Introduction: Footprints

About: Architect

Plasticine is a moldable material that never hardens. It does not require much force to deform it.

We saw potential in this material to be subjected to processes of printing and repetition in the machines within CCA Digital Craft Lab.

We study patterns and behaviors of the mass by going through different codes and artifacts.

Step 1: Code and Flatten

We prepare a more or less flat surface of plasticine inside a frame.

At the same time, we created a G Code which would dictate to the machine to draw 2000 random points across the board.

Such field of points would be denser on one side of the board than on the other.

Gradually the field would lose density.

Step 2: Start

The machine is calibrated and a screwdriver is placed on the tip.

We started the G Code and started to score the points, this time crosses, on the board.

Step 3: First Result

We got what we wanted.

In addition, things happened that we had not considered, the size of the cross corresponds to the irregular relief level of the plasticine.

Step 4: Interacting Points


what happened to the first experiment, we decided that the points should interact with each other.

We print in 3D a piece that will be connected to the machine and extend the surface of the point, so that it touches the nearest points.

Step 5: Second Result

The result of the second iteration is an unpredictable relief.

There is more chaos across the board.

One can tell the machine's route through the Footprints.

The machine is indicated to always go to the nearest point, the result is a random path as the field of points is.
The last footprints are drawn perfectly over the rest, which are lost in the accumulation of steps and interactions.

Step 6: Kuka

Now we are moving to a new machine, instead of using 3 axes machine we will now use the 6-axis KUKA robot arm. This will allow us to drag our tool and create lines instead of points.
The 3D printed tool that we place on the Kuka allows us to change the tips and adjust the height and angle in a simple way.

Step 7: Lines

The board is the same, a field of lines denser on one side of the board than the other. The lines shorten in the less dense area.

The tool breaks down halfway. However, we can continue from the point where we stayed. Many happy accidents in the topography are formed. In one photo, you can see how the little surplus gradually increase volume.

Step 8: Rotate

For this last iteration, we will rotate the tool 45 degrees every time de Kuka draws a line. So

The dragging become more intense and the drawing is a chaos. Amazing typography can be appreciated when you are close to the board. Every set of line interacts different with one and other, creating surprising topographies.

Step 9: Third Result

Can be appreciated that a small twist in our instructions completely change the behavior of the mass.

This unpredictable behavior is contratrio to the rigid code followed by the machine.

These works speak of chaos and order, the natural and the artificial, behavior and rules.

Step 10: Credits

CCA Digital Craft Lab

Clayton Muhleman

Kow Kao

Javier Moctezuma

Mandy Yumeng Wang