Oh my, maths can indeed be pretty. As an architect and programmer, Michael Hansmeyer uses mathematics a great deal in his life, saying that however complex a task may be, there is an algorithm that can describe it. And through CAD applications and various digital fabrication processes, algorithms can not only be visualized but they can be built. And this is what Hansmeyer did. He created a model of a Greek column and then applied an algorithm to it to enhance the details.

Hansmeyer’s intricately detailed model contained several million faces which standard 3D printers can’t handle so he resorted to a manual, pain-staking method of making his subdivided columns a reality.

The result is a 3D model with between 8 and 16 million faces, but 3D printers can only handle half a million, so Hansmeyer needed an alternative solution to transform his creations from virtual to physical reality. He sliced the column into 2700 pieces and used a laser cutter to create each slice from 1mm-thick cardboard, then reconstructed the column by layering the slices together with a solid wooden core. The whole process only cost $1500 and took about 15 hours, with three laser cutters working in parallel.

Have a look at his incredible cardboard sculptures that he built after the jump.

For more images and information about the subdivision and fabrication process and on computational architecture, visit Hansmeyer’s website.

[via Wakeangl on Twitter | NewScientist]