Thursday, October 22, 2009

Rendering History or Industrial Archeology

Oh to have more hours in a day. The Vought F4U Corsair is my favorite airplane of all time, hands down, bar none, not even the Phenom 300 (which I use an image of as a avatar on some websites). If I had money, I'd own one of these, even if I had to dredge one up from the bottom of the Pacific and restore it (with all due respects to the pilot and family of the pilot of the downed aircraft). But I don't. As a matter of fact, I don't even have the resources (mainly workshop & storage space) to go into RC model flying and create a scale model of one of these gorgeous warbirds. So what do I do? I envy the man I learned about when reading the same article I learned about Kinetic Steam Works discussed in my prior post.

William Gould of Gould Studios uses Solidworks (and Hypershot from Bunkspeed) to recreate history.

From the article, Gould is a design consultant on medical devices, consumer products, and test fixtures. In his spare time, he uses his CAD proficiency as an industrial archeologist to recreate engineered objects from times past. He is even a member of the Society of Industrial Archaeology, which up until reading this article I never even knew existed. He does this by finding old blueprints and recreating them in 3D. Oh what I wouldn't give to find the original Vought prints for the Corsair.

Not only are the subjects of Gould's work visually stunning even to the non-engineer, so are his virtual recreations. So much so, that Gould has created an online virtual museum to warehouse his archeological finds.

I can't tell you how many times I wish I made the time to recreate history the same way Gould is. My kudos goes to him for taking this to such a great level. I also look forward to researching the SIA and perhaps joining. Maybe they can help me recreate the majestic Corsair.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Artistic History of Engineering

How many of you wanted to be engineers when you grew up? I mean real engineers, the kind that drive trains. Yeah, me too.

Meet some engineers that have taken their trade of math and science and turned it into art. Not just any art, historical art of fabulous steam power: steam trains, steam tractors, river boats, Baker fans, and more. The group of dedicated volunteers revitalizing the lost art by restoring these grand masterpieces is Kinetic Steam Works.

Termed "kinetic art" by some of the volunteers, Kinetic Steam Works restores this historical monuments into a working museum. In some cases, such as the steamship, it not only works, but is used as an "artistic excursion" down the Hudson River.

A side bonus to Kinetic Steam Works volunteer projects is mentorship. Older and younger engineers who share an interest in studying the past have a means of collaborating on it. Where else does a wide range of people come together for a common goal? (OK, I could probably name a few.)

So if you happen to be interested in steam, historical artwork of great engineering accomplishments, or just enjoy working with your hands, pop over to Kinetic Steam Works website and see if there is a way for you to get involved.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Best Picture Ever

It's Friday and I haven't posted in a while so I thought I'd so something fun. Another blog I follow posted the coolest picture ever. I had to follow up with the Best Picture Ever. Have a good weekend.