The 3D-printed flower features six movable petals mounted on an articulated stem. The flower’s leaves themselves bear solar panels that collect energy, analogous to leaves on a plant. A Raspberry Pi Pico is at the heart of the show, which is outfitted with a DS1307 real-time clock and a ST7735 TFT display for displaying date and time information. It’s also responsible for controlling servos that aim the flower’s solar panels towards the brightest light source available. This is achieved by using the Pico to read several photoresistors to determine light levels and adjust the leaves accordingly.
Here at Hackaday, we love a good art piece, whether that involves light or sound. Combining both is a sure-fire way to get our attention, and [Eirik Brandal] did just that with his Void Extrusion piece.
The project is built around the Daisy Seed from Electrosmith. It’s an embedded platform designed for musical purposes, which made it perfect for [Eirik]’s project. Based on an STM32 chip, it’s very capable when it comes to DSP tasks. In this role, it’s charged with algorithmic music composition, providing the captivating soundtrack that emanates from the sculpture.
The sculpture itself looks almost like a fancy mid-century home from the Hollywood Hills, but it’s fundamentally a little more abstract than that. [Eirik] built it as an opportunity to experiment with using 3D printed forms in his work. To that end, it features a beautiful diffused LED wall and a speaker enclosure as an integral part of the build. The LEDs are run from an Arduino Nano Every.
[Eirik’s] work shows us that “generative” music can be intoxicating and compelling with a real sense of feeling and mood. The sculpture is a visually-capable pairing that works with the soundscape. It recalls us of some other great artworks we’ve featured from [Eirik] before, too.
Those who have worked with high voltage know well enough that anything can be a conductor at high enough voltages. Similarly, amateur radio operators will jump at any chance to turn a random object into an antenna. Flag poles, gutters, and even streams of water can be turned into radiating elements for a transmitter, but the members of this amateur radio club were thinking a little bit bigger when they hooked up their transmitter to this giant sculpture.
For those who haven’t been to the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in upstate New York, the enormous metal behemoth is not a subtle piece of artwork and sits right at the entrance to the university. It’s over 70 feet tall and made out of bronze and steel, a dream for any amateur radio operator. With the university’s permission and some help to ensure everyone’s safety during the operation, the group attached a feedline to the sculpture with a magnet, while the shield wire was attached to a ground rod nearby. A Yaesu FT-991 running on only 5 watts and transmitting in the 20-meter band was able to make contacts throughout much of the eastern United States with this setup.
This project actually started as an in-joke within the radio club, as reported by Reddit user [bbbbbthatsfivebees] who is a member. Eventually the joke became reality, as the sculpture is almost a perfect antenna for certain ham bands. Others in the comments noted that they might have better luck with lower frequency bands such as the 40-meter band or possibly the 60-meter band, due to the height of the structure. And, for those who are still wondering if you really can use a stream of water to transmit radio waves, it is indeed possible.
Artist and self-described “maker of objects” [Daric Gill] is sharing some of the world’s most pleasing and acoustically interesting soundscapes with museum patrons in his latest work, ‘The Memory Machine: Sound‘.
Now featured at the Center of Science and Industry museum, the interactive stereo soundscape generator resembles three decorated ‘tree trunks’, suspended high above the exhibition floor. When visitors approach the artwork, they are treated to a randomly selected soundscape sample.
The build, which is described in blog form here, teases just some of the sixty soundscape samples that can be heard. These include the noisy chattering of crowds underneath the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the mellow melodies of a meadow high in the Swiss Alps, and the pumping atmosphere of a baseball match played in Yankee Stadium, New York City.
Only the middle trunk reveals the electronic soul of the installation – an Adafruit M4 Feather Express, Music Maker Featherwing and a motion sensor. The flanking trunks house the speakers and amplifier. The motion sensor triggers the microcontroller, which then plays a randomly selected sample from an SD card.
[Daric] went to great lengths to reuse discarded materials, and even cannibalized parts from other sculptures to see his vision through. This focus underpins a substantial amount of woodworking and machining that went into this build, so the full video is certainly worth a watch to see the whole project come together.
In France during the mid-to-late 1800s, one could go into François Willème’s studio, sit for a photo session consisting of 24 cameras arranged in a circle around the subject, and in a matter of days obtain a photosculpture. A photosculpture was essentially a sculpture representing, with a high degree of exactitude, the photographed subject. The kicker was that it was both much faster and far cheaper than traditional sculpting, and the process was remarkably similar in principle to 3D scanning. Not bad for well over a century ago.
[davemoneysign] designed this fascinating roller chain kinetic sculpture, which creates tumbling and unpredictable patterns and shapes as long as the handle is turned; a surprisingly organic behavior considering the simplicity and rigidity of the parts.
The inspiration for this came from [Arthur Ganson]’s Machine With Roller Chain sculpture (video, embeded below). The original uses a metal chain and is motor-driven, but [davemoneysign] was inspired to create a desktop and hand-cranked manual version. This new version is entirely 3D-printed, and each of the pieces prints without supports.
According to [davemoneysign], the model works well with a chain of 36 links, but one could easily experiment with more or fewer and see how that changes the results. Perhaps with the addition of a motor this design could be adapted into something like this chains-and-sprockets clock?
You can see [Arthur Ganson]’s original in action in the video embedded below. It demonstrates very well the piece’s chaotic and unpredictable — yet oddly orderly — movement and shapes. Small wonder [davemoneysign] found inspiration in it.
In the waiting rooms of some dentists or doctors, you might have seen a giant metal ball rolling around in a large glass case. While it sure beats looking through those magazines, the sculpture can’t have come cheap. But not all of us want to pay high-end prices for fun toys. As a more cost-effective alternative, [JBV Creative] built an awesome 3D-printed ping pong sculpture.
The basic concept is the same as those fancy sculptures: a ball goes up, moves through some sort of impressive range of motion as it makes its way back down, and some sort of drive mechanism pushes it back to repeat the cycle anew. The design of this particular art piece is no different. A ping-pong ball falls down a funnel into a queue where balls are slowly loaded via a 12-way Geneva mechanism. An Archimedes spiral cam charges an elastic band that yeets the ball up and out of the track and sends it sailing through the air and down inside the funnel mentioned earlier. Everything on this sculpture is 3D-printed aside from the rubber bands and the ping pong balls.
What’s tricky about these sorts of things is the precision required both in printing and in design. It needs to run for hundreds if not thousands of hours and make no mistake. Making something work correctly 99% of the time is hard, but that last 1% can be almost as much work as that first 99%. [JBV Creative]’s first attempt had a catapult mechanism and he printed and tried out several scoops, but none gave the trajectory that he was looking for.
[JBV Creative] tried a plunger mechanism, but without a counterbalance weight providing the power, it just didn’t have enough oomph to launch the ball. Luckily, holes were included in the design, so it was relatively easy to adapt what had already been printed to use rubber bands instead. An additional goal was to have no visible fasteners, so everything needed to be mounted from the back. Check it out in action after the break.
It’s an incredible project that took serious thought, dedication, and in [JBV Creative]’s words, plenty of CAD twirling. It’s a great lesson in iterating and experimentation. If your talents are more soldering-based rather than CAD-based, perhaps a circuit sculpture is more up your alley?