Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Building Facade Carver

programmable drill, hangs from cables, carves building facades
  (+7, -1)
(+7, -1)
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The drill head would be able to move up and down the cable. The cable would hang from a small motor on a track up on the roof. Computer controlled lasers at opposite ends of the roof with sensors on the drill head could determine the position of the sensors and the drill tip.

It could carve complex designs into the front of a building in a few days at low cost. For good visibility buildings would need to be build with 3-6 inches of extra material to be carved.

Could bring an end to the current glut of boring glass cubes.

tolly2, Jan 29 2002

Glass Etching http://www.etchmast...e/is_techniques.htm
What different glass etching techniques are there? Scroll... [thumbwax, Jan 31 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]


       I presume you mean to do this while the facade material is in place on the building - so I have to ask why? Why not carve the facade in sections at a factory and then install them (which is the way it's done now)?
phoenix, Jan 29 2002

       or you could erect a giant form and pour in place. then you wouldn't need extra material, and you wouldn't have to worry about cleaning up all the chips afterward.
mihali, Jan 29 2002

       The benefit to doing it in place is that you can carve interesting facades out of any hideous concrete block from the 60s. That is if you consider them inherently ugly, as opposed to merely currently unfashionable. I hold the minority view on this one and say we should leave them until they come back in, which shouldn't be too long now (witness the comment from tolly2 about boring glass cubes).
vincebowdren, Jan 29 2002

       And if you cut a little too deep, you'd have a fun, building-sized jigsaw puzzle.
pottedstu, Jan 29 2002

       glass etching
thumbwax, Jan 29 2002

       May I suggest Sunday, March 3, 2002, 5:00 PM? The St. Cecilia Chorus will be there performing Michael Haydn's Requiem followed by Franz Joseph Haydn's "Schöpfungsmesse" in B-flat Major at that time. Perfect time for the shop fungus mess to get cleaned up.
thumbwax, Jan 30 2002

       As long as you're not the SpellChecker
thumbwax, Jan 30 2002

       I really, really like this idea, primarily because this would bring the activity into the public sphere. Sure, phoenix is somewhat right - you can have facades made in a factory to any design, then install them on sight. But I think there is great value in having the activity take place in public. We can see how it occurs, we can witness the transformation over time. Instead of some miraculous appearance of a finished item, we see it as the result of a series of discrete steps. It becomes more meaningful. And it can be instructive as well. Maybe watching the transformation will inspire some completely unrelated creative activity. Maybe someone who watches the carving take place will say to themselves, "Hey, that doesn't look too hard after all. I could probably do that." Maybe someone watching will study the action carefully, then run home and invent a radically new way to do it.

We used to see craftsmanship performed in public all the time. Now its all locked away in factories. Anything that reverses that trend gets a croissant from me.
quarterbaker, Jan 30 2002

       It could be a very inexpensive process - $10-20K for the hardware, $500-$1000 per building, $100/square meter. The design could be drawn easily with a CAD program or scanned in. This would put it in the hands of regular people who don't want to pay $10K+ for a factory build section.
tolly2, Jan 31 2002

       I think that instead of a drill for stone buildings or a Dremmely thing for glass buildings, it would be more fun to implement this idea with water-soluble spray paints. You'd see the paint heads zoom up and down the building on cables painting your design, and whatever they paint will get washed off the next time it rains.
hippo, Jan 31 2002

       You realize this idea was invented sometime ago by the French nobleman Marquis de Façade.
phoenix, Jan 31 2002

       hippo, I have this image of a huge plotter pen moving around the front of the building...
waugsqueke, Jan 31 2002

       Me, too. Good, isn't it?
angel, Jan 31 2002

       Nice, [waugsqueke]. And it could be mounted on the window-cleaning cradles which are already installed on many large buildings.
hippo, Jan 31 2002


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