his artist-in-residence at MIT, George Hart designed Salamanders,
a symmetric spherical composition of 30 identical flat pieces
in the shape of salamanders. In its final form, the pieces
are laser-cut birch plywood. These pieces were group
assembled by a group of around 40 people from the MIT
community. The sculpture is almost 30 inches in diameter
and weighs about 15 pounds.
sculpture belongs to the CSAIL Collection, and will eventually
be showcased in the new Stata
Center starting in January 2003 when it will house
CSAIL and other
The sculpture was initially designed on a computer to
verify that the pieces did not interpenetrate. Hart's
paper on sculpture
from symmetrically arranged planar components describes
his tool for designing these types of sculptures.
the final sculpture, several prototypes were built to see
how it could be assembled. The model was first sent to a
3D rapid prototyping machine to see how it looked in reality.
If you have a 3D rapid prototyping machine, you can build
your own using this STL
then built a 7-inch laser-cut acrylic prototype to test
that it could be assembled from rigid material. Even
at this scale, assembly took hours.
the barnraising, we cut thousands of salamanders from
card stock to let partipants experiment with assembly
and get a feel for the 3D form.
you want to make your own paper model, print and cut out
five copies of this
Hart's page about the Salamanders sculpture.