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Aesthetic Balance – Using Physics to Create Objects Of Fascination

3D printers, as well as blueprints and supplies are readily available to us today; the opportunities to create are endless.

When Emily Whiting found a balancing dragonfly toy in China, she realized we have an untapped potential in designing objects. If we can easily create 3D structures, how can we make them fun and beautiful?

Emily created a 3D model of a horse standing on its hind legs. Obviously, in the picture, the horse can support itself, but when the printed model was done it fell over instantly.

What can be done to make the horse stand up? Emily and her team concluded the interior design of the model needed to be changed and the posture had to be deformed just slightly.

Following those two steps, the finished product was identical to the picture and could balance upright. The success of their model sprung their brains into wondering – what ability could everyday objects have?

So much of the world around us is controlled by balance; hiking, sports, and architecture are just a few examples. What if there was a way a building could rebalance itself following an earthquake?

3D printing is beyond making a model, it is creating objects of beauty and fascination.

Emily Whiting works at the forefront of the emerging field of computational fabrication. Her research bridges the gap between the digital realm of computer graphics and real world physical behavior. Outside of the office, she enjoys hiking, climbing, and playing the flute.

Emily Whiting is now an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Boston University!

Thank you Emily for helping us see everyday objects a little more different, and inspiring us to learn. Want to hear more from her? Watch HERE