Grant Diffendaffer

Design. Make. Educate.

Season’s Greetings.

I’ve been working on Storied Haven in different ways since 2015, when I helped Bree Hylkema and Five Ton Crane build it.  

At the time, my interest in photogrammetry was really taking off, and I determined that the boot would make an excellent subject.

I’ve had a few opportunities to take photos of it over the years, but it took until just recently where I had the combination of ample quality photos, suitable software, and some way that I could present my model with a bit of storytelling that is somehow in service of the larger project.

That has all resolved this year as something of a holiday video card and a love note to a boot, and the amazing community of artists that made it happen.

My previous post included a simple turntable video of the model that I created of Storied Haven by using a few hundred photos shot on my Sony A7ii and Reality Capture photogrammetry software. After that I took the project into Twinmotion, which is real-time architectural rendering software. Twinmotion is truly a dream for visualizing 3D models in beautiful fashion with ease.

I finished it all off with Adobe Premiere Rush. The hours involved were basically countless, as the model went through various renditions and got shelved while I waited for better software and photography. Ultimately I had to run it through ZBrush for some manual modeling on the toe, which wasn’t coming through clean with the photos that I had.

I may go elsewhere with this project, as it is just too fun to put down. It wanted to be off my desk and out in the world though, so I hope you all enjoy it, and to you all…

Good Tidings.


Read More

The city of my birth holds a big place in my heart. Within, Forest Park holds a special mystique. After living for 20 years in a cabin in the middle of the wilderness of Canyon, just outside of Oakland, I can well imagine what wonders lie in those deep woods. 

The contrast between nature and industry has always beguiled me. I’m particularly enchanted by scenes of nature taking over rusty and antiquated architecture and machinery. More on that later.

Read More

Where did I go? Here I am!

After honing my hand-craft and digital fabrication skills everywhere from my home studio to Mythbusters to the Digital Fabrication Lab at the U.C. Berkeley College of Environmental Design, I’ve landed a home at Model-No.

What is Model-No.? We make custom furniture with large-scale 3D printers! I have been enjoying the last year as the 3D printing lead on team of designers, engineers, and fabrications specialists.

Come check out our product configurator, where you can customize your furniture by shape, size, and color using a simple user-friendly web interface.  

Read More

I got tired of seeing my plastic totes fall apart every few years and go to the dump. When I found a bunch of discounted aluminum channel, I knew it was time to build a better box.

In fact, I built six of them. I cut them out of 1/4″ birch plywood with a Mars 130 laser cutter and finished them off with hardware from Design was a cinch with custom files created on I used the finger joints design option for extra strength. The box was glued together, trimmed with riveted ball-corners, and finished with multiple coats of black spray paint and acrylic caulk.

Is it a better box? Time will tell, but all signs point to yes.

Read More

Here are a few shots of my first successful print on my new lcd printer from Kudo3D–the Bean.

Overall I am extremely impressed with the print quality of the Bean. At .050 mm layer height (50 microns), the layers are imperceptible–just smooth beautiful surfaces and crisp, sharp edges with fine detail. The rough edges at the bottom of the Rook are a result of my hasty removal of the support raft, which does not separate cleanly like I’m used to with an FDM printer. There was an uncured bubble of resin at the bottom of the print–apparently an error in preparing the print, which was pre-loaded on the machine. that I’m looking forward to printing some super hi quality reality capture models, jewelry prototypes, and even castable burn-out material.

Some people are fussing about the year-late delivery or what might have seemed the all-too-infrequent updates after the Kickstarter campaign, or because they company apparently wouldn’t return their emails, or because the Kudo moved from the U.S. to Taiwan and backers weren’t happy with the changes to their projected shipping bill. Add to that the fee to purchase their newly developed software and there are at least a handful of users ready to sell their machines.

Maybe it’s not a great way to build a company maybe but I’ll be happy to see what kind of detail I can get out of the machine. The novelty in the design is that it uses an lcd mask with a UV to selectively cure photo-polymer resin. Most previous resin printers cured the resin with either a laser, or a dlp projector (like for slides or movies), which could also selectively apply light to the bottom of the resin vat to cure one layer at a time. The beauty of the lcd mask technology is that it cuts costs while simultaneously upping the ante on feature size (resolution).

I’ll be back soon with prints of my own models. Stay tuned!

Read More

What do you get when you combine photography, illustration, comic books, and a drive-through big sky country? I got inspired.

The cats out of the bag. It’s no secret anymore. I love photography. I’ve used it as a tool for a long time, but rarely put it forth as a solo medium to express myself.

I’ve always had a strong eye for composition, and as my photography skills catch up, I am amassing quite a collection of pictures. I’ve decided it’s time to start sharing them.

Visual storytelling is also a passion of mine. I shot all of these photos through a moving truck window, with an illustration filter. I shot quickly, as scenes flew by. I love the way that the ever-moving camera implies a narrative thread. Turning them into a comic book style collection was the natural next step.

How did I do it? With a Sony a7ii with an illustration filter. Layout with the Comic Book app (very labor intensive for this many photos). Need help with composition? Check out this method of composing your images and doing panel layout with the golden mean. I hope you liked the pictures. I’m working on some more graphics projects and will post those here when they are ready.

Read More