Mobius Wave

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

2019 – 40″ wide, steel, wood, string and one electric motor

One day I got to wondering what would happen if I mapped a wave to a Mobius Strip. Would a peak turn into a valley? I had to find out! In order to make the waveform continuous I mapped 3-1/2 wavelengths to the Mobius strip. If I had used an integer number of wavelengths the wave would have canceled out, which is sort of interesting, but doesn’t make for a good sculpture. The most challenging part of the math was figuring out how to make a frame that would allow me to position all of the strings correctly. Once I realized that the edges of a Mobius strip lie on a torus, it was easy to describe the shape using 3D parametric equations. However, to make the strip of steel that followed the torus I had to solve for its shape as if it were laid out flat. Once I did that I could cut it out of a big sheet of steel using a jigsaw and drill all the holes while it was flat on the ground. Then I made a jig out of wood to form the torus and was very happy when the 2D steel strip perfectly took its 3D shape. This was most of the work, and it didn’t take too much more time to add the legs, motor and wooden base. The wave wood is cherry and a string pulls each piece in one direction while a pair of springs pull it in the other.