CAD overload

With the design down, the next job is to translate each piece into AutoCad – a piece of drawing software that will allow the precise measurements of the sculpture to be passed onto the laser cutter to create a series of perfect geometrical shapes out of metal.

It’s a process which is both incredibly simple and also frustratingly complicated at the same time. As any errors in build need to be ironed out now…. it’s much easier to edit a drawing than it is drill a new hole in 4mm thick metal.

Each virtual piece is laid on top of the other and then I mark the position of the holes. It’s through these holes that I can run a length of threaded bar to bind the whole sculpture together and make it stable.

The other benefit of drawing on the computer is I can use 3D software to test how the sculpture will look and ensure everything is lined up appropriately.

I’ve also been able to work out where the pins that hold it into the ground will go (hence the slightly strange hooped feet on the above image- these will be embedded into the ground).So with the drawings secure it’s time to click send and wait 10 days or so for the parts… that’s when the real fun begins!

Small to Big, Virtual to Real.

My work relies heavily on one specific tool – the laser cutter. It’s an interesting way of working as it initially requires you to be totally removed from the materials that you’re building with yet when it comes to  assembly and construction, there’s no hiding from the weight and tactility of the large pieces of metal which arrive at the studio door.

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