{Pilchuck Glass School}

In Session 3 of the 2015 summer program at Pilchuck Glass School, a new class on Digital Fabrication was offered.  The instruction team consisted of Fred Metz,  Mark Ganter,  Josh Kopel,  Matt Sorensen,  Tim Belliveau, and  Julia Chamberlain.   The class consisted of hands-on exposure to the latest 3D CAD and 3D printing software as well as both plastic material extrusion (filament) and binder jetting (powder) 3D printing systems.    Our students were brave and fierce in their desire to absorb new techniques and technology.

{Class getting ready for a metal casting pour into Lost-PLA investment molds}

The class designed and 3D printed their hearts out for the fabrication of press molds for sand casting glass, and lost-PLA investment molds for metal and glass.


{Peeking into the lost-pla investment glass kiln to check on the kiln cast glass}

The instruction team also brought a 3D binder jetting printer (powder printer) to Pilchuck to directly 3D print molds and glass.


{3D printed hydroperm molds for kiln casting glass}

One of the very last events of the class, direct 3D printing of boro-silicate glass (compliments of David Winship).   David brought along some samples of recycled boro-glass and his ball mills for the production of glass powder.  He screened the powder for printing and we 3D printed it.


{3D printed boro-silicate glass via VitraGlyphic process}

This is a first in the 3D printing community (as far as I know).   This was the very first 3D printing of boro-silicate glass using 3D binder jetting.   It was a great success.

Overall, the class was a smashing success.   We came.   We designed in 3D CAD.   We 3D printed.   We made glass and metal artifacts.  We celebrated our success.  We had a blast.



5 Comments on Digi-Fab goes to Pilchuck Glass School

  1. Sonja says:

    Greetings. Love this post. I was a TA for
    Yorgos at Pilchuch. Session 3. Sorry about the smelly solvents.

    Hey I never got the chance to ask which 3d software you were using? It was great to watch your class develop its art!

    • ganter says:

      Sonja, thanks. You didn’t choose the solvents. We were using Rhino3D for creation of geometry. We used MeshLab for viewing and decimating geometry. We used MeshMixer to mix objects and most importantly REPAIR broken meshes.

  2. Amie says:

    Hello Professor Ganter!
    I too want to thank you for this post!

    As a student in this class I felt I was at the flashpoint of knowledge-ignited by the diverse fields, disciplines and motives that comprised this class community. The course description was like bait. And we came from all corners of the world to engage.

    Thank you for providing such a breadth of experiences with multiple options with equipment, technology, materials and processes. It was kind of insane (really… over-the-top)

    That the “BotCave” became the new “campfire” to gather around for a synthesis of our generation of engineers, artists, entrepreneurs and educators was remarkable and telling.

    Of the many viable and productive outcomes of this experimental 3DPrinting class, the most apparent and meaningful to me has been learning and exercising new ways of communicating with each other. I love the fact that engineers, mathematicians and artist can speak Rhino. (this makes me smile.)
    The desire to share and participate in furthering each others creativity seemed paramount. In this class that was achieved through hardware, software, virtual, physical, material and conceptual modes of inquiry. This kind of exchange … seams not only fundamental, but essential.