Interactive kinetic sculpture brings mythic eagle to life

Creation story features in First Peoples exhibit at Melbourne Museum

Interactive design gurus ENESS have used the latest in digital manufacturing technologies to give form to the spiritual history of one of the world’s oldest continuing cultures.

First Peoples is an exhibition at the Melbourne Museum in Australia, where the creation story of Bunjil, a mythic wedge-tailed eagle, has been brought to life in the form of a 2.2m kinetic sculpture.

The stylised laser-cut acrylic feathers undulate with mysterious rhythm, while a computer controlled projection is mapping graphics simultaneously onto each blade in real-time, driven by motion-tracking and some sophisticated custom software. A song-like narration read by Aboriginal actors guides the viewer, as the display literally glows and pulses with life.

“…the scuplture simulates the omni-present nature of creation and universal motion. Visitors are meant to be inspired in the same way Victoria’s first inhabitants were by Bunjil’s power.”

See more of the story on how the thinking behind this inspirational exhibit; how it was made and also catch a few glimpses of the motion and projection artwork in action after the break. (more…)

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Gorgeous laser cut wood greeting cards

Wooden cards and invitations from B-spired

When sending someone a personal greeting, there can be something so satisfying about finding a really neat card.

Betsey Reiche and Charlotte Miller come together as b-spired, a San Francisco duo who have created a range of laser cut wood greeting cards and invitations with their own special spark.

The cards are laser cut and etched with distinctive, quirky graphics and then wonderfully combined with bright card stock backing to bring out the illustrative features.

Each design makes use of the crisp lines and bold negative space that is such a strength of laser cutting, whether it be in wood or even applied to laser cutting metal.

Click through to see more of these delicious cards from b-spired.   (more…)

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Pattern Matters: Tactile Paper Exploration

Hand-cut mechanical calendar explores the role of pattern in design

Celebrating the role that pattern plays in graphic design, this gorgeous paper calendar series from Singapore-based designer Siang Ching is a mesmerising tactile wonder of the kind that is rare to see in these days of all things digital.

The paper calendar appears as a part of Pattern Matters, a collection of textural hand-cut paper explorations.

Far more than just a visually striking kinetic sculpture, each of the monthly pages contains a veritable numerologist’s delight. When the user turns, twists and pulls the paper components, an informative scientific precision is revealed as dates align with days of the week, lunar cycles and even the number of days from the start of the year.

Ching’s main objective is to inspire other designers to explore the use of pattern in their own works.

“Pattern Matters also aims to demonstrate that pattern is a crucial form of design element… …not merely a decorating tool.”

Click through to see some calendar pages in closer detail, and also a few insights into the construction process.   (more…)

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Using laser cutting for digital sculpture

Cutting layer after layer after layer . . .

Digital fabrication is usually at its best and most impressive when used for something more complex than could be practically produced any other way. Laser cutting can achieve any level of detail and complexity, limited only by the material being cut.

This sculpture, “Foundation Stone,” by Mitchell Biggio, is one such example. Cutting out each layer by hand would require an inordinate amount of time, not to mention the sheer monotony of it. Biggion made this piece as part of a Computer Modeling for Sculpture Projects class at SCAD. Be sure to check out the class blog for some other fascinating projects.
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Graphics cut onto vinyl records

Creating LP’s that look as good as they sound

Showing that there is still life in those good old LP vinyl records, Japanese designer Shinsuke Yamaji is doing something quite interesting at Autora Factory Plate.

Imagine if your vinyl records looked as good as they sound! Now they can, thanks to some clever machinations that transform the humble LP into an object of art before you even set it spinning.

Pictured above is the diamond stylus that is used to cut custom graphics onto vinyl records. Apparently, accurate audio quality is maintained as a part of the programming of the illustrations.

Click through to see how a finished LP looks, as well as a glimpse of the program interface and cutter setup.

(more…)

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Laser-cut paper illustrated Macbeth

Visualising classic literature in the finest papercraft

The dark and twisted tales that unfold in Shakespeare’s Macbeth truly come alive in this striking illustrated publication. Intricate artwork by Kevin Stanton has been laser-cut from the paper pages, giving the reader a delightful visual accompaniment to one of the great literature classics.

Stanton’s illustrated Macbeth is one of the earlier books from a series that includes equally elegant laser-cut publications of Hamlet, Much Ado About Nothing and Romeo and Juliet. Although it was the pictures that caught our eye here, the set of novels also contains the full text of each play along with a scholarly commentary and an informative history of the particular works. Click through to the source to see more illustrations from the series.

Kevin Stanton via Brain Pickings

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Creating cloudscape sculptures from laser cut layers

Ponoko-made project by Helen Reynolds

“Clouds are such a beautiful expression of the way landscape systems function” says Helen Reynolds, an artist and instructor of landscape architecture in Wellington, New Zealand. Last year she began a series of work exploring cloud shape and formation, including a sculptural installation she created with the help of Ponoko’s laser cutting service.

“Changes in the landscape make changes in the cloudscape, and I love that connection,” Helen explains of her initial interest in the subject. “They’re the responses of water vapor in the contracting or expanding atmosphere and castles in the sky.”

After creating several drawings and hand-cut cloud sculptures, Helen decided to use laser cutting for a project proposal that had been accepted for exhibition at the Dowse Museum of Art.

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The sweetest 3D printing of all

Sugar prints that are good enough to eat

Sculptural geometric forms take on a delicious twist with a sweet approach to 3D printing from The Sugar Lab.

It all started when husband and wife team Kyle and Liz von Hasseln wanted to make a sweet gift for a friend’s birthday. Without an oven and therefore unable to bake a cake, the duo applied their architectural skills and set out to 3D print one. What resulted was a simple cupcake with “Chelsea” (the friend’s name) printed in sugar across the top. Excited by the experimentation process, Kyle and Liz have refined the sugar printing technique to produce some stunning – and possibly quite delicious – sculptural forms.

The process uses alternating strands of sugar with layers of a water and alcohol solution that seals and solidifies the sugar.     (more…)

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Capturing lightning in 3D

Two photographs combined to model the path of a lightning strike

A chance encounter made possible by the informational maelstrom otherwise know as Reddit has resulted in this dynamic reconstruction of a lightning strike.

The animated image above is a render produced in Blender, and you can see how it all came together in a brief but informative post over on Richard Wheeler’s Calculated Images blog. In short, two separate photographers happened to snap pictures of the same bolt of lightning from slightly different positions. Richard then took these pictures and applied them in a similar manner to the way a stereoscopic image is resolved.   (more…)

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3D Tech and the Future of the Museum

3D printing and 3D scanning to play a major role

Museums across the globe are steadily shaking their dusty old stereotypes, but how far do they actually go in embracing cutting edge technologies?

An interesting publication from MW 2103 by Neely and Langer takes a serious look at the role digital manufacturing can play in paving the way for innovative museums to add value like never before.

Highlighting 3D technologies including 3D printing and 3D scanning in particular, the article paints a positive picture of the way that museums can engage patrons with stimulating, challenging exhibits. You can really see the influence of the rise of the Maker Movement, as shown in the image above where kids learn about 3D printing at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Things get a lot more exciting as you read further, with a “return to materiality” championing physical interaction in an environment that has traditionally been hands-off. (more…)

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