A Medieval Gothic Monastery Built Using CAD / CAM

Just because you’re a monk doesn’t mean you can’t use CAD. The Carmelite monks of Wyoming are building a grandiose Gothic Monastery, and it’s awe inspiring how they are managing to build it.

The Carmelite monks needed a new, larger monastery to house their growing numbers, and found a parcel of land near Meeteetse Creek in Wyoming. The design of their new Gothic monastery was outsourced to an architectural firm. Gothic architecture is characterised by key architectural elements such as pointed arches, large stained glass windows, rib vaults, flying buttresses, pinnacles and spires, elaborate entry portals, and ornate decoration.

After some research, the monks settled on using Kansas Silverdale limestone for the monastery. Cutting and carving the elaborate stone pieces required for such a project, within time and cost constraints, could only be achieved using CNC machines. Hand carving was ruled out as it was a very slow process, would cost a whole lot more, and it wouldn’t be easy to find the artisans for the job. So when it came to shortlisting vendors for the vast amount of stone cutting and carving required for construction, the monks found themselves alarmed at how prohibitively expensive it would turn out to be.

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Make Your Next Enclosure Out Of Stone

Sure, a laser-cut plywood enclosure adds a lot of maker cred, and custom plastic or cast aluminum enclosure belies an engineering and design prowess. [ardiyno] didn’t want one of these run-of-the-mill enclosures, so he made one from scratch out of limestone.

The stone [ardiyno] used comes from the southern bit of his native Netherlands. It’s a very nice limestone, easily carvable and capable of very fine detail as seen in [ardiyno]’s scary/creepy carved limestone bookends.

Inside the enclosure, [ardiyno] has a calendar/clock/environmental sensor displaying the current date, time, relative humidity, and light level on twelve 14-segment displays. [ardiyno] admits the enclosure is a bit oversized for how much space his project takes up, but the extra space is meant for future internal expansions.

After the break, you can check out [ardiyno]’s method of using a screw driver to carve the limestone. Normally, we’d call foul over someone abusing tools, but the limestone is so soft (the pyramids were made out of limestone using soft copper tools), there’s most likely very little damage to the screwdriver.

via reddit

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10,000 Year Clock Sounds Like An Indiana Jones Flick – Makes Us Wonder If We’re Being Trolled

So you hear that someone is building a clock that will run for 10,000 years and you think ‘oh, that’s neat’. Then you start looking into it and realize that it’s being built on a mountain-sized scale in a remote part of the US and things start to get a bit strange. As much as it might sound like a Sci-Fi novel (or some creative trolling), the Long Now Foundation is in the process of building and installing a clock that will chime once per year for the next ten millennia.

The clock, currently under construction will be over 200 feet tall, residing in a shaft drilled in a limestone mountain in West Texas. The allusion to [Indian Jones] sprung to mind when we read that the shaft will be drilled from the top down, then have a shaft with a robot arm installed to mill a spiral staircase into the stone walls. And this isn’t the only clock planned; a second site in Nevada has already been purchased.

There are a lot of interesting features, not the least of them is a ‘chime engine’ that plays a unique tune each year that will never be repeated again. [Alex] sent us the original tip to a Wired article that covers the project in incredible detail. But we also found a SETI talks video that runs for an hour. You’ll find that embedded after the break.

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