independant study final


Milled using a CNC machine to a simple sine wave design (file was in .3dm rhino) and then sanded till smooth. I wanted to get it into a high gloss look but not spend more money…. and in the end I hit on a perfect solution – clear nailpolish! Top coat nailpolish is a quick drying resin with high gloss, and perfect for sealing, and still very reasonably priced (especially if you don’t want to buy a huge gallon of it)

Also, powerpoint for L-system:
generative art presentation


translucent wood finally!

and after cutting the fiber-optics embedded wood piece:


some things we noted:
1. unevenness of distribution – I’m doing it all by hand, which leads to a rougher and less regular look. could be nice though, since it has a lovely effect of depth (some F.O being shorter than others, more deeply embedded but still visible – looks like stars!)

2. probably need to use more F.O per layer since the wood is so much thicker…. I used one tube (100pcs) per layer currently, probably up it to 200/layer to give a greater translucent effect

3. Smooth-Clear resin is really not that clear, even after sanding and polishing the closest it got was a matte shine with a hint of cloudiness. I tried polishing with acetone, will probably try car wax next but I don’t think it will buff to glass-gloss anyway

4. the top layer was accidentally made soft (excuse: really tired, did not mix proportions perfectly) and interestingly had a rubber-gel like texture. Not as brittle as the pure 1:2 ratio and also the cool part is that adding more resin seems to have increased the clarity slightly

5. we both kinda preferred the rough-hewn natural wood shape compared to the very evenly cut small wood. The difficultly is having it rough hewn and flat enough to lay the F.O because it’s an irregular shape+surface. Working on it though!

woodtype 1

So…. last updated, we mixed 2 different new batched of expoxy and resin with the new dried woodchips. Epoxy produced a clearer less bubble’d block compared to the resin based one, however both are equally beautiful – check it out!



we managed to get a very thin slice of the resin based mix and when held against a daylight bulb you can clearly see the translucency, bubbles and wood texture. we couldn’t get a similar slice for the epoxy based piece because the wood block was too thin to slice

Now for the new prototype with the fiber optics:

Instead of having so much “white” space between each wood chip as we did in earlier prototypes, we are going to fill it with fiber-optics and pack it tightly on each layer to give the feeling of translucency. The woodchips are more evenly cut this time as well, to preserve uniformity so that it will be roughly equal in thickness to the fiber optic threads

waiting for it to dry…. tune in, next week!


Did it yesterday after the Image Panel; Lucas called me up and said ‘hey you wanna finish the work in the lab’ and I don’t know why – sheer masochism I guess, said yes. (note at that point I was running on sheer coffee and adrenaline and 3hrs of sleep.)

Anyway check out my new wood!!

ECOPOXY!!! the instructions were so unclear, and the labelling was pretty bad but that stuff was really cool. After 10mins it started exothermic-ing, like it grew really hot when you touched the aluminum case. There was a bit of bubbling, but not many. In general it just seemed rather surface-y instead of minute bubbles all over the place. Also it did have fumes, but not as bad as when we did the melanin mix from hell ™

Redid the Smooth-Cast with dried wood, and just like the dude said over email – no foaming! So it really seemed like moisture was the one that caused the chemical reaction the last time. As you can see, the hickory chips seemed to have worked out pretty well too, so hopefully we get a cooler looking cross section. Despite the non-foaming chemical reaction, we got a lot more minute bubbles including the inside instead of just surface. Of course bubbles can be solved by vaccum, but it’s just curious to see what differences between both. Unlike the resin, no exothermic reaction; it got a bit warm but not like hot hot

comparison pic

Probably going to cut it on Saturday if everything goes well, yeaaaaa~ 😀 exciting!


So an update from the previous post –

So Lucas and I contacted the company that manufactured the epoxy, since we wondered whether it was the plexiglass particles or it being in a non-vaccum that caused it to bubble so violently. Apparently it was because of moisture, since we didn’t check if the sawdust was completely dry before using it. Lesson learnt: dry wood before mixing it into any plastic or resin mix


Detailed shots:

Admittedly the exterior looks kinda gross (I keep thinking it looks like nose booger) but the interior is pretty cool, and polished surface looks really different. The 1:1 gives the most sponge-like air pattern, while the 1:1.5 looks like dry bone marrow and 1:2 looks like sourdough bread.  It’s surprisingly strong material (we had to cut it through twice for the thicker parts with a table saw) but quite brittle? It’s really light too. The addition of sawdust does change the weight significantly, but because the resin is so light it doesn’t really matter anyway. I think this would be a good material if you’re trying to achieve a giant cork-like texture or some kind of organic material (bone, sponge, mucus etc) It might look really cool in a large-scale sculpture

Anyway besides using 550 epoxy, I’ve been exploring other options as well such as Ecopoxy Systems. The company looks pretty slick, but I had so much trouble communicating with them (never replied emails, calls at the worst hours and their credit card system is taken over the phone) However their testimonials were pretty good, especially for their UV600 series so I bought a quart of it to test out. Not only is it enviromentally friendly, but it has a decent working time (20~mins); is UV resistent; dries clear and can be mixed with different retardents and hardeners to achieve different consistencies. Also their technical documentation is fantastic

So, prep work:

Hand-cutting hickory chips for the resin. The sawdust was really too tiny to give much of a feel or texture, it basically just had a woody colour but no real wood feel. So we decided to use larger chips, as well as dry them on our own (instead on relying on outside sources). First we bought a bag of wood chips from home depot, then baked it for 2hrs~ at 350F with a half-open door to prevent combustion. Then I slowly trimmed them down into smaller inch/half inch pieces so that they would pour better. I might bake them for a 2nd round again before using, just to ensure that all the moisture is really absolutely gone. I’m hoping to line them like a base, pour resin, line again, pour etc so it creates a lovely stacked effect especially if they’re all laid in same direction. Could possibly be pretty……. also smells a lot better too!

how the end of the world looks like

…… with a popcorn.gif party!!!

today is just goddamn unbelievable. John le Carre novel-esque, all snow and rain and all I need now a tumbler of whiskey on rocks and it’s just; idk – I skipped class today, so don’t expect sexy philosophy diagrams this week (maybe I’ll make my own without notes). Right now I just want to sleep into oblivion and drown my sorrows in nihilistic doughnuts. (does the hole make the doughnut? what does the void mean?)


chronic timezones-sitis

Got it done by 5.30am, jackpot!

-email sent
-first round of deliverables

plus I phrased it really gently, haven’t used formalspeak for a long time. For my own reference, timeline:

…….. I also really should get some sleep. I wonder if there’s a name, for people who can never live in the correct timezone. Regardless of where I am, regardless of how jetlagged it is I just never seem to live within normal waking-sleeping hours lol