Introduction: Frequencies

About: Experiential design studio creating artistic projects and installations utilising innovative technology.

This work is a shape and color study. CNC machined reliefs were generated from a custom application using an algorithm called Perlin Noise. Using different frequencies and modulating variables the reliefs are imitating fluid and rocky patterns. The generative application allows an infinite number of outcomes. In order to leave room to the viewer’s imagination I created a gradation in the way the patterns evolve throughout the triptych.

The projection layer on top is blending the triptych elements and aims to challenge the perception of the relief. The projection is playing on the duality of the flat surface and the carved relief area.

Step 1: Generative Reliefs

The reliefs design come from a bespoke software made in openFrameworks,

A version of the software doing depth-map from black and white images is available to download on github.

The software is using the technique of grayscale depth map (the more bright the pixel the more extruded the surface). It is possible to use grey scale image or any black and white textures, in my case I used perlin noise shaders.

Step 2: ArtCam

Since recent updates, it is possible to create the CAM in Autodesk Fusion, at the time of this project the only software able to create the CAM and GCode was Artcam. It was great to use Artcam as it's suited to work with detailed meshes.

Follow the images instructions for file preparation in Artcam.

Please note I added custom tools to the software, normally you can find your tool settings from the seller.

Step 3: CNC Polyurethane Foam Board

The material used is polyurethane foam board, density 10. Bought from freemansupply (look also as a supplier).

Density 10 was good enough to have a great amount of detail, the inconvenient is the pieces are very fragile so if you can afford it, get higher density foam.

For the CNC the machining time was around 14 hours for the less detailed pieces of the triptych using a 1/4 inch ball nose, the most detailed relief took around 34 hours using a 1/8 inch ball nose. I got special ball nose from

Step 4: Metal Frames

The reliefs are encased in steel frames.

I ordered steel from Bayshore metals in San Francisco. In an illustrator file, I created all the parts of the frame with accurate dimensions. The parts have been cut in the metal sheet using the Omax water jet.

It has been soldered together using MIG (Metal Inert Gas) welding.

Note: I created small hinges in order to join the frames parts and have an accurate registration when welding.

Step 5: Projections

When the lights go down the relief get transformed with interactive projection-mapping. This was made using a custom application in openFrameworks with addons.