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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Opensource Craft Camera

Build your own DIY Arduino camera!

The Craft Camera is a collaboration by Coralie Gourguechon, electronics engineer Stéphane Delbruel, Graphic Designer Laura Messaglio, and maker-space Tetalab.
The project is based on the theme Low-Tech Vs. Hi-Tech, in response to in-built obselence in many consumer products to limit the product life-span to encourage consumers to continually upgrade. Rather,  the materials used and accessibility of open source design encourages Craft Camera users to repair and upgrade the camera themselves rather. (more…)

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The Deconstruction event

Makers keep this coming weekend free!

The Deconstruction is an open global event and runs from February 22 to the 24th, starting at 8PM PST. Teams of makers, artists, students, programmers, problem-solvers, designers, performers, filmmakers, etc are invited to register and deconstruct the world around us.

Being an experimental event, the premise is very open and there is no topic given, although some broad challenge criteria will be released during the event.

“The goal of The Deconstruction is to bring people together from all over the world (physically and digitally) to share ideas, collaborate, create, innovate, and most imporantly have fun. The event is open to anyone, anywhere, of any age and skill level.” (more…)

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Laser Cut Paper Stained Glass Windows

Intricate sculptures inspired by Gothic and Islamic architecture

Hundreds of layers of coloured paper give the sculptural works by Eric Standley a stunning visual complexity. True to the architectural forms that they draw inspiration from, the structure and composition of the curves has been carefully calculated to enable maximum depth and integrity for the unsupported floating areas.

The latest piece took 60 hours of laser cutting time and around three months to draw the pattern. This patience and dedication certainly pays off as the final works exhibit a meditative visual allure that you might otherwise expect from the most intricate of Tibetan mandalas. To see this effect in laser cut paper is quite remarkable.

More works from Eric’s collection follow after the break.   (more…)

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360 degree laser cut Christmas book

Intricate sculpture that leaps from the pages

In a stunning follow-up to his award-winning 360-degree laser cut book, Japanese architect Yusuke Oono has produced a Christmas-themed version just in time for the festive season.

This delicate, intricate artwork opens from a seemingly traditional book to form a 360 degree, 3d diorama within the pages. The original laser cut book deservedly won Oono the You Fab 2012 laser cutting contest in Tokyo and this next version is just as impressive.

To produce the paths for the laser cutter, CAD programs were used to create a 3D landscape that is then sliced by rotating the plane around a central point.


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The shape of nothing

Artist wires his brain up to CNC machine… and thinks of nothing

Digital manufacturing is often lauded as the ultimate solution for turning thoughts into reality. But what happens when you want a physical representation of complete lack of thought?

To answer this challenging proposition, London-based artist Gustav Metzger had his brain analysed by an EEG machine while he diligently cleared his mind of all thoughts. The resulting data was converted to a volumetric format and fed into a manufacturing robot, which then carved the piece titled Null Object out of a single block of stone.

Visitors to London’s Work Gallery can see the sculpture of Metzger’s empty thoughts through until February 2013.

via Design Week

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Printing full-size museum replicas

Challenging perceptions of what 3D printing can do

Extending on his earlier work with scanning and printing museum objects, California-based Cosmo Wenman contributed these impressive 3D printed replica sculptures to the MakerBot team’s exhibit for London’s 3D Print Show.

The equine form and bust of Alexander the Great were scanned using 123D Catch and printed in sections at 1:1 scale on a MakerBot Replicator. Once assembled and painted, the outcome is remarkably true to the historic original.

Click through to see the 29 unfinished blocks that make up the horse head, before they were fused together and finished with that incredible bronze patina. (more…)

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Artist transforms flat lasercut designs into 3D installations with heat forming

Ponoko project by Jenny Balisle

Bay Area artist Jenny Balisle works in three distinct mediums: painting, pen and ink, and sculptural installation made from heated acrylic sheets.

As explained in her artist statement, her body of work is “conceptually linked by dichotomous relationships — simple and complex, beautiful and grotesque, micro and macro perspectives, and natural and manmade environments.”

Her acrylic sculptures embody this concept by turning completely flat pieces of acrylic, which she lasercuts with Ponoko, into much more complex three-dimensional sculptures.

To achieve this, Jenny uses a heat forming technique. “It’s a delicate process,” she says. “I have to take great care not to crack or warp the acrylic or yellow the white surface.”


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Creating sculpture by scanning and 3D printing the motion of a swimming fish

Following the famous fish.

The medio artist collective panGenerator made the project Float as part of their Beats, Bits, Atoms exhibition. It consists of a fish constantly tracked by cameras surrounding its tank. A computer then translates the motion of the fish into a sculpture to be 3D printed.

The resulting unique sculptures are in some sense traditional, as part of the longstanding approach of using nature as a source of inspiration, yet they never could have been made before digital technologies.

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