Shadow Sculpture




About: Sebastian Morales is a Mexican born artist, engineer and researcher based in NYC. His work often exists in the confluence of sculpture, kinetics, the human body and code. His work can be seen at adorevolutio...

This is the first one of a short series that I am making.

Often I believe we constantly go around our lives looking at the world with the wrong light, maybe just the wrong perspective. I don't mean that we see thing negatively, I just think we often miss the beauty around us.

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Step 1: Modeling

The first step is to come up with an image, it can be a picture, a drawing or as simple sketch, the simpler the better. In this case I was made this very simple sketch based on an image from the internet.

Once inventor is opened, just import the image you want to turn into a sculpture, it will be helpful to have it as a guide for later tracing your splines.

Make a new 3D sketch, it is important that it is 3D. Locking into a view, in this case the top view, start tracing spline curves over the selected lines of the image. Using the sweep command you can later give volume to the spline curve. Once satisfied with the results, you can turn the view to a perpendicular one (right-left or front-back) and start pushing and pulling the spline points. NOTE: constantly check that the sweep function is still true after you move a couple of points around. Also, keep going back to the original view (top) to check that the image is intact.

Step 2: 3D Print

Well, depending on you printing capabilities this might be different for each case, My little machine can make its own supports.

Step 3: Cleaning

Cleaning up was a pain, cutting the support material out was complicated and I broke the model more than once, nothing that some super glue and lots of patience can't fix.

Step 4: Showing Off and Selecting the Right Light

I have a lamp dedicated to this sculpture across the room, it is almost always off unless I want to see the shadow. The rest of the time the illumination of my room casts complicated shadows that hide the true nature and purpose of the sculpture. But my muse is just a switch away.

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    11 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Hi . It was amazing .
    But i did not undersatand how to make curve splines like you such a complex . Would you plz help me ?

    1 reply
    Sebastian Moraleshameddiy

    Reply 2 years ago

    Hey, you could try fusion 360 to make the curves. The idea is to start tracing the splines on a 2D plane. Once the basic shape is formed, then start pulling/pushing the points in the third dimension. Check out this video, hope it helps!



    5 years ago

    This is cool you should scoot it further back and shine light on it, I want a 3d printer I think there so neat


    5 years ago

    I like how the piece itself looks like a figure too.

    2 replies

    I sort of realized that, now I'm trying to do a sculpture that if you project light from one angle you get one figure but if you project light from another angle you can get another one! Hopefully it turns out.

    Thanks! I was looking at some of your projects and they look amazing! At first I tried to make this sculpture out of wire but I gave up relatively fast... but you should give it a shot!

    I actually did want to do something similar, playing with wire and shadows. I wanted to have a piece of paper with blobs of color filling in the shadow at a precise time, but I haven't gotten around to that idea yet. Perhaps I'll work on it soon. ;)


    5 years ago

    This is so cool, I don't have the talent to make it though. :(

    1 reply