Cracked Cube

Ewerdt Hilgemann

Summary

Using a specially developed implosion technique, Hilgemann transforms cubes, pyramids and cuboids into fascinating shapes whose deliberate imperfection attracts attention and triggers controversy. The initial objects vary in size, metal type and surface texture.

Services

Planning, construction, welding, polishing, implosion

Project manager

Frank Lohmann

Client

Ewerdt Hilgemann

Year

2014

The ingenious vision of the art of air extraction

With his bold vision of taking the air out of hollow metal objects, the German-Dutch artist Ewerdt Hilgemann creates works of art with a unique expressive power. In this case, it is the "Cracked Cube", whose technical features we highlight here.

The edge length of the piece is 1990 x 1990 x 1990 mm. It is made of stainless steel sheet of alloy 1.4404 with a material thickness of 3 mm and a total weight of around 570 kg. The stainless steel sheet is polished on one side. The six individual sheet metal segments are tightly joined together using laser welding. This welding process is used due to its high welding speed, narrow and slim weld seam shape and low thermal distortion.

Perfectly imperfect

The polished surfaces are located on the inside of the cube. It is extremely important that no discoloration occurs on the polished surface during welding, as this would be visible after implosion and cutting. To ensure this, special precautions are taken during the manufacturing process. Implosion can take up to an hour for this size of workpiece. The weld seams are designed to withstand the deformation during implosion and not to tear, as otherwise the deformation process could not continue. Due to the stresses that arise after implosion, opening must be carried out with the utmost care.

The slow process of implosion is characterized by a captivating fascination, as the final result remains uncertain until the end and leads to unexpected shapes. We are honored to accompany Ewerdt Hilgemann on his creative path and to work with him to further develop this impressive method of metalworking.

 

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