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Longitude and latitude – David Bowen’s CNC routed sculptures capture the waves


Created by David Bowen and titled “46°41’58.365″ lat. -91°59’49.0128″ long. @ 30m”, is a collection of five CNC routed clear acrylic cylinders capturing the water surface data from the source location.

An autonomous aerial vehicle (drone) running ArduPilot software hovered 30 meters above Lake Superior and captured still images of the water’s surface. The vehicle was deployed to the same location on different days and in different weather conditions and the collected images converted into three-dimensional displacement maps.

The models were then imported into Blender and converted into a STL file. The information was carved with a CNC router into a series of clear acrylic cylinders. This process captured the dynamic movements of the waves and ripples from a specific time and location and suspended this ever-changing water pattern into a static transparent form.

The project is a continuation of David’s research in transposition and relationship between natural and mechanical systems. For previous work, see Underwater – Hundreds of servos controlling wave patternsFly Revolver – Blurring boundaries between real and perceived or Tele-Present Water on CAN.

Project PageDavid Bowen