Sunday, April 15, 2007

Rapid prototyping sculptures

George Hart is active using rapid prototyping (RP) technology for modeling sculptures.

Rapid Prototyping
or Solid Freeform Fabrication refers to a range of new technologies which construct physical three-dimensional objects by assembling thin layers of material under computer control. Objects can be made which are extremely accurate, complex, and beautiful, and which no other technology can produce.

The image left shows he and his model of Sierpinski triangle.

He also interested in four-dimensional geometry. From a 4D object, one can calculate 3D "shadows" which are often beautiful but very complex objects.

The image below shows a 4D structure made of 120 regular dodecahedra. This "shadow" of it has the form of one large dodecahedron filled in with 119 smaller dodecahedra. In 4D all the dodecahedra are regular, but in this 3D shadow, angles are necessarily distorted, so only the innermost and outermost dodecahedra appear regular.

Even more beautiful and intricate is the truncated 120-cell, a 4D object made of 120 truncated dodecahedra and 600 tetrahedra.

Below is two variants of a woven assemblage of Salamanders, in homage to M.C. Escher. The left image is a rapid prototype and right image is a laser-cut wooden sculpture.

1 comment:

Beth said...
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