Macrofilm making of

I was invited by panGenerator group to work together on a interactive installation - Macrofilm in the Museum of Polish Jews in Warsaw. Together we developed this project from early stages. My main design tasks were associated with creating very unusual, long  ribbon - it was supposed to be a surface for a mapped projection. At the beginning I made custom parametric model to optimize the   projection settings and ribbon geometry.

Screenshot from a part of a custom parametric model made in Rhino 3D Grasshopper

Computational  way of work let me quickly produce and test many results and various projectors paramaters. Traditional  methods used in this case would simply fail and could lead to very long and painfull design process. The digital model was used with series of physical models in the scale begining from 1:10 to 1:1. Having those models physically in the studio, we tested projection in real world and checked interaction with interface. 

Digital model of instalation space combined with parametric model

Prototyping and optimizing projection mapping and  structure shape

Rendering of ribbon and furnitures

My next important design task was choosing materials from which to make the project. We tried to make the projection surface as smooth and thin as possible and at the same time structurally robust and rigid. Ribbon with a lenght of 6 meters and with a 3 cm thickness had to be also light. We choosed composite material GFR glass fiber reinforced resin.  This technology is rather used for building planes and boats shells and not art installations.  It let us push the shape dimensions  and weight as far as we needed and achieve good projection surface quality. Using traditional technology of manufacturing could be impossible also because the whole structure had invisible channels inside for cables etc which were quite geometrically complexed and had to be made very precisely. To make the structure durable and resistant to heavy load we decided to make it from as little parts as possible. Thus the ribbon was made from only  two parts - long wing like shapes  (+masking panel on the front). To make it almost monolithic and  manufacture such a large object  we had to CNC mill the mold for composite on large machine (5 axis robot with working area of 12 sq meters and 1,6 m height). The robot carefully and slowly milled the surface with great precision. 

Large 5 axis CNC milling robot 

The 3d milling was made from numeric digital model made in Rhino and Grasshopper which I  made and based on my previous parametric model. 

Milled styrofoam and resin mold to put glass fiber reinforced resin 

Parts of ribbon painted in white after being taken out of mold.

Even large composites structures in the last stage are hand made in the mold. A specialist puts layers of glass fibre and resin one after another. Then the surface is finished according to needs. Final form was produced with 1 mm precision so the projection based on digital model was mapped  very precisely.