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It will be titled ‘flora and fauna’.fresnel_installation_april2017-14fresnel_installation_april2017-27.jpgfresnel_installation_april2017-11.jpg Below: The focal point forms behind the first lens. april_fresnel_documentation-1.JPGfresnel_installation_april2017-26.jpg


The breakthrough came when I put a second fresnel lens in front of the fresnel installation (below).  Having 2 lenses forms what’s called 4f system- and what happens is one can see fragments of the image of the projection on the surface of the laser cut invertebrate lenses.  This ‘image at the surface’ is highly tied to the viewers own movement, making it very immersive.  But in general the second lens just added an great effect to the piece, people engage with it much more with the 2nd lens in front.  april_fresnel_documentation-20.jpg


I made some laser cut fresnel algae forms inspired by Ernst Haeckel.  Rather then straightup tracing Haeckel, first I sketched out the image, then traced over my sketch, which added life and variability to the image.

haeckel.pngUntitled.jpgIt occurred to me that putting dark occluding amidst the fresnel installation could be cool:

I designed and 3d printed the middle object to add sculptural depth the the algae.  The one on the right is printed in colorfab HT clear filament, right is hatchbox abs painted metallic blue-green.IMG_0678


Some other ideas not yet realized, in the same vein:newart.png

A quick diversion into fashion.


Got it printing pretty well over winter break!  In the beginning had trouble with layer shifts until I figured out a set screw was loose on my left motor- after that it was relatively minor fixes for stability.  I’ve been printing mostly ABS since me and PLA do not get along- below are my ABS (left) and PLA (right) benchys.  It is apparently possible to print ABS w/out enclosure if you use a ton of glue, also have been experimenting with the ‘enable draft shield’ option in Cura.  benchy.png

More prints (STLs available here:







^Quite a bit better then my first prints!:IMG_8062.JPG

I’m working on a microscope based on the “internet of things microscope” here:

It will be sans raspberry pi (& internet connectivity), for now.  Instructions are sparse so it’s a bit of an adventure.  If I can get it to work, I’m excited to have something to look at live critters- everything in the scanning electron microscope must be very, very dead and dehydrated to take images.  Live, wet samples will be great.  A camera to project live images for interactive stuff could come later. Fingers crossed.

Here is the skeleton of my microscope, it is mounted to aluminum extrusion:



img_7904 img_7903

It finally happened: 3D printed cells!

I’ve been wanting to do this for years, and it finally happened thanks to a collaboration with Dr. Zeyun Yu’s lab here at UW-Milwaukee.  The cells are based on a scanning electron microscope (SEM) image of my CHO cells, complete with their crazy membranes.

The SEM only penetrates the surface of specimens thus rendering them opaque- SEM images often look like they are 3d printed in plastic!

thumbnail_img4-actual-cells thumbnail_img3-3d-modelThe 3d model was created by applying some fancy computer vision algorithms to a stereo pair of SEM images- two images taken near the top with 7 degrees difference in their tilt.  It is similar to 123Dcatch but with only 2 images instead of multiple. As you can see the sides are cut off, due to the images being taken from the top- this is the main drawback of this technique.  There is some degradation, yes, but in a way it is interesting what is lost in the 3D scan.


More cells coming soon!