I got to experience the joys of camping out for the laser cutter this morning. I wish I could convey the amount of anxiety flowing through the school right now as virtually every student needs to get slots of time on the laser cutter before final reviews, which are a little over a week away. I know what many of you are thinking...laser cutter!!! you lazy kids better break out the exacto's with a fresh set of no. 11's and get to work. hey, i hear you, but let me say this...it's not that we can't build models by hand anymore, in fact most of the kids here have built some pretty beast ones, and i have certainly had my share of hand crafted model making as well, but the problem is that it is now pretty much expected that your model make use of these digital fabrication methods. this is actually a really good thing in that the focus can stop being so much about the model, and can instead center on the actual design. in that way, it can really even the playing field, and can make a better and more efficient use of time. in my studio in particular we have been using rhino all semester, which is particularly good at rapid prototyping methods, so it would be really silly put so much work into the computer only to then take a step backwards to build a model by hand.
we have one laser cutter in this school, and one cnc machine (not a super crazy 5 axis one or anything like that). and really, i am not trying to complain about this at all, i actually managed to get a spot of time after waiting in line this morning. although, i highly doubt that i will make it through the milling queue before the final review, even after about two weeks of waiting. all i am saying is that you can't expect students to have this sort of output, if the resources don't exist. i honestly don't know what it is like at other graduate schools, so i can't compare our situation with anyone else's.
i don't know maybe it is just a challenge for us to be a little more creative with our output, and if so, then that's great. i am not joking when i say that i have always wanted to build a model out of jello. all i know is that the anxiety of trying to sign up for this or that machine is really brutal! its just like when i had to camp out in the parking lot of the mall to try and get ALCS tickets for the Orioles in 97 only to get to the window right after the last ticket was sold. Damn you ticketmaster!
ok all that said, if you are in the philadelphia metro area and you happen to have a laser cutter just lying around, this may be your way to help some sad kids out around the holidays. hey, i don't know maybe if you work at a local firm that has one, we could work something out with you, you would be a real hero, thats for sure. maybe we could pick up some redlines for you over the break if you let us use your laser cutter. i for one would be willing to name my model in honor of anyone willing to help with cnc milling. we could set up endorsements...you know, you could advertise on our boards for the final jury or something...
ok, i have wasted enough time pouring out the sad song of everyone in studio tonight, but seriously if anyone is able to help out or if you have any creative model making suggestions, let me know!