[ISEA2018] Paper: Tobias Klein & Victor Leung Pok Yin — Chemical Skin: Computer Numeric Controlled Craftsmanship (CNCC)


Keywords: 3D printing, CNC, CAD, Cyanotype, Digital Craftsmanship, Laser

Most 3D printing technologies excel in delivering geometric complexity, functionality and part precision. Yet, most are not designed to adequately articulate the surface of 3D printed elements with complex patterns, motifs, or colouration. The problem of synthesis between form and surface reaches back to the first forming of clay vessels and the added surface articulation as glazing after the firing of the clay form. In the long history of Chinese
ceramics, craftsmen were able to balance an intricate knowledge of material reactions, form, and glazing during the firing process with curiosity and the will to innovate.
This paper presents the results of our investigation into transferring this ancient craft – it combines scientific, historical, cultural and technical considerations to analyze and reflect on the digital making process of a glaze for 3D printed objects. Through an experimental, yet inclusive interdisciplinary research method using a combination of material experiment as well as catalogue and design application, we created an index of suitable chemical reagents and developed robotic and software tools for their application on 3D printed surfaces. The resulting digital craftsmanship is able to extend the repertoire of today’s digital working artists and designers.

  • Tobias Klein works in the fields of Architecture, Art, Design and interactive Media Installation. His work generates a syncretism of contemporary CAD/CAM technologies with site and culturally specific design narratives, intuitive non-linear design processes, and historical cultural references. Before joining City University of Hong Kong in the role as interdisciplinary Assistant Professor in the School of Creative Media and the architectural department, he was employed at the Architectural Association (2008-2014) and the Royal College of Art, (2007-2010), in both cases in the postgraduate level. The resulting works of his studio are exhibited international with examples being in the collection of the Antwerp Fashion Museum, the London Science Museum, the V&A, the Bellevue Arts Museum, Museum of Moscow and Vancouver. He is lecturing and published internationally with most recent articles focusing on the translation from craftsmanship to digital manufacturing.
  • Victor Leung Pok Yin studied architecture in The University of Hong Kong and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA   victorleung.info

Full text p. 54-60

The authors would like to thank Wang Xiao Tong for her assistance in conducting the experiments. The work described in this paper was partially supported by a grant from the Research Grants Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China (project number: CityU 21611115) , the City University of Hong Kong’s Strategic Research Grant ( CityU 7004994) and the internal ACIM fellowship grant by the School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong.