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Colibri

This is a sculpture I designed a few years ago now, but I just discovered the Woodworkers Source cusomer gallery, so here it is! This is Colibri, a kinetic sculpture that simulates hummingbird flying in slow motion, feeding from a flower. This organic motion sculpture contains nearly 400 parts and took me about 700 hours to design, build, and document. The entire motion is looped and is driven by turning a single crank. Here's the story of how it came to be: It began with a lunchtime conversation between a friend and I, bouncing ideas around about what my next woodworking project could be. For most of our conversation, few ideas peaked my interest. Then it hit me. I wanted to try and step out of my comfort zone and do something that I had never done before. I wanted to make something whose motions were organic and fluid, a piece that simulated something found in nature. I turned to my friend, ldquo;What if I made a sculpture of a hummingbird flying in slow motion?rdquo; ldquo;How are you going to do that?rdquo; he asked. I paused, and then replied, ldquo;I have no idea.rdquo; He laughed, ldquo;Cool, you should do that.rdquo;lt;/pgt;<br />lt;pgt;So it started. I scoured the internet for study material: slow motion hummingbird videos. I watched them for hours, trying to fully understand all the motions I wanted to include in my sculpture. I used some of the videos I had found as underlays to create 3D animations of Colibrirsquo;s movements, carefully matching my animations to the motions in the videos. From there came the painstaking process of generating the mechanisms that could drive those motions. Coming up with the basic mechanisms was an immense challenge in itself. Fine-tuning them to closely match the motion of the animations added an entirely new layer of complexity.lt;/pgt;<br />lt;pgt;On top of making the sculpture function as intended, I felt it was important that the appearance of Colibrirsquo;s forms complimented its movements. For this reason, nearly every shape in the sculpture is constructed from tapering, sweeping curves. Straight lines and geometric shapes were only used when necessary, to help minimize a machine-like appearance and promote a more organic aesthetic. -- Orginally posted by dhugger

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