Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Machine for Preserving the Wind show video.

Here is a video showing my latest installation work, Machine for Preserving the Wind. Its up till June 30th, 2011 atTruck Gallery in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

There is also a review of the show up here at FFWD Weekly.

Oh, and Adam Savage tweeted a link to my sculpture, my inner geek is unspeakably happy.

Each of the 40 poles that make up the piece are mounted on a string pivot, allowing them to sway freely. They have a cast concrete counterweight at the bottom that balances the wooden pole so they can sway with the slightest movement. These are then connected with a series of strings that allows them to be pulled back, and released to sway freely on their own. In this way the poles are indirectly coupled to the drive mechanism, they can be pulled back, but then they are free to sway and swing on their own, resulting a much more organic and random movement than if they were directly coupled.

To drive this mechanism the poles are connected to a pair of large wooden cams. A cam is basically a wheel with an irregular shape that causes a follower on the wheel to move back and forth in a fashion reflecting these bumps. In this case each bump outward corresponds to a gust of wind, and pulls the poles backward. The two wheels turn at slightly different speeds, and the output of each is mixed and averaged, resulting in a program that takes over 14 minutes to repeat.

The cam wheels themselves are driven by a multi stage reduction drive. An electric motor, of the type usually used in a household furnace, is hooked up to a worm drive speed reducer, and then to a two stage chain drive, this setup brings the speed of the motor down from 1725rpm at the input to half of an rpm at the output, a reduction of over 3000:1, this process increases the torque from half a foot pound, to over 400 foot pounds after friction losses. This was fun to design.

1 comment:

mnaerum said...

This is a fantastic piece.

Is this merely an autonomous simulation, or is the cam's design shaped by a specific pattern of wind from the reverse process, making the connected straw/sticks register real currents of wind and draw the pattern on to a board that made the dents in the cam?

Keep up the work

Kind Regards