3D printing is an additive process, in which each layer is consecutively added to the previous layer. Generally, most 3D models will print with overhanging parts that are less than 45 degrees. This angle is determined by the material, layer height, extrusion width and temperature.

MCAM/AMAERO’s 3D printer uses a high powered laser to fuse fine metallic powders together creating 3D prints. When a 3D model is sent to the printer, the 3D printing software will place support structures based on the parameter we set.

Two weeks ago, MCAM/AMAERO printed one of my 3D models with the 3D printing software’s support structure, which is a pillar under the 3D model. Then we printed the same 3D model but in place of the software’s support structure, several small trees were added to the centre of my 3D model.

While it’s almost impossible to remove the large pillar inside the first print,  the small trees can be pulled out with a small pair of pliers.


For this test, I used 3D maya software to model the trees myself because I focused more on using the 3D print’s “negative space” to create things that might be used in my work later  rather than just adding supports to ensure the object’s integrity and print quality

However, my tiny 3D trees proved to be good support structures. The 3D model printed perfectly! The tallest tree is only just under 2cm high but the details on the trees are clear and exquisite.


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Recipient of the 2015 Synapse Residency Program