Tuesday, 15 May 2012

topography and photosculpture.


American, c. 1870. Ivory painted plaster cast statue of Ulyses S. Grant in military uniform seated on a cloth draped chair smoking a cigar, the wood grain painted base with the intials U.S.G. and Photosculpture on the front, the back with "Pat. Aug. 27, 1867". 21 in. high.

The early roots of rapid mechanical prototyping technology can be traced to at least two technical areas: topography and photosculpture.

As early as 1890, Blanther (1892) suggested a layered method for making a mold for topographical relief maps. The method consists of impressing topographical contour lines on a series of wax plates, cutting the wax plates on the contour lines, and then stacking and smoothing the wax sections. This produces both positive and negative three-dimensional surfaces that correspond to the terrain indicated by the contour lines. After suitable backing of these surfaces, a printed paper map is then pressed between the positive and negative forms to create a raised relief map. 

Photosculpture arose in the 19th century in attempts to create exact three-dimensional replicas of objects, including human forms (Bogart 1979). One somewhat successful realization of this technology was designed by Frenchman François Willème in 1860. In his method, shown in Fig. 3.3, a subject or object was placed in a circular room and simultaneously photographed by 24 cameras placed equally about the circumference of the room. The silhouette of each photograph was then used by an artisan in Willème's studio (Fig. 3.4) to carve out 1/24th of a cylindrical portion of the figure. 

from parallel/synchronous/ spatial to serial/linear/temporal:

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