Art and Technology: University of Massachusetts at Lowell

Yuko Oda and her students in the process of printing objects on a printer Form 2.

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Yuko Oda has a direct relationship with art: she received a Master of Fine Arts in sculpture from Rhode Island University of Design. Then the girl got a job at the Technological Institute of New York, where for the first time she introduced 3D printing technologies such as layer fusion (FDM) and stereo lithography (SLA) into the training program. In 2017, Yuko Oda went to work at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell (UMass Lowell), where 3D printing is increasingly being included in the program of many training courses – from design to animation and sculpture. This helps to provide students with more complete knowledge and at the same time make the curriculum keep up with the times as new technologies replace traditional methods.

In this article, you will learn how Yuko Oda uses 3D printing to create new art objects and how, with the help of such technologies, she modernizes training programs in 3D design, sculpture and 3D modeling in UMass Lowell.

Technology and Art at UMass Lowell University

In colleges and technical universities around the world, you can increasingly see 3D printers, and many teachers have already included this technology in their courses. In addition, most employers want their employees to have 3D printing skills, so educational institutions have to adjust their curriculum so that their students are fully prepared for future employment. So, at the University of Massachusetts in Lowell, the course of sculpture and 3D-design was modernized: now it meets the requirements of the 21st century. And here you can’t help but talk in more detail about Yuko Oda, who came to this university in 2017 and started by ordering several 3D printers, including Formlabs stereo lithography apparatus.

Yuko knows how to transfer his passion for art and technology into the classroom. Today she teaches such disciplines as sculpture, 3D-modeling and animation, interactive communication systems. Most students understand that knowledge of 3D animation and 3D modeling will be useful to them for further employment in many industries, including sculptural design in cinematography. This is not surprising, because 3D modeling has become an indispensable skill for any movie artist.

UMass Lowell University is committed to providing students with all the necessary knowledge to create a successful career in a changing technology environment. According to Yuko Oda, students of graphic design are also starting to notice an increased demand for the various benefits of 3D printing. For example, the days when goods were sold in simple packaging, in which they were wrapped directly in the store, were long gone. Modern consumers choose this or that product, taking into account the design of its packaging, and 3D printing allows you to create realistic bulk packaging, reducing the time required to get the goods to the counter, and increasing sales.

Sculpture project by Cecilia Chi studying Art and Design at UMass Lowell University.

In her classes, Yuko demonstrates accurate and high-quality parts made with Formlabs 3D printers. Thanks to the smooth surface of such parts, it is not difficult for students to sand them and paint them so that the quality of the finished product fully meets the needs of the future consumer. It is also important that students have the opportunity to gain experience on the same Formlabs, which are used by most modern brands of consumer goods, such as New balance and Ashley furniture.

“Students create a 3D model, upload it to Zbrush, and then print it in various resins, including Clear Resin. When it comes to the accurate transfer of small parts simulated in Zbrush, no other 3D printing machines available in our laboratory can compare with Formlabs printers. ”

Yuko Oda

Thanks to Formlabs printers, students can print incredibly complex objects. The photo shows a sculptural model created by Alex Twyman, who studies Art and Design at UMass Lowell University.

The cost of each 3D printer used in classes at UMass Lowell University does not exceed $ 10,000. Compared to other devices in this price category, Formlabs printers invariably allow you to print the highest quality parts with the least number of flaws. Moreover, in classrooms they will always stand as inexpensive and fast. FDM printersand more high-tech devices SLA.

“If I needed to print 3 student projects on FDM printers, I would be ready for one of them to be definitely ruined. But with Formlabs printers, all three projects will print flawlessly. ”

Features Formlabs Form 3

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One of the most promising technologies in sculpture is the combination of 3D printing with virtual reality. This is especially noticeable on the example of students who are afraid of 3D design. Virtual reality is rapidly breaking down the barriers that are characteristic of 3D design, allowing artists and students to successfully work in programs like Oculus Medium. Thanks to Yuko Oda, students at one of the senior courses learned how to create a 3D object in a virtual reality program in 30 minutes and then print it on 3D printer. Even experienced sculptors can use virtual reality to reduce the time required to translate ideas into a specific physical object, and this, in turn, opens up new possibilities for the field of experimental art.

Collision of organic and synthetic

Working in the field of higher education, Yuko continues to engage in sculpture in his free time. She is the author of many projects dedicated to the intersection of organic and inorganic matter and allowing us to understand how, for example, household waste (a product of human life) pollutes our planet. Yuko plans to independently study the question of whether organic and synthetic matter can exist in harmony with each other.

The photo above shows one of Yuko’s projects called “Darkness meets the Light”. The base of this sculpture is made of gypsum, and the black elements were printed on black resin on Formlabs 3D printers.

“Darkness meets the light – this is a digital sculptural installation that reflects the intersection of high technology and fine art and combines traditional and digital techniques in the same art object. The base of the sculpture, embodying organic life and resembling a cocoon in shape, is carved from plaster. It serves as a launching pad, a kind of birthplace or home for numerous black elements, similar to butterfly wings and printed on a 3D printer. Butterflies seem to swarm above their nest, flying into it and flying back. These black figures symbolize the frozen moment of the confrontation of energies; they leave their place of creation and at the same time seek to return to it. ”

Another project, Yuko, called “Morning Dew”, is made of real leaves and supplemented with dew drops created using 3D printing. The laser that the SLA printer is equipped with is capable of reproducing even tiny objects (in this case, dew drops) with incredible accuracy.

In the “Morning Dew” installation, drops are placed on dried leaves. One day, early in the morning, Yuko went for a walk, and she was greatly impressed by the ingenuousness and beauty of this natural phenomenon. Yuko later recreated dew-covered leaves in her studio using a printer. Form 2 and Resin Clear Resin.

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