America’s first national monument rendered in crazy detail!

It starts with a Digital Elevation Model, and thenI draw topo lines from that using GIS software. Then, using a laser cutter at a local maker space (Tinkermill), I cut out individual layers of colored mat board, and then glue them back together.

I owe a big thanks to the USGS National Unmanned Aircraft Systems Project Office for the data they collect, and then provide to everyone for free. Using a method called photogrammetry (which for this model involved using over 800 photos from drones, and triangulating different points in space from the differences in each photo) they created this great data-set for me to play with. There is so much detail you can see the individual basalt columns running up the cliff faces.

This piece stands a foot tall, and even tough its not made of mashed potatoes, I think Dreyfuss and Spielberg would approve.

Hopefully i will be able to tinker with this data a little more and create so really special stuff, like a spiraling kinetic sculpture of the tower, or some light pieces, keep an eye out!

More info:

You can see the columnar basalt warp as it travels up the cliff face

So prolific

In it’s natural setting

Birds eye view, rendered in lava/magma colors

lower cliff details

Look at the columns!!!!

a nice little scree pile at the base of a cliff

You can see individual columns end as they run along the sides

bubbly detail

It is unknown if the tower was formed by an old volcanic plug, or if it is the remnant of a huge lava flow