>Print parts on Lulzbot and MakerBot.

<_21>Clean and assemble all printed parts to separate plates, connect all connectors with wooden dowel fulcrum.

<_22>Complete remaining miscellaneous corrections.

</abstract_16> My hands like to feel the connectors on the back, the varied slopes make a soothing texture. Overall the book was a satisfying experience. There were a multitude of lessons learned, especially some good human versus perfect machine humility. Future designs will strongly benefit from the work done here.