Acquiring the Waichulis Form Box (UPDATED 1/05/2024)

Waichulis Form Box containing 3D models of the Sphere, Cylinder, Cone, and Cube featured in the Language of Drawing and Language of Painting exercises.

Since the launch of our Language of Drawing (LoD) and Language of Painting (LoP) programs, practitioners have been looking for ways to get a copy of The Waichulis Form Box to work with. For those that may not be familiar with the box, it is an essential tool for the Waichulis Curriculum as it further bridges the conceptual gap between the two dimensional image and the three dimensional world. The Gradation Patterns that are done prior to the Form Box are actually slightly abstracted representations of potential Form Box sections. This fact should make some aspects of the form box exercise seem somewhat familiar. To learn more about how the box is used within our curriculum you can read this article: Waichulis Form Box

Initially, the Form Boxes were available with the LoD and LoP program through a company called Composimold (Wizbe Innovations) (http://composimoldstore.com/). The initial box contained a sphere, sphere housing block, cylinder, cone, two cone-housing pieces, and a rectilinear/curvillinear cubical solid. The Composimold box is very high quality–but extremely pricey (coming in currently at $299.95.) Composimold’s version contains the Sphere-housing block, Cone, 2 Cone-housing pieces, and a Rectilinear/Curvilinear Cubical solid, made from their highly durable urethane casting resin that has been formulated with an anti-UV element. The resin forms a bright white polymer selected because of its excellent toughness, stability and ability to handle mild solvents. The Cylinder and Sphere are also included but are made from durable Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC). All pieces were presented in a pine housing box with an oak rimmed top that slides over the top.

And while this was indeed a high-quality product, we wanted to see if we could make this tool a little cheaper and lighter to ship. As such, we switched our production efforts to 3-D printing making the plans/files freely available. They are available here:

Here Leah explains how the first 3D model plans differ from the original Composimold version:

From the Thingiverse page:

Summary

The Waichulis Form Box is a learning device that contains several basic geometric solids, or ‘forms’, that can be configured in a variety of ways to compare and contrast the way light describes them. It was designed for use with the Language of Drawing and Language of Painting

The following files were redesigned in 2023 for a cleaner, higher-resolution print by celebrated artist and designer Satre Stuelke (MD, MFA.) You can learn more about Satre and his work here: https://satrestuelke.com. In addition, Satre’s original remixes with many of his thoughts and recommendations on this redesign of the forms can be found on his project postings/remixes here on Thingiverse as well as Printables.

NOTE: While there is a file that can be used to generate two halves of a sphere included here, we recommend using a standard white smooth field hockey ball (which has a 2.8” diameter (71.12mm)) for your Form box sphere. For those who cannot find a field hockey ball, Satre has recommended a smooth white lacrosse ball which can range from 62.7 mm to 64.7 mm in diameter. As such, Satre has designed an alternate sphere housing block that has a 64mm diameter. Additionally, practitioners are advised to avoid printing the cylinder and instead use a clean piece of white PVC pipe (3” diameter) that is cut to 4” in length.

For those looking to assemble the most economical baseline Form box for use with the LoD and LoP programs, you only need to download and print the first four files:

  • 1_WaichulisFB_Cone.stl

  • 2_WaichulisFB_Cube_and_Cone_Housing.stl

  • 3_WaichulisFB_House_Block.stl

  • 4_WaichulisFB_Sphere_Housing_71mm.st

With these four files printed, a white field hockey ball for the sphere, and a clean piece of white PVC pipe for the cylinder, you’ll have an ideal Waichulis Form Box.

Additional files are also available here:

  • WaichulisFB_Cylinder.stl

  • WaichulisFB_Sphere_Half_70mm.stl

  • OPTIONAL_WaichulisFB_Pyramid.stl

  • ALTERNATE_WaichulisFB_Sphere_Housing_64mm.stl

These files are available for you to print your own cylinder instead of using the PVC piece, print your own sphere (for which you must print WaichulisFB_Sphere_Half_70mm twice instead of the field hockey ball, an optional pyramid, and an alternate sphere housing if one chooses to use a lacrosse ball as the sphere.

NOTE: For our finish, we opt to not have the printer sand down the forms and instead carefully do it ourselves. From the forms we have printed from these files, we have used a Dewalt orbital sander with 180 grit sandpaper discs. And as always, please remember to sand in a well-ventilated area with appropriate respiratory and eye protection.

An additional special thanks to Sha Whit for his assistance with this project.

With these files downloaded (and unzipped) You can proceed to an online printing service like Craftcloud. Using the settings/options listed below, the print should look something like this:

Infill: 20 Color: White Material: PLA (Parts are modeled in mm.)

To 3D print your own Form Box with Craftcloud: Download and unzip the desired files (again, the base kit to print if you can use a field hockey ball sphere and PVC cylinder would include: 1_WaichulisFB_Cone.stl, 2_WaichulisFB_Cube_and_Cone_Housing.stl, 3_WaichulisFB_House_Block.stl, 4_WaichulisFB_Sphere_Housing_71mm.st), from Thingiverse link above and place them in a folder on your desktop.

