The new RMIT University ceremonial mace, designed by Roland Snooks and Scott Mayson, draws upon the intricate and ornamental characteristics of historical mace and reinterprets these through computational design processes. The complex expressive structure of the mace was made possible through a 3D titanium printing technology. This selective laser melting (SLM) process enabled an organic lattice structure that is extremely strong and lightweight. A multi-agent swarm algorithm was developed to create a balance between an expressive form and an optimal structure.
The development of the mace brought together RMIT’s leading design research in computation design and additive manufacturing to create a symbol that is representative of RMIT’s focus as an institution of technology, design and enterprise. The Mace reflects the nexus between these core areas in the institutions most significant object.
There are few technologies that offer the advantages of manufacturing complex geometries like 3D printing offers today. The Mace was specifically designed for titanium SLM additive manufacturing where algorithms respond to SLM machine limits by removing geometry that could not be built with out support material. In response to the optimization new computational geometry was inserted by algorithm pushing the envelope of current capabilities in titanium 3D Printing.
The 1.6 kilogram 3D Printed titanium mace is 1200mm in length and was manufactured from titanium powder laser melted forming four parts comprising novel saddle connections laser welded at their perimeter. The resulting connections were polished rendering the joints invisible, including polishing primary hand held sections and detailed lines that encapsulate the mace form. The mace was unveiled at RMIT University on 16th December 2015 at the universities graduation procession down Swanston Street from RMIT University to Federation Square Melbourne and Graduation ceremony at Etihad stadium.
Laser welding: Mark Edgoose