January 18, 2015
Education Innovation Visual arts

This instructable demonstrates and explains a number of different sculptures I designed that animate when they are spun and lit by a strobe light (or are captured by a video camera with a very fast shutter speed).
What you are viewing in the above video are solid 3D printed sculptures spinning at 550 RPMs while being videotaped at 24 frames-per-second with a very fast shutter speed (1/2000 sec). The rotation speed is carefully synchronized to the camera’s frame rate so that one frame of video is captured every time the sculpture turns ~137.5º—the golden angle*. Each petal on the sculpture is placed at a unique distance from the top-center of the form. If you follow what appears to be a single petal as it works its way out and down the sculpture, what you are actually seeing is all the petals on the sculpture in the order of their respective distances from the top-center. Read on to learn more about how these were made, and why the golden angle is such an important angle.
*Note: the exact value for the golden angle is irrational. Here it is to five decimal places: 137.50776º

John Edmark is an inventor/designer/artist. He teaches design at Stanford University.
Visit John’s Vimeo site
To learn more about the Pier 9 Artist in Residence program
Music – “Plateau” by Lee Rosevere
Cinematography and editing by Charlie Nordstrom