Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Serge Ruffato: NOSE

Nose was my first computer generated steel sculpture. Here is a brief description of my work-flow.

First I looked through the object bank in Gulfstream to find a face with an appealing nose. I Imported it into Maya, cropped it down to the section I was interested in. Then I altered the mesh to reduce the amount of faces and get rid of the steep angles. Here is a quick rendering.

I enjoyed the mesh style because it balanced the inside and the outside parts of the structure, giving an 'in the round' quality instead of having all the attention on the front side. From this point, thanks to P. Scott's help, I used Pepakura to unfold my model into an origami lay out. Then prepared the file for laser cutting using Illustrator and Rhino. I used cardboard as my material because of it's sturdiness and low cost. Once the laser cutting done, I used each cardboard flaps as templates to duplicate the faces in steel.

Precision and labeling were the key to success. There were approximately 140 faces to reproduce in steel, so I had to make sure I kept track of each ones positioning. Once I had all my faces done, I assembled the cardboard version of the nose.

Assembling the nose in cardboard first was essential to get all the angles right before I started the steel, because as you might have noticed steel isn't flexible.. Now all I had to do was tape each steel part to it's matching cardboard face and weld all of them together.

Work in Progress. The modular aspect of the structure was important for transportation purposes. I used bolt connections along the inside, which I can remove once I find a permanent location for it. Now begins the long labor of filling in the gaps with the remaining parts.

The finished piece at it's temporary location, Boundary Hall. It is evenly balanced, which enables it to stand on it's own. Nevertheless I'm working on a base design to elevate it from the ground and bring it up to eye level. Here is an image of the inside view

And one for the scale! I enjoy the dancing contrast between the tac welds on the inside and those on the outside. Now I need to figure out what to do with a 5 foot steel nose. Anybody interested ha. Thanks again P. Scott, amazing project that taught me a bunch both on digital and direct metal sculpture.

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