Sculpting With Geometry

There seems to be quite a few people who use math to aid them in their 3D modeling; for their artistic pursuits. Just read an interesting piece, written by David Pescovitz, about the Berkeley professor Carlo Séquin; who has been using math to influence his art for quite a long time.

In the last two years, inexpensive desktop 3D printers have been hyped as a transformative manufacturing and “maker” technology, but these machines started out large, expensive, and clunky, demanding finicky software for designing the objects. Séquin, Wright, and their students developed algorithms to simplify each step: creation and manipulation of 3D objects on the screen, sharing the designs online, and printing better 3D models. For product designers, CAD tools and 3D printers became a boon for rapid prototyping. For Séquin, the technology was a bridge from bits to atoms. Finally, the complex geometries he imagined could be made tangible.

Another quote from the article highlights the potential, to stimulate variations on the theme, when starting from an algorithm:

“Once I have a simple procedural geometric form in the computer, I can change some of the parameters and make 20 or 30 pieces on the 3D printer that are in the same family,” he explains, grabbing various models to illustrate his point or, if one is not in reach, twisting his hands and arms to represent the forms.

Towards the end they quote Mr. Séquin on his outlook on art:

“Art and science really have the same origin,” Séquin says. “They are often both about intense observation and abstraction to obtain a deeper understanding of complex ideas and systems.”