Grant Diffendaffer

Design. Make. Educate.

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.  

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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.

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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!

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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.

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Wishing you all good fortune in the new year and pausing to celebrate my own.

I got back on skis over the New Year holiday after several years of not skiing, and it was great on all counts. On the ephemeral level, I shredded powder. In pure data terms, gps said 46.9mph–also pleasing. I got to give a beginners lesson too, which was a good reminder of fundamentals. Here I make some quick turns:

I had a lot of fun photographing Montana out the car window–kind of like a combination between sports, portrait, and landscape. The composition is constantly changing and the challenge is to freeze the landscape in a pretty picture before it flies by. To focus on lines and colors and overcome motion blur and snowy windows I used an illustration filter on my Sony A7ii. It’s like speed painting:

The day after returning home we received a kitten into the household. Here is Cleopatra, 12 weeks old:

The next day I was relieved and excited to receive this new Kudo Bean 3D resin printer. It was due last February. I’m a patient person, so I’m glad to simply receive something solid at this point. I’ll let you know if it lives up to the promises of its maker to deliver high definition, convenience, reliable prints and easy maintenance. Kickstarter, I’ve learned, is a place where Campaign and Comments are often two very different sides of the (dollar) coin.

Kudo3D Bean

Not a bad start to the year for me, and I’m looking forward to keeping it on that track. I know life isn’t all fresh turns, but here’s to some for all in 2019! Cheers!

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I have been hard at work polishing my skills with 3D capture and re-construction. This has been a part of my regular creative process for several years now, but beyond showing off my resulting 3D prints every year at Maker Faire, I haven’t done anything to publish or publicize my models. I decided it’s time to change that. These are too much fun to keep to myself and I think, too beautiful as well.

I’m grateful to the original artists’ skill and inspiration and hope I can do them justice by offering my best possible effort at capturing them accurately and portraying them respectfully. I’m glad that museums allow the public to photograph the work and hope to maintain that privilege. These models will vary somewhat in quality as I always just do the best with the time and conditions that I have. Likewise, my photography, equipment, software, skills and technique are improving over time and my newer models reflect that.

Asian Art Museum, San Francisco by diffdaff on Sketchfab

Technically speaking, these models are fairly high resolution. Recently, I have computed models up to about 70 million polygons. Sharing them online requires decimating them to a fraction of that size. Some of these models were created with lower resolution photos from an older Canon 40D, others were created with much higher quality images from my Sony A7ii. Some have been decimated (the polygon mesh has been reduced to a lower quality for the sake of bandwidth), others have been shared in their full resolution. My aim is always to create archival quality models–a bar I don’t often achieve during my casual museum visits. In any case, towards that end, I will be sharing the highest resolution files possible–typically in the range of 3 million polygons each. If you aren’t used to thinking in 3D, this is roughly equivalent to counting the pixels in a 2D image. Roughly.

I’ll publish more here about technique as time goes on, but for now am focused on simply getting the captures online.

I hope you enjoy these models from my visits to the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco. This is the first time for me to share them publicly. I’m in the midst of preparing many more from the past few years, so stay tuned, and don’t forget your VR goggles.

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If you missed it at the Smithsonian you might still get another chance to see it in person. For now, check out the Capitol Theater by Five Ton Crane, and the entire downstairs of the Smithsonian Show in high fidelity Virtual Reality.

Capitol Theater by Five Ton Crane

If you have followed me closely you know that I’m a big advocate for and user of photogrammetry. I love it in part for it’s utility in 3D printing and digital fabrication. I also appreciate it for the chance to view hi-res photo-textured 3D models on screen–and in VR.

Word is that Linden Lab used 3000 photos just to capture and re-create Duane Flatmo’s beautiful Tin Pan Dragon–with a resulting mesh of 1 billion polygons.

Tin Pan Dragon by Duane Flatmo

Incredibly high resolution is what it takes to give virtual visitors a 180 frame per second free-roaming tour of the exhibit. Combining photogrammetry with laser scan data and access to the original floor plans (also digital studio wizardry)–puts reality online.

Get a preview from Curator Nora Atkinson, who recently gave this TED talk about why she brought Burning Man to the museum:

View it yourself on Sansar–available on VR and desktop, and compatible with PC, Oculus Rift, and HTC Vive.

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