We were pleased recently to host a lunch talk by sculptor George Hart. George is a Research Professor in the Computer Science Department at Stony Brook University where his primary research area is the application of mathematics and algorithmic ideas to sculpture. 3D printing is the ideal way to realize many of his designs, and a large collection of printable files is available on his website.
Before his talk, George laid out a collection of puzzles for everyone to try, ranging from pretty simple to possibly impossible.
He showed a series of short videos of some of his large commissioned pieces, and talked about his practice of involving in the assembly process the community where the sculpture will be installed.
George is currently on sabbatical and talked at length about his work as Chief Content Officer for the new Museum of Mathematics, which will open in New York City in two years. The museum expects 40,000 visitors per year, many of whom will come in school groups. He imagines kids designing parts during their visit and watching their parts being made on site.
In response to a question about design software, George said that he primarily uses Mathematica, a general purpose technical computing application from Wolfram Research. Mathematica conveniently offers output in zpr format for 3D printing.
George posts a weekly entry called Math Monday on Make Magazine’s blog. The blog is formatted as a single long page, and finding Math Monday will take some scrolling. You may want to check out the Math Monday archive post entitled Hexagonal stick arrangements (More:).
To see more work of this sort, check out Carlo Sequin’s links: