The Art Of Motion Control

"Ferrosaurus YSC-iccus:" (October, 2003)

For the second annual "overnight at the Farm," the Math Team (group of teens I work with at the Museum, in the Youth Science Center) and I came up with a couple of projects using welding tools and steel. The first started with a trip to the Museum's store, where we picked up one of those wooden dinosaur models (where the pieces interlock at right angles). We chose a stegosaurus model because it looked the most sculptural. I traced the pieces, and set up the toolpaths (70 of them), and then cut them on my home-built CNC plasma cutting table at the Farm. When the kids came out, we started to piece the skeleton together, and everyone took turns using the MIG welder ("wirefeed"):


time lapse of constuction (4.9M Gif animation)

Some grinding, and more welding, then transport to the Museum:


Temporary home, in the YSC:

Our second project involved heat-bending a fractal shape, using teams of two people-- one directing the oxyacetylene torch, and the other bending when the 1/2" steel softened as it glowed orange:


time lapse (5.1M Gif animation)

The resulting sculpture was presented to the Math Team's Lead (Chris R.), as a wedding present.