Motion

Blooms: Strobe-Animated Sculptures

By:
John Edmark
John Edmark
John Edmark
V.M.H. 9 M.S. 8 P.T. 8.6 J.M. 8.5 Creative 8.5 V.M.H. 9 M.S. 7 P.T. 8.8 J.M. 7.5 Design 8.1 V.M.H. 9.5 M.S. 8 P.T. 8.7 J.M. 8.5 Craft 8.7 V.M.H. 9.2 M.S. 7.7 P.T. 8.7 J.M. 8.2 Total 8.4
Design lecturer John Edmark created a series of 3D-printed sculptures that explain “blooms”, a unique type of 3D-printed sculpture designed to animate when spun and lit by a strobe light (or captured by a video camera with a very fast shutter speed).
The Concept

John Edmark's endeavor is to share the joy of discovery and amplify our awareness of the sometimes tenuous relationships between facts and perception. He does this through Blooms on a turntable and a strobe light.

Fibonacci Sequence: each number is the sum of the previous two.
The fibonacci sequence appears in biological settings such as the arrangement of leaves on a stem or flowering of an artichoke which made choosing the shape of the structures easier. The placement of the appendages on blooms is critical to the success of the animation effect. This is achieved by using the golden angle. If you follow the numbers in sequence you will find that each leaf is approximately 137.5º around the core from the previous leaf.
The Production

The placement of the appendages was critical for the success of the animation effect. To achieve this accuracy, Edmark developed the shapes in 3D software and then printed the sculptures and set them to a specific rotational speed.

The models were created using Rhino software and a scripting program called Python. The sculptures were then printed using a Zprinter 450.
The rotation speed of 550 RPMs is synchronized to the strobe and videotaped at 24 frames-per-second. This enables the camera to capture one frame of video every time the sculpture turns ~137.5º—the golden angle. This is the most critical portion. These specific numbers and speeds allow for the optical illusion to take effect.
Final

With each petal arranged around a central core at an angle of 137.5 degrees from top to bottom, Edmark has successfully used 3D printed sculptures to create an optical illusion.

If you count the number of spirals on any of the sculptures you will find that they are always Fibonacci numbers.
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.
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