Saturday, January 28, 2006

Playing God With Ceramics

Researchers, at the Lawrence Berkeley (Calif.) National Laboratory, have used a new approach to create an exceptionally rugged substance that may serve as a scaffold for new bone growth. The method also works well with nonbiological materials, report Sylvain Deville and his colleagues in the Jan. 27 Science. Using it, the team has fabricated novel metal-ceramic composites that benefit from a seashell-like internal architecture.

Mollusks such as abalone and oysters create their iridescent armor, known as nacre, from brittle calcium carbonate microcrystals and pliant proteins arranged like bricks and mortar, respectively. Materials specialists have long envied the composite's resilience, which is superior to that of human-made ceramics.
Ceramic on left natural Mother of Pearl on right

To create bonelike composites, the researchers employed epoxy as the mortar between plates of hydroxyapatite, which is the predominant ceramic in bone and teeth.
For nonbiological materials, they bound alumina plates with a mortar containing an alloy of aluminum and silicon and, in some cases, titanium.

Mother-of-Pearl on Ice: New ceramics might serve in bones and machines: Science News Online, Jan. 28, 2006

Friday, January 27, 2006

Scale Models of Towns & Cities

Savvy builders that resort to using vague and misleading artist renderings of projects in order to receive necessary approvals are finding themselves battling local residents and business owners that are now demanding full scale models of proposed projects prior to their being approved.

"Large scale models, topo tables and accurate virtual architecture are the best ways for construction companies, local authorities and residents to see the true magnitude of a project prior to construction," Hans Clausen, Director and Founder of Architecte Miniatura explains.

"Using scale models, virtual architecture and topo tables in sales presentations for buildings and complexes is the norm and recent trends seem to be that they may soon become required in cities around the country," Clausen suggests.

Debates in towns and cities across the globe continue to emphasize the importance of accurate and detailed virtual architecture and scale models. Construction companies will continue to be pressured into creating large scale models and virtual architecture in order to move forward with lucrative construction projects.

Scale Models Protect Resort Towns & Cities

Saturday, January 21, 2006

3D Tractus: a three-dimensional drawing board

Trying to make it easier to create 3D objects with a drawing board.
This drawing table moves up and down and changes the users view of the object they are drawing.

From The 3D Tractus: A Three-Dimensional Drawing Board (pdf)

We present the 3D Tractus: a simple and inexpensive system for interaction and exploration of three-dimensional (3D) data. The device is based on a traditional drawing boardlike mechanical structure that can be easily moved up and
down while its surface height is being tracked using a
simple sensor. Users interact with a tablet or tablet PC that
rests on the surface while simultaneously changing its
eight. The result is direct mapping of virtual and physical
spaces allowing intuitive 3D interaction and data

We are pursuing several applications for the Tractus. First a 3D drawing application that allows artists
to draw line art directly in 3D. With the ability to draw 3D
curves, we plan to expand this application to allow users to
create trees and plants. Other ideas include programs that
explore 3D MRI data and allow physicians to interact and
annotate their patients’ scans, as well as tools that support
other spatial interaction and control tasks.

pasta and vinegar � 3D Tractus: a three-dimensional drawing board

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Art in Crystallography

The American Crystallographic Association newsletter holds contests to showccase the crystallographic art of the associations members.

The entries show the crystallography and explain the process for creating the work.

The winner of the latest competition is "Blood 2,000,000X," a watercolor that reveals Y-shaped antibodies, cholesterol molecules, and other well-known compounds in the vicinity of a red blood cell.

The second place was a carving in walnut of "Cortisol".

Other entries included a "Polioviruis" sculpture and various protiens.

Art Entries