Next, follow above link above to the Craftcloud site. Click on the upload button on the top right and it will take you to this screen (shown below.) Upload the files.

Confirm the unit measurement that your 3D model been designed in which is mm.

When everything fully uploaded, click See Materials and Prices at the bottom of the page.

You will then see a page that will calculate all available materials Choose PLA. PLA is a low-cost plastic, perfect for prototypes and functional parts that do not require strength or heat resistance.

Next we move to the infill and sanding screen. We leave the infill at 20% 3D printing infill refers to the internal structure of a 3D printed part. This internal structure can be produced using many different shapes. The purpose of infill is to optimize part weight, strength, and printing time. Many different infill patterns exist. These standard designs can be selected in the 3D slicing software menu used to prepare parts for printing.

You can choose a sanded finish as well if you want. Even the new remastered versions will have some texture to them from the printing process. But as we stated earlier, we opt to not have the printer sand down the forms and instead carefully do it ourselves. From the forms we have printed from these files, we have used a Dewalt orbital sander with 180 grit sandpaper discs. And as always, please remember to sand in a well-ventilated area with appropriate respiratory and eye protection.

Next you will come to a screen to choose color. Just click white. You then get printing options from available printers. Something like this. You can scroll down for many more available printers. PLEASE WAIT UNTIL THE CALCULATING OFFERS PROGRESS BAR FILLS! Often, some very high prices pop up initially—but as the progress continues—the lower prices appear.

So if you print the base kit 4 models shown here, (cone, the cube and cone housing piece, the sphere housing, and the main housing piece which can hold the optional pyramid (without the pyramid)), we are finally under $100!!! Add to this a $4 field hockey ball and a $5 piece of PVC and we have the most affordable Form Box set yet!!!

The NOTE: THE PRICES SHOWN HERE WERE OFFERED AS AN EXAMPLE AT THE TIME OF THIS POST. THEY CHANGE ALL THE TIME BASED ON PRODUCTION CHOICES AND AVAILABLE PRINTERS.

So consider your options. In any case I am happy to see that solutions for the form box are getting more and more affordable. I’ll post any additional updates as they come along.

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Whining ensues from the Department of Tragically Under-Educated in Technology: I have tried a few different printing companies with the files Waichulis_Form_Box.stl and Waichulis_Form_Box_NoCylinder.stl. They all come back with some form of this message: Floating Parts Check: The file contains multiple floating parts which must be fabricated separately.
Recommendation: Separate each body into a new part file and upload it individually. or a message that the files can’t be printed.

Does anyone know a way around this or am I not finding the correct files?

I am grateful for the availability of this resource.

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Greetings Joseph!!! LOL! —I completely understand trying to navigate the Department of Tragically Under-Educated in Technology. Honestly, I would recommend asking the printing company how best to proceed. I am not sure how to break the files down further or why such a message wasn’t received by others in the past. I would think that one of the printing companies could tell you exactly how to do it.

If you do get the answers, and If it is not too much trouble, please let us know as the information may likely help others facing the same message. Thank you in advance!!!

:+1:Thanks much, Anthony. I will dig deeper and come back with anything new.

Thank you Joseph!!! :smiley:

The story so far: I contacted three different companies and all of them gave me the same line. The issue for them is that the cone and the pyramid are embedded inside other objects, and that they want all five items in separate files. I put out a call on social media for any friends that know how to handle the files. A friend of mine in upstate NY teaches IA in a school with a budget; they have a number of large printers. Unfortunately, most of the printers were offline for annual maintenance over the summer, but he had one up and running for a few more days, and was pleased to be of help. He found the Waichulis Form Box on Thingiverse, and had the same issue the commercial printers had. My friend redesigned the files (no kidding, in about ten minutes) and printed a set that are now on the way to me. There are a couple of small issues because of using the machine he had available, versus the one he would have chosen. The surfaces are not fully smooth, and the tip of the pyramid collapsed a little (both fixable). However, he wants to print them again when school comes back into session, and says that he can print me sets in any colors I want. The set that is coming is light gray, but he will print me a white set, and a set in whatever colors I give him. In the meantime, I will take the ones he was able to print, rub in some glazing putty, buff them up, and spray them white.

This doesn’t really solve the main issue, which is that the single STL files are for whatever reason no longer acceptable to commercial printers (or at least the ones I tried). If they all work out, I will see if he will either give me the files or put them on Thingiverse.



The first two photos show what the parts are like. The half-print of the sphere and cylinder were the last things he put in the printer before the school booted him out of the building for the summer, and the printer ran out of filament. He ran those last because I told him I had substitutes for those. The glazing putty will smooth the surface out nicely. It’s an extra layer of work, but the forms were free, so I can’t complain. The ones I get in the fall should have smooth surfaces.

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That’s awesome Joseph! They look great! Yeah I do not understand why the file function has changed but I do have a note here to ask a colleague that is well versed in the medium to see if he can update the files (or knows someone who can.)

If your friend does have the edited files by all means, please feel free to share on Thingiverse or elsewhere that I can link to for others!!!

Keep me posted my friend—it is much appreciated! :heart:

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