I made my way to Fabrications and booked an appointment with Andy to discuss the 3d printing technique.
Andy started by giving me a quick re-introduction to Rhino 6 (which is the software the uni use to 3D print).
After I showed him digital drawings of the cube pieces he helped but showing me how to extend particular parts of the letters.
Andy suggested a few noteworthy things:
Could the separate parts of each letter be printed and thus attached idly?
Make the type cube on Cinema 4d first to get accurate measurements of each and every part of it. In mm.
When I'm designing the letter shapes in illustrator (to go into Rhino) make the stroke width 0.01 or 0.1 and... file import > .ai > open files > extrude objects to transfer the shapes.
'Small Building' Rhino 6 tutorials on web (inside the application).
For painting. I could airbrush instead of spray. Andy mentioned filament printing but this would have to be done externally and would cost several hundreds of pounds (unless the type cube was tiny).
Good news is that the first 7.5 hours of 3d printing are free. After that it's 50p per extra hour. So it's not and affordable. To get a piece print of this scale (12cm cubed) commercially, it would cost upwards of £540, at least. I think this may have been one of the places he mentioned: https://www.the3dprintshop.co.uk
If I did paint with spray, I would have to reduce the size of all of the parts that are interlocking with other parts...
"It's daunting, but not impossible"
I've also got a note for myself:
To go back through all the pencil sketches and make sure these are tight. Before that I need work out my research question thoooo.
And this is going to be tricky.
A (FEW) TEST PRINTS WILL BE HELPFUL AND ESSENTIAL. (I think). More specifically, test different kinds of letter join and painting.