By Michael Berliner, October 12th, 2015
Design file used to recreate the design used on an antique wooden printing block

Design file used to recreate the design used on an antique wooden textile printing block.

 

Theatrical costume designer Katie Keener is a graduate student in technical theatre at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where the theatre in residence is Playmakers Repertory Company. As part of her studies, Katie recently developed a project entitled: Digitally Driven Replicas of an Antique Textile Printing Block.

ShopBot’s Randy Johnson, Thea Eck and I met Katie this summer when she was displaying her work at the USITT Special Exhibition at UNC. Katie described the project, “My textile printing project includes an antique, wood-carved printing block in need of repair, and the process of creating a new print block using two methods: in the form of 3-D printed plastic, and a new carved-wood block made on a CNC machine (a ShopBot Desktop).”

Katie explained, “The project covers the process of printing with a traditional block, creating a 2-D file, translating it to a 3-D file, and the printing process of the repaired blocks. The study also includes printing pros and cons with new blocks versus the antique block.”

Here is a series which shows how the antique wooden block prints the pattern, then the pattern as printed by a 3-D printed block, a CNC’d block, and finally how it looks when printed by Spoonflower, a digital fabric printing company.

Printed using the antique wooden block

Printed using the antique wooden block

Pattern printed using a 3D printed block

Pattern printed using a 3D printed block

Printing using a ShopBot CNC'd wooden block

Printing using a ShopBot CNC’d wooden block

Pattern as printed by Spoonflower

Pattern as printed by Spoonflower

Here are Katie’s write-ups of her processes:

3D Printed Textile Block Replica

CNC Printed Textile Block Replica

Katie told me that the presentation at USITT Special Exhibition was a success. “From presenting at UNC, I was awarded registration funding for the national conference in Salt Lake City (March 2016). I plan on presenting there to continue the conversation.”

 

 

October 12th, 2015 | Tags: , | Category: Digital Fabrication, Education, Fabrication Techniques, Graduate School, Makerspaces, Theatres

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