Lissom [lis-uh m] / Research Project / 2014-15

Phrasing the term Computer Generated Objects (CGO), we introduce ‘Lissom’ a set of 3d printed aquatic creatures inspired by molluscs’ and shells that offer a physical, realistic, and engaging alternative to modern Computer Generated Imagery (CGI) practice.

The primary research aim was to explore the use of multi-material and colour 3D printing to create dynamic and interactive props for the film industry. This approach challenged the expensive, disconnected, and time consuming process of involved in the creation of CGI.
Design Response

Driven by what the team saw as a short fall in CGI’s ability to convey innate connections between objects and their environments that would inspire rich and emotional cinematic experiences the research group set out to create dynamic objects that capture the bouyant, unpredictable and spontaneous array of interactions experienced between the inanimate and the animated. The beauty of these connections is demonstrated in the dynamic expressions of bouyancy when bubbles catch and pop on tentacles and clouds of fluid colour disperse as the mollusc forms respond to stimuli.

The shells and coalesced molluscs are defined parametrically. This process allowed the designers to prototype and design with extreme flexibility and complexity, speeding up the iterative process significantly. Printing was then commissioned on state of the art Objet Connex2 350 and Objet Connex3 350 3D printers.

The heart of Lissom’s innovation lies within it’s dynamic movement and control. This was achieved through the design and engineering of multi-material and variable density objects with internal bladders, and microfluidic channels. These objects, when hydraulically controlled with small tubes and syringes were able to inflate, deflate and excrete fluid as witnessed in the video. 

As a speculative, designed futures project, Lissom seeks to blur the the lines between natural and built environments, ultimately questioning our ability to use digital code to design and generate living matter. We believe the research outcomes have very real commercial applications outside the film industry in the fields of science, engineering and design. 

Project in collaboration with Oscar Pipson and Keith Thurlow under the supervision of Ross Stevens and Bernard Guy.

My role / Design Development, Research, 3D Printing, Free form modelling.

Work remains private and confidential and will be published upon clearance. 
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