This kinetic sculpture uses propulsion to elevate a continuous piece of string into the air.
There’s just something about fountains with their synchronization, fluid movements and translucent colors that can instantly captivate the attention of viewers. But what about displays that don’t use water? That is what one artist has set out to do, with a project he calls the String Fountain. Replicating the likes of the Bellagio world-renowned display mixed with a 1950s synchronized swimming performance, Paolo Salvagione has created a kinetic sculpture that uses propulsion to elevate a continuous piece of string into the air during his residency at Autodesk’s Pier 9 facility.
By no means is pushing string with a motor a brand-spanking new concept; however, adding a few servo motors and an Arduino to create an automated installation certainly changes the game. Connected to a PC, the Atmel based board is tasked with controlling the vertical and horizontal tilt and its rotation using a pair of bilateral servos. Meanwhile, the motor pull speed ensures that the string remains elevated as the two servos tilt left and right to keep the string in the air.
Similar to other multi-spout fountain displays like at Disney’s EPCOT, the final installation includes six different strings, each of which are kept in the air simultaneously reacting to the presence of visitors. Interested? A detailed breakdown of the project, whose parts were almost entirely 3D-printed, can be found on Instructables. In the meantime, you can watch it in action below!