Developments in computer aided design “CAD” and computer aided manufacture “CAM” are still driven at a technical level by infrastructure and asset management based applications. Projects like The Bay Lights in San Francisco also demonstrate how the emergence of a maker culture – users working with CAD and CAM outside of the traditional factory setup – is transforming once specialist solutions and expanding horizons in terms of application. It is easy to disregard the impact such developments have on populations outside of built up urban areas until you cross paths with a CAD designed trophy deer in its natural and rural habitat.
The Bay Lights
As a designer, Gian Pablo Villamil replicated a 4 inch piece of suspension cable from the Bay Bridge using 123D Catch derived meshes and 3D printing. The plastic facsimile produced using a MakerBot 3D Printer informed the design of a clip that made the project possible – preventing wear on the wires that supplied power to 25,000 LED lights.
A total of 50,000 clips were produced in order to make the project work. Each was used to keep wires in place across 1.8 miles of bridge at every 12 inches of cable. Using real world data provided a simple solution to an otherwise complex problem.