Each year, the employees of FATHOM come together to recognize and honor our most outstanding peers with unique trophies that embody the company theme of the year.
One of FATHOM’s yearly themes is “Make The Unmakeable” (also the name of last year’s three-part contest hosted by FATHOM, GrabCAD and SolidProfessor), and with that motivation in mind, the FATHOM design team set out to utilize a distinctive combination of additive and legacy manufacturing methods and materials.
Making FATHOM’s Generatively Designed 3D Printed Employee Awards
FATHOM Industrial Designers Aaron Porterfield and Ava DeCapri sought to embrace the beautiful simplicity of materials and unique geometries available through Selective Laser Sintering, while also showcasing some of the more traditional capabilities of FATHOM’s production center, in this case CNC machining and laser etching.
DeCapri and Porterfield designed a delicate, nest-like shape utilizing generative design with 3D printed Selective Laser Sintered Nylon, resting on an etched block of solid Black Maple wood. Inside the SLS structure is a 3D scanned and 3D printed replica of the recipient of the award, 3D printed in PolyJet on the Objet500 Connex3.
“This year our team has been exploring generative designs, or designs based on a set of rules or algorithms to create form,” DeCapri said. “Aaron created a script that generated the form that was ultimately used in the final trophy. Using a script allowed us to create complex geometry, quickly, and play around with different configurations with ease. The mesh-like structure can also be seen as an homage to the triangular mesh surfaces that are inherent in 3D printing.”
DeCapri and Porterfield anticipate that more commercially available products will shift to using generative design and additive manufacturing techniques similar to those used in the designing of the trophy, due to their high degree of customizability and aesthetically dynamic appearance.
FATHOM is creating the trophies for the East Bay EDA Innovation Awards ceremony for the fourth year in a row—coming soon!