This exhibition shows the results of the largest ever programme for artists and designers using the new technology of layer manufacture. The aim of the project was to arrange access to layer manufacture facilities for sculptors and designers working in higher education 23 institutions in the UK. The works on exhibition were selected from an application of thirty-five proposals. The selection was made by engineers, who were involved with the CALM project, according to criteria which was aimed at “the extent to which the proposed objects exploited the unique features of rapid prototyping” rather than “artistic merit” in any sense. Layer manufacture is a new engineering technique, also known as rapid prototyping, that can be used to make a real object directly from a 3D computer model. The computer model is “sliced” by special software into very thin layers, and the object is made by constructing the individual layers on a computer controlled machine. Each later is built on top of the preceding layer, and the stack of layers forms the final solid object. The CALM project was set up by Professor Ted Smith at the University of Central Lancashire, and is funded by the HEFCs through their Joint Technology Applications Program (JTAP), as part of an initiative intended to increase the use of IT by arts students. The project runs for two years, from January 1997.
- Ted Smith has been teaching mechanical engineering since 1976. His specialism is tribology, and he introduced the subject into the University in 1977, both as a teacher and researcher. In 1987 Ted became Head of Computing Services at UCLan, was appointed a professor in 1989, and in 1997 he became Dean of Engineering at Coventry University. [source: uclan.ac.uk/staff_profiles/ted_smith.php]