CNC shops are very functional environments. Customers have very precise needs and those of us with the right CNC milling and turning equipment fulfill those needs. On any given day you see your fair share of parts for tools, pieces of industrial machinery, rows and rows of smaller pieces of machined goods, and everything in between.
Most of the time these are to fulfill orders for items that will be used in very specific roles. The creativity that went into their design happened in order to solve a problem. Something needed to be done, something needed to be made to do it, and then something was designed and created in order to complete the task.
As today’s post will explore, however, these machines can also be used to create beautiful works of art. Limited only by the vision of the artist, digital plans can be given to CNC machines which result in the creation of stunning physical forms. In many cases, these forms require dimensions so precise that only CNC is capable of making them happen.
How do you turn 120 kilograms (264 pounds) of aluminum into an amazing sculpture of a motorcross helmet? The only way to make that happen is with CNC.
Granted, this may not be exactly what some might consider to be art, but, we would disagree. The level of detail on this piece is absolutely amazing. And, when you’re in your garage, den, or cave in your house dedicated to your love of your bike, this piece might just bring a tear to your eye. For us, it’s the video of it being made. Take a second and check it out.
The next piece uses a foot pedal to rotate a wheel around an axis which gives the impression of matchstick-formed humans walking around the perimeter. It has to seen to be appreciated and you can check it out at the Charlotte Observer.
The artist, Ryan Buyssens, describes himself as a “weird hybrid investor-artist-science guy” who pushes boundaries when he creates a new piece of art. This sculpture certainly answers that call.
Finding the Beauty in Plywood
The artist for our final example uses the precision of CNC cutting heads to carve intricate designs, patterns, textures, and shapes into ordinary plywood. The result is fantastic and can be seen on Visual News.
His name is Michael Anderson and, in his own words he uses CNC “to express art through form, texture, and spatial experience.” Most work is based on algorithms and the final product is then sanded and smoothed to clear any remaining rough edges.
The human need to express one’s self through art is an amazing example of using technologies to create something new and beautiful. Through the ages we have drawn on rocks, carved into trees, painted on paper and animal hide, and formed gorgeous works from iron and steel. Now we use technology to create pieces that test the boundaries of our own abilities and require the precision of computerized control to form the physical manifestations of what we imagine in our heads. These works are just a couple of the examples out there of people using CNC to add beauty to the world around them.