In this month's CAD/CAM e-newsletter, I featured a granite sculpture that currently resides in the Autodesk Gallery at One Market in San Francisco. According to the developer, the gallery contains the work of "visionary artists, architects, engineers, consumer-product designers, and students." I thought the design was kind of cool and said it probably would not have been possible without CAD.
A few readers got me to rethink whether the sculpture is actually "art," or even that visionary. Kwong Wong writes: "Please don't take this the wrong way, but how does putting together a wacky shape in a 3D design package and then having a shop in China (or anywhere else for that matter) carve it out of granite count as “Art Work.” Along those lines, having a bolt designed in a CAD package and machined with CAM process seems to be even better artwork with greater discipline. Anyone who has played with a CAD package probably has pulled library shapes and assembled a few things at random and as I see it, this “Art” exhibits the same depth of thought."
And Dimitri Galitzine from Design Development Associates LLC points out that a non-profit entity has already been providing a full-service stone-sculpture fabrication-facility for artists, architects, and designers.
Now that I think of it, the old art of signmaking went by the wayside years ago, with CAD driving automated routers. So what's the big deal about cutting a cement sculpture?