This is the finished art first, right here for your peepers.
I work at a place that lets you "do whatever you want" to your cubicle or office. Some people have garden sheds, forts, plane fuselages… I wanted to be cool but I just have a tiny half-cubicle. So I thought of an art that I could make. Before getting to into it, I made a jig for my table saw for a little test.
After gluing the test pyramids down, I sprayed them with drywall texture to get some more detail.
Initially, I wanted some undercolor to pop through at the tips of each pyramid, like they were blasted with air. This was how I found out it didn't work!
I landed on this. Copper with patina.
Then I modeled the REAL DEAL up in houdini. It's 9'x5', and has 756 tetrahedral pyramids. Each red face is a 3×3 triangle that a mirror can be attached to. I wanted to make a drip pattern, and have the mirrors fill it in.
Each pyramid's top point moves along an arc that is centered on a random leg of the base. This way, every tet has a random height and short/tall side. I sent the model off to a cnc shop in the area and asked for a quote! I was so excited, ready to go!
$10,000. They wanted 10k to cut the thing not including cam programming time. I had to take a moment and re evaluate it all. I had to put the neon on and drink the milk and remember who I am.
So I bought a cnc machine and put it together.
And I went and got all the material that I would need.
Some of the foam was too thick, so I had to run it through my planer.
DISASTER. The cnc machine was goofed as hell. It skipped steps in all axis'. It sucked. Everything was going down the drain.
While I calibrated the cnc and figured out what was wrong, I ordered a buttload of mirrors (150 of them).
And I cut them all in half using this jig.
Then after I fixed the machine, I laid them all out on the first cut piece. Super cool. This is gonna be the best thing ever and everyone will finally think I'm a cool boy. Here's a time lapse of a chunk getting CUT: youtu.be/AcaQbuRHujk
But then dichroics started tempting me and mirrors started to look boring. I got some little pieces of dichroic film and slapped em on the test piece. Even better! This is gonna be the best thing ever!
So forget about the 150 boring mirrors I just cut in half. Lets get some dichroic film up here and cut it into 3" triangles… It looks so cool.
finally all the foam pieces were cut out and assembled.
1 dot = mirror, 2 dots = red dichroic, 3 dots=blue dichroic, 4 dots = I dont know, just in case the shitty plan changes again.
But if I paint over the dots, how will I stick to the drip pattern!? Needles. That's how.
I painted the first coat by hand. It sucked. Pyramids have a lot of surface area and it felt like the project was starting to be a drag.
So I bought a compressor and an hvlp gun! It's amazing. I put the remaining coats on in 15 mins each, and my wrist didn't even explode!
NSX for scale
All the shiny bits were ready to go on. So I started putting them on there, following the drip pattern. Looks like shit, doesn't it? SURPRISE!
I took them all off and now I have a ton of dichroic/mirror triangles sitting around in my garage. Removing them left some scars on the piece. Oh well, they'll stay and serve as a reminder of my failures.
Here it is finished again, I scaled the number of shiny bits back by 10 times.
All the shinys are blue, except for one lonely neon shiny.
This is the cube in boring mode.
This is the cube after stage 1 (out of 3) exciting mode.