Observation of natural processes and subsequent visualization by a zoetrope.
CourseworkDigital Fabrication, 2018
Claudia BuckFelix Prantl
The zoetrope about the progression of a wilting leaf was created in the module digital fabrication, where the topic of chemical, biological and mathematical methods was given. In the end an animated cycle about one of these processes should be seen. Digital fabrication is a work methodology that merges design and manufacturing through the use of digital tools (software) and computer controlled manufacturing processes. In our group of three we chose to look closer at cellular structures. Quickly we realized that our interest circled around events such as cell-growth and -division.
After several experiments with focusing on mold we turned our attention on organic leaves. Our greatest fascination was the external change of structure and form.
We researched the biological process of wilting leaves. A leaf’s cells loose moisture over time due to the evaporation of water, which causes them to shrink. We wondered if there was a way to apply the same mechanism to wood, to show that process as an animation. Our idea was to bend a thin MDF piece with the help of steam, which would allow the wood to absorb moisture and be bent into a shape before the water would evaporate again. But our wooden structures weren’t as flexible as we had hoped, which meant we could not bend it far enough before they broke.
Parallel to our trials with wood, we experimented with Plexiglas. With the use of a hot air gun, we heated the glass to the right temperature which allowed the material to turn soft without losing its given form. Thus we had found our suitable material and could start to create the fourteen curled leaves.