The Arlenator

To those of you out there in architecture, this won't seem too nifty. But to the uninitiated, this will definitely be impressive. We like lasers (lazaaaaaahs) here at the shop and are inclined to implement them as often and whenever possible - perhaps because we were raised on a steady diet of first-run Star Trek and always wanted a phaser.

But alas, we must settle for Pat over at the Peridot Corporation, who's awfully nice and always up for a challenge. He's got a whole mess of laser equipment for cutting and etching all manner of material.

So that's how we now make a lot of the background models for the sculptures into which we can insert different ideas and get a sense of how they scale and relate to the architecture. For all that CAD's worth, it still can't beat an honest to goodness physical model.

Enter: the Arlinator. Arlen is our in-house man with too much knowledge in his head. Besides factoids, he's especially good at CAD. For the past week, Arlen has been chained to the computer prepping info for Pat to laser output in acrylic. After receiving two-dimensional drawings from the client, Arlen uses these as a reference to build a three-dimensional model of the building.

Arlen will then break this model into all its component parts (walls, floors, stairs, etc.) and lay them out on a virtual two-dimensional sheet that is the size of the acrylic sheets that Pat will be using. Typically it looks something like this:

Then Pat outputs this file to his machines and sends the parts back to us where Arlen assembles them:

And then I get to work and will likely snap, break, or crumble all the dear boy's diligent work: