My final project is the logical next step of the process I described in the chapter about the Golf-Putter. So far I had bought 5 clubs and I had built one more on the 3D-Printer. When you go on a round on the course you will need some golf-balls, tees, and gloves in addition. Playing 18 holes takes at least four hours. So I realized soon that it is not very convenient carrying around this stuff without an appropriate bag for it. And once again I didn’t want to spend a lot of money for it. With great enthusiasm I began working on a model for it which I could build on my own facilitating the 3D Printers and the Woodshop.
After a first sketch on paper I took the challenge to bring the design into Rhino3D. To clarify, this was a much huger project than the previous ones. It was not only about the design of a single piece but of a whole bunch of pieces which have to interact with each other. The end product needs to meet a series of requirements in regard to size, carrying comfort, weight, stability, price, and assembling-issues. Each single item has to be derived from these targets and constrains. Soon the whole model became too big to efficiently handle it in Rhino3D. Basic changes would require building up the whole thing anew. Therefore I decided to build the project with the help of Grasshopper what offered numerous advantages.
3. The Design Process
The precision I was able to reach by using Grasshopper is beyond compare and would never have been possible with Rhino. Furthermore, if you walk through an iterative process where you want to change settings that affect other components, then Grasshopper will save you days of work. After I was done with my first model I printed out two components of it. Back home I decided that they don’t match my expectations. The diameter I had chosen was too big. Now instead of starting again at zero I just had to change a couple of numbers in Grasshopper and the program would calculate all the components anew based on these new numbers.
On the other hand I don’t want to deny that the Grasshopper sketch also becomes fairly complex and confusing. It really became a “spaghetti-salad”. Working on a model in a team seems to be impossible. Maybe there are ways to keep the work desk cleaner but I haven’t found them so far. Following you can see the whole design in Grasshopper. Picture number two shows how this would translate into Rhino.
I gave an introduction into Grasshopper and some of its functions in the chapter about the Manhattan-Tile. In case people are interested in working with this software they should scroll down a little further.
3. The different Components
So far there is just the design of the skeleton of the bag. How can it now be transferred into reality? I decided to get six threated rods at the home depot each three feet long. They should provide the bag with enough stability. Next I printed out seven rings which can be mounted onto the rods. Some of them needed to be a little more complex to fulfill their function. But the basic ones I think now could also have been laser-cut. That would have been faster (well that’s what the learning-curve is about). The bottom part where the balls go into definitely needed to be printed. This part took the longest time to print (around 10 hours) but it is also one that really required 3D printing. When printing this part I needed to use support material. That was the first time for me trying with support material. But it turned out pretty well. For three additional rings I figured it would be the easiest way to build them out of wood in the woodshop. They are the parts where the handle and the strap will be attached to. All the circular parts have been mounted onto the roads by using washers and nuts. All together there are 70 nuts which keep each component at its designated place. As a handle I was able to reuse a whip that I had bought for Halloween. The strap is just an old one I found in a goodwill store. Both are tied to the skeleton with some zip ties. Finally the fabric that covers the bag is a leg of an old pair of jeans I did not need anymore.
4. The assembly.
It took a while designing the model and collecting all the different components. The assembly though did not take incredibly long. The worst part was screwing all the nuts onto the rods. There are a lot of nuts and it took me a while. Still I enjoyed it a lot seeing how everything finally comes together and how the product that has only existed on the screen so far merged into reality.
5. The final presentation
The very last day of class I presented my work to our Digital Fabrication class. Since the bag and the putter are no pieces of art by their original means, I thought it might be the best to just examine the pieces in their natural surrounding. I build a little 3-hole course in the hallway of the visual arts building and encouraged the group to try it on. I guess that was fun for everyone and I got some good feedback. It is a pity I have to leave now soon. I enjoyed it so much working on projects like this and I would love to continue this work. Furthermore now have to take the bag apart again in order to ship it back to Germany…