Oceanic Scales – Prototype #2 complete!

After a lot of hard work this quarter, we’ve finished prototype #2 of the Oceanic Scales system.  This “wall unit” is made of local / sustainably sourced bamboo plywood, incrusted with PLA 3D printed and pine resin cast “Machinic Diatoms” and water molecule forms.  When no one interacts with the system it slips into an automated data translation mode, pulling live temperature data from the MBARI elkhorn slew data array and transforming it into a live spectrum of color transitioning from blue (cold) to red (hot).  When the user interacts by turning the bronze temperature ring, they can control the temperature directly.  As they turn it up or down, the machinic phytoplankton react accordingly and when temperatures become too extreme the system breaks down and eventually collapses.  In this system, the user only has to wait 20 sec. for the system to regenerate, where in reality we’d be waiting a lot longer for our planet to do the same.  The entire system is running on a solar power system, just as phytoplankton produces it’s energy from the power of the sun. One final addition is the discovery of natural latex rubber and it’s unique properties that allow it to be laser cut, translucent and biodegradable.  We used it as a new way to bring a sense of body or form to the underlying, pine resin skeleton / structure.  Each latex rubber form is uniquely designed and stretched over a corresponding pine resin / PLA 3D printed form. Future experiments will include removing the center bolt mounting system and using the natural latex rubber forms as a suspension system that will hold the entire structure in place on the wall.

One thought on “Oceanic Scales – Prototype #2 complete!”

  • I love the membrane-like laser cut latex covers! Nearly impossible to cut so many delicate designs by hand. It will be interesting to see if the structure can be suspended with the natural latex rubber.

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