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6/6/13

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Digital Fabrication, Machine art, Metal art

 Well, once again it is time to put some new work out into the world. This month it is a pair of works who's design I have been refining for some time.


Digital Fabrication, Machine art, Metal art



I will jump right in with the dimensions on each of these, they are 4.5" Diameter by 6" tall. A really good size in my opinion. They are just small enough to hold and inspect, but still big enough to have a very nice weight and presence to them.


Digital Fabrication, Machine art, Metal art


Since my last project (the chess set) was a several month long project, I had an extended period of time to develop my concept for these works (as well as a few others still to come).



Given the extended development period, I decided it was about time I teach myself how to properly use a decent 3D rendering software. I figured while I was developing this piece, I could benefit from a new way of interacting with its geometry and hopefully learn a new skill along the way. This proved quite fruitful as I had a number of interesting break throughs and new ideas durring the learning process that helped me really perfect the design. It wasn't too difficult to learn and I think it will contribute in interesting ways in the future. (above: an isometric CAD projection on the left, and a transparent 3D render on the right that gives you a bit of an idea of what its inner geometry looks like).



Another thing I have been working on is designing and building a 3D printer. It seems they are everywhere in the news these days, and I had put together a small kit machine from Printrbot that I received as a birthday present over the NewYear. I had been enjoying experimenting with it to see how it might be useful in my work. Along the way, I decided to also build my own custom large format 3D pritner of my own design, and I have been working on it off and on over the last few months (you know, in my free time!). Currently I do not plan on using it to print actual works of art, as my experiments have shown that plastic just does not pass visual muster for me, but it will help me create test geometry and print custom soft tooling and work holding fixtures that will allow me to grip and manipulate my pieces without damaging the finish. Above you can see a rough print of an earlier revision of this piece (the finish on these isn't great, which is the main drawback of the current state of 3D printing)



So the 3D modeling and printing proved quite useful in helping me develop these two little gems. Although these sculptures consist of relatively few individual parts (Just 5 main big parts and 18 small rounded pins each) The complexity of the main shell parts is definitely unique to these pieces.


Here you can see the mounted part just after the final turning operation to the out shell parts. 



The internal pieces have some very interesting geometry as well, Unfortunately it does not show very well in the images because it is difficult to photograph, but in person it is quit nice to inspect the inside spaces of the pieces. The above "partial assembly" image gives you another look at the internal components.


In addition to the diptych above, I also made this wonderful little piece. This one sort of falls into what is fast becoming a separate category of works. I have made many of these fist sized pieces that are removable from their stands now, and I do it to satisfy my desire to optimize the tactile experience people have while interacting with my work. When viewing my sculpture, many people politely ask me "is it ok to touch the work", and I really just love the look on their faces when I gingerly pick one of these small pieces off its stand and plop it into their hands to hold and inspect. The reply is alway something along the lines of "Its a lot heavier than I thought" Which I think speaks to how we have become so used to interacting with cheap, light weight, plastic objects. So much so that now, holding a solid metal object,  somehow feels strangely alien to us. 


Also I really just enjoy the compact, minimal nature of creating these compositions. The restraints inherent in designing something that is nice to hold is always a fun challenge.

The black, bronze, and blue seemed to work out nicely as well. This pice is 4.5" tall by 3" while on its stand.

As always, new sculpture is in the works, and comments are always welcome. 


 





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