During our latest Professional Development Week the team at Colonnade House dusted off the laser cutter and 3D printer and held 1 to 1 sessions with Worthing residents.
In January 2020, we coordinated the Space to Make project which tested the idea of a makerspace in Worthing. We worked with Tech Resort, a Community Interest Company specialising in promoting and sharing digital skills, and Community Works, who support voluntary organisations in the area, to trial makerspace activity in the space. We purchased 3D printers and a laser cutter and worked with residents, artists and designers to test what they could do with the technology.
Since then, we loaned our 3D printer to community groups to print face visors for health care workers during the pandemic and we also worked with Colonnade House tenant, Chris Andrews, to laser cut components for a model railway.
When government restrictions had eased, we held our Space to Make Sessions in May 2021, during our covid secure bookable sessions participants made all sorts of things and learnt about how they might want to integrate the tech in their own creative art practice or business. Read on to see what we got up to;
We worked with local community arts organisation Creative Waves. They wanted to test the possibilities of the 3D printer and discover how they might be able to utilise the tech in their community workshops.
After a short introduction to the printer, the ideas started flowing and by using software 3D Builder, we ended the session building and printing a necklace pendant.
After the session, Nadia Chalk, said that the session really helped end her mental block on 3D printing and is ready to give it another go.
Local artist Hala Sabet had seen laser cutting before but wanted to work out ways to include this in her practice. Hala decided to use the scanning feature on the Glowforge laser cutter, to scan in drawings to create stencils for geometric patterns on her paintings. After a bit of playing around, we were able to reproduce the design on a variety of materials including leather.
Worthing based Mave Ang booked a session with no prior experience of laser cutting. After finding a file online and sourcing laser cutter safe plywood, she was good to go.
Firstly, we did a few trials on scrap material to ensure we had the correct settings and when we were happy with the result – we started cutting.
We ended with a 3D model of a honey bee. The result was un-bee-lievable.
This brief introduction gave Mave the inspiration to learn how to build her own models using Adobe Illustrator.
Retired as a draughtsman, Peter Jenkins, has been interested in 3D modelling both as a drafting tool and as a means of prototyping for a long time. After booking a 3D printing session, Peter enjoyed a basic introduction to 3D printing, and we built, design and printed our very own prototype martini glass.
Peter says; “A lot of people are totally unaware of the massive benefits that 3D printing, can add to the dynamic of a location and it’s reinvention as center for design and production.”
Animation studio and Colonnade House tenants, Persistent Peril, brought a selection of their whimsical illustrations to life.
Primarily working digitally, Persistent Peril wanted to trial how laser cut models could potentially feature in upcoming animations. Armed with files on a data stick, Garth Jones tested out our Glowforge by trying to cut a variety of materials such as acrylic and wood.
We successfully used the engrave and cut settings on the laser cutter to bring their digitally designed characters out of the screen and into reality.
On the Saturday, family groups came along and tried out both our 3D printer and laser cutter. It was inspiring to see how excited the young people were about using the tech – and some had already accessed the equipment in school. One group enjoyed building their 3D so much, that as soon as they got back home they downloaded 3D Builder right away and continued long into the night.
Below are just a few examples of the amazing creations the young people came up with;
We hope to run more Space to Make Sessions again in the future. Follow us on social media and sign up to our newsletter to be the first to know.