01 Apr 2013

Joshua Lopez-Binder and I plan on making some gorgeous and outrageously efficient heat sinks.
What is a heatsink, you may ask? A heat sink is an object, typically metal, that is designed to absorb and dissipate heat. They are primarily used to cool hot electrical components.

My vested interest in making a super efficient and highly beautiful heatsink is quite related to my continued, yet slow pursuit of making a new Cryoscope. I find its current design noisy(due to fan) and a little static aesthetically. The device needs a large heatsink in order for the solid state heat pump(Pelter Element) to refrigerate the contact surface.
The applications of such a component are not at all limited to my old project.
If I can get it to provoke imagery of a lightening storm, I think it would be pretty neat.
Josh and I have some theories. We think that naturally inspired fractal geometries will make very nice heat dumpsters indeed.

I am thrown with licthenberg figures, the pattern left behing by high intensity electrical charges. Here is an example of one on the back of a human who survived a lightening strike.722px-Tesla-coil-discharge
This looks like it will shape up to be the most formal thing I have pursued since enrolling in art school. I feel that the physical manifestation of thermal radiation of waste is an important aspect of my earlier thermal work. I had tried in the earliest Cryoscope to hide the byproduct heat using aesthetics that were too close to Apple for my comfort.

Lichtenberg ‘Art’

A group of scientists, dubbing themselves Lightening Whisperers, started a company which embeds Lichtenberg figures in acrylic (Plexiglass) blocks using a multi-million volt electron beam and a hammer and nail. The website is a great way to kill an hour looking at these beautiful little desk toys. They also shrink coins.

Josh Outlined some very nice works by Nervous System. They make very pretty generative jewelry, among other things. I just spent an hour scrolling on their blog. I always look too far outwards and end up with a post that is too short.

Lichtenberg Figure in Processing!

2 thoughts on “Heat Sinks

  1. Sam

    The idea of making the fractal heatsink visible on the cryoscope intrigues me, especially because the earlier iterations were very minimal in their presentation. I’m curious about how this new appearance may change the way a user would interact with the cryoscope, and also how the cryoscope interacts with its environment, i.e. where the waste heat is dumped.

    Your interest in licthenberg figures and the generative modeling of the heatsinks makes me think you should be talking to CIT or MCS faculty who may have experience simulating such phenomena.

  2. Patt

    I think this is a really good idea, and cannot wait to see how you execute it. It seems like you have different ideas you want to implement, but maybe not a solid plan yet. Personally, I like a lot of the works by Nervous System. I think there is something very beautiful and attractive in the organic and natural feel you get from their products. Similar to Sam’s comment, it might be a good idea to consult with CIT or MCS professors who has more experiences with heat sinks in general. Let me know if you want to get in touch with a mechE professor! (but Josh can probably do the same already).

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