Refined is a food safe sugar based electromechanical kinetic sculpture. Utilizing digital fabrication and mold making techniques, Refined represents a few select stages from the manufacturing process for refining sugar. The sugar's abrasive quality causes the mechanical components to degrade over time, literally grinding themselves away.
Refined is composed of a set of 4 small kinetic sculptural vignettes that represent stages of the sugar refining process. Pieces of casted sugar are the structural and mechanical components of the kinetic sculpture. I have used food-safe components including plastic and wood for some parts including shaft couplers and axles. These allow a joint between the sugar components and small dc motors which will be responsible for providing the electromechanical motion.
All of the hard-candy sugar components are designed in 2d/3d CAD software, and produced through digital fabrication techniques and machines (laser cutter, 3d printer). These prototype components are then molded into food-safe grade silicon rubber, where the hard candy is later casted. Upon assembly, the hard candy pieces are attached using sugar welding and soldering to maintain their connections.
Refined appeared at Maker Faire New York 2013 where it won a editor's choice award. It also appeared at the New York Dumbo Arts Festival 2013 as part of the group show Variable Dimensions .