Lab 4 - Click Here
For the final project for this class, I wanted to go all out, utilizing the majority of the techniques that we had learned in class to be able to create a final piece that would be stunning visually and technically. Because I am also taking the Biomedical Minor at CU, I thought it would be a nice challenge for myself to try and 3D model a mechanical hand that had some joint functionality. From there, the idea sprouted into a display that could contrast the man-made hands with more organic, natural ones. 
I am also a huge fan of the game Portal, so I decided to incorporate the famous Portals from the game, taking inspiration from these Portal bookends that I had seen on Youtube. To give the project my own unique flair, I decided to replace the Portal man with my set of real hands, and a set of mechanical hands, coming out of the portals to collectively hold a Companion Cube between them. 
One possible added layer of depth to this project could be to turn the Companion Cube into a Rubik's cube that the hands are working together to solve. However, there are already a lot of complicated elements in this project, so I wanted to save that idea for later.
In order to 3D model a mechanical arm that matched the size and shape of my own, I took advantage of one of the BTU's events and got my arm scanned with an infrared sensor from an Xbox 360 Kinect. The resultant mesh created was over 200,000 polygons, yet the detail captured is stunning. The hand above that mesh is one that I reduced the number of polygons with so I could see it more clearly when I was modeling around it. 
Designing the portals was fairly easy, as the design of the portal will simply be laser cut from wood. However, the inner part of the portal is my opportunity to use acrylic with a mirror film over the top to give the portal a mirrored look that should be quite eye-catching with the hands emerging from it.
Originally, I had planned for there to be one portal hanging from the wall, with the second portal on the floor. I ended up changing this design because I felt that the floor portal would be a hazard for tripping on when I take this project home. So, instead, I decided to have both portals hanging on the wall at around a 90° angle, and I ended up liking the look of this design so much more. The hardest part about designing this practically is that I want the arms to be detachable from the portal for transport. However, with the realistic hands, I will be making them from a plaster mold, which will be quite heavy and hard to support when they jut out of the portal without any support below. I plan on using a heavy machine screw inside the plaster hands to mount those to the portal securely, with easy access for disassembly. 
I have yet to model the Companion Cube or the mechanical arms, but for now, I believe that this render is a good approximation of what my finished sculpture will look like, and I hope that when it is done, it'll be even more awe-inspiring than the render below.
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