Futuristic Metal Sculptures Fuse Industrial Manufacturing and Logic Puzzles

Chris Bathgate has to design his own mechanized tools to make these Space Age sculptures a reality.

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Jan 22 2015, 11:45pm

Ja 552354454, Chris Bathgate, 2014. Images courtesy the artist

Metal sculptor Chris Bathgate has over ten years of experience designing custom-made machines. By creating his own CNC interfaces and 3D printing processes, he makes one-of-a-kind sculptures that look like they've been salvaged from extraterrestrial spaceships, beautiful baubles born of precise, mathematically-enabled tinkering.

Bathgate developed this alien aesthetic by approaching each sculpture like a puzzle, "an attempt to make an object that satisfies a number of conflicting visual and logistical criteria," he explained to The Creators Project. He reverse-engineers existing tools to push both their physical limits and the limits of his creativity. In the case of mechanically-titled recent work Ja 552354454, for example, the idea began with interlocking spokes. An in-depth CAD exploration followed, wherein he examined possible arrangements of the sculpture's parts. Trial and error was then sorted out in the 3D printing stage, with Bathgate's custom CNC tool paths and coded objects manufacturing the results. Said Bathgate, "One benefit of building your own CNC equipment is that it is readily altered or modified to perform a necessary task that maybe it is not currently capable of."

Follow his production process into its depths with an informative instructional video, and scroll through his incredibly complex sculptures—and the schematics behind them—below.

Ja 552354454, Chris Bathgate, 2014

Ja 552354454 in progress, Chris Bathgate, 2014

DK 522244322,
Chris Bathgate, 2014

NP625544312235,
Chris Bathgate, 2014

EC 561122233, Chris Bathgate, 2014

MX 535612252312412, Chris Bathgate, 2014

WA 523322411, Chris Bathgate, 2014

CAD interface for Ja 552354454

Visit Bathgate's website for in-depth details on more of his creations.

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