Sunday, January 20, 2008

On my knees

There are so many ways to make legs and knee joints!

This is my first pass, I don't think will be the last until it is finished, polished, assembled (the hard part) and tested. I am using white pine, it has quite a bit of resin, which makes it hard to carve and sand but also means it is stronger.

At least it is not as hard or life-critical as the prosthetic knees that biomedical engineers have to fashion for their patients!

I used some of those knee models to make a sculpture and as we found out, it was the hardest and most exotic material (titanium-vanadium_+some other ellements I don't remember) we could ever work with! It was worth it, and also gave me an insight as to how strong and durable future cyborgs will be.

Brad Smith (left) and myself after sweating it out to create the sculpture from conception to delivery in a record three days! Now, why can't I work as fast for this project?

Brad and myself created this sculpture as a recognition gift for Dr. J. Crayton Pruitt, who had just donated 10 million dollars (das ist recht!) to the Biomedical Engineering Department of the University of Florida.

Dr. J. Crayton Pruitt, as pleased with his gift as UF was with his! 1

So we thought appropriate to use some of those vanadium knee parts to serve as the pivot point of the sculpture, the rest of which consisted of beautiful alabaster that slowed light as it absorbed it, as only alabaster can. The wood base was made with an exotic Brazilian hardwood and the plaque was made from aluminum scavenged from the Aerospace Engineering bin.

These are some examples. Imagine the possibilities!
Assuming you have the tools to make a dent or solder the critters.

1 He must have liked the sculpture because ever since then we receive (Brad and I) a yearly crate of delicious Florida wine from his own vineyard. Thank you Dr. Pruitt! :-)

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