Wax Cup

To create my medal ive had to use a lot off processes that take time to set, book or make. This ha given my little bursts of “free” time to work on setting up the later steps, for example creating my wax tree.

Away tree is the form in which you tick your wax medals on to wax stems and runners. These are varying lengths and thickness of wax cuboids. 

In advance i was able to make the cup and centre runner, which looks like this.

TO make these forms you need plaster moulds.In the foundary these moulds are available. To prevent hot wax from sticking to the plaster i soaked them in water for about 10 minutes. Once they are out I poured about 2 ladels in the the cup could and waited for it the cover then bottom slightly before rotating the mould and covering the edges. I repeated this untill i had a thick layer. I then filled the other mould which creates 5 runners 1 very thick one for the centre runner (stem) and 4 thinner runners to join on to the medal. 

ONce i cut the biggest runner to just over 30 cm. i joined it to the bottom of the cup. The size of the runner depends on how many medals you plan to do. The most efficient way to properly weld the two bits of wax together is to get an extreme to hot palette knife rest it between the cup and runnerpress them together and pull the knife out. This process has to be done incredibly quickly or you will burn through all of your wax. Its tricky to get the hang of but it is the most successfully was of joining the wax together

The next step when the cup and runner are joined is to put a handle through the form. This is so the tree can hang and dry, be stored and so there’s something to hold, the hand is on a large screw which you twist through the cup into the runner. 

Accrylic finger print 

After using illustrator to work with the fingerprints and help make them a little clearer and more defined i needed to cut them on the laser cutter so if there was a enough definition to put on my medal . 


This photo doesnt give justice to the prints, After the alterations i was able to get a clear er cut. With this attempt they still look like fingerst just like the first go except the individual lines of the finger prints are much more prominent adding an identity to the engraving. The deatiols of a finger print at real life scale is too fine and small for the laser cutter to replicate so even with all the tweaking on illustrator i had to enlargen the prints a little bit . In tried to stay on a scale that was relatively close to ur real fingers. If they were too big I think when someone would look at the medal something would seem off they would seem realistic. The slight enlargement is a compromise between aesthetics and the capabilities of the process. 

Full scaled 3d Model 

After the success of the mini 3d Print i decided to re print the medal in 3D at full scale. I needed to see whether the design would function. AS the previous model was 75% of the design details like the channel didn’t fully work. HOw ever this could have been just because of the reduction in size. To see if this was a design fault or just the size of printing. 


This second print took me 9 hours to print, this wasn’t a big issue because i let it print over night. I also modified the design slightly before printing. To make the inner disc more stable whilst rotating i had 4 prongs instead of 2. The larger model was also incread to full size which was 100mm in diameter. 

A problem that I didn’t realise untill after my 3D model were printed was the fact that the tabs are always going to be the same thickness as the channel due to the materials available and programmes. With 3D printing and Rhino i would have been able to make the tabs smaller (with help). BU by the time i had realised this is didn’t have the time to re print this design. So i took a chance with loazercutting with a different technique and marterial.AL though this was an issue with a bIt of sanding they spun smoothly showing other than the thickness of the tabs the design actually works.

The 

3D printing 

Whilst creating the finger prints i was also designing the mechanics of the medal and how the individual disks would rotate . After the cardboard maquette i had design an actuall medal with real measurements on rhino. I prefere working hands on with materials gauging it as i go, so “drawing” a 3D object on a computer is really far our my comfort zone. I found it very difficult to actually understand how to use rhino. So recently graduated maker Rossy adams and Charlie the tech dem both on sperate occasions helped me design the medal. DRawing and maquete had helped me figure out the actuall shape and design of the medal, but rhino was able to sort out every detail and show me if it even worked. It did. 

To be able to £d print all files must be saved at an STL this is so the printing programme cura can see and print the object. Cura is the only programmethat is compatible with the ultimaker 2 plus (3D printer). As my medal consists as 2 disks  with a channel and tabs that jut out it wouldn’t be a simple print. £d printers can only print on top of something there can be no underhangs or floating bits that need to be cut off. SO i had to split each disc in half on rhino and print 4 parts. I Saved each part as a sperate STL so i would be able to move the around of cura and print them in one go. The printers use a material called PLA which is a type of plastic. PLA is heated up and printed through a novel of 0.4 mm. It prints the design in layers of crisscrossing lines to build up the shape and strength. However my small disc which had a diameter of 75mm look 5 hours to print. 


This was an excellent way of checking the design and working out any problems. Although i did need to sand the tabs down alot to get it to spin. However it was 75% of the size of the real medal so it being a bit of a tight squeeze might not be a problem inn the bigger size. For about 2 weeks i constantly had this in my hand turing the disks its acted like a stress ball.  I found myself. Moving it as i would think of listen in a talk. It was distracting but actually helped me focus. I would like to revisit this idea at a later date.

Makers disc

After the experiment with the finger prints were successfully i had to think about the other factors of the medal. The mechanics were in motion but I hadn’t yet thought about the marks of a maker. The finger prints represented the identity of the makers, however they’re hard to tell who’s is who’s.  I like the idea that the finger prints represents a person but you can only tell who’s it is by the accompanying mark. A tool mark, texture of a specific material or a signature makes each object that is made individual to its maker. 

I borrowed some tools from some of the makers to test them out in clay. Using some terracotta i cut at 100mm circle with the indent of a smaller circle replicating the size of the real medal. I tested different marks and ways of imprinting them into the clay. 

I tried to test different tools from people who had given me their finger prints to make it was realistic as possible. I got some of them to inprint some of their own tools. For example clio used her scalpel so i could get an accurate representation  of how they would actually use their typology or mark. 


I was going to originally match the finger print with the mark however the disk rotate so they would be moving from person to person. I actually like this idea though that you try and match a person with their ma or that both the marks and finger print opens up the possibility of experimentation  . Gives makers the opportunity to explore in different fields from different oll or different materials and processes.

AS i was experimenting with different marks it occurred to me how little space on the inner disk there is for the marks, where the outer disk had way too much room for the finger prints. I drew so other designs in my sketchbook with them in reverse. SO the finger prints would be on the inner disk and their marks on the outer.   This way the fingerprints would be close together and in interesting positions and there would be alot more room for tools and mark. I could also show a few ways of using the tool anr material.