Kinetic art table creates and erases endless zen patterns


Simon Sörensen, a young Swedish engineer, created something that would delight Bill, Ted, and Confucius at the same time: a kinetic art table that erases any pattern it creates itself. The table, which shines, offers a Zen atmosphere with its metal ball gently sliding patterns in the sand. It is so calming that in fact it can help you understand the idea that everything that has ever been created will one day be destroyed. (The painting inspires to philosophize, we can’t help it.)

Sörensen recently posted the art table on his YouTube channel, RCLifeOn. The engineer notes that he was inspired to make the unique table using a sand scribing machine he had heard of; one named Sisyphus.

Sisyphus, a company entirely separate from Sörensen, indeed manufactures clever tables featuring metal balls that unroll patterns in the sand endlessly. And, as you might expect, tables don’t come cheap. A company coffee table, for example, has a price tag of $ 2,000.

This kinetic art table uses magnetism and a metal ball to create and destroy endless zen patterns in the sand.


Sörensen, of course, creates his own unique table using unique construction methods, although he is essentially reverse-engineering the Sisyphus table. To drive the metal ball into the table, Sörensen uses a magnet attached to the rack part of a 3D printer; that is, the motorized part of a 3D printer that moves a material extruder along two axes.

With the motorized magnet under the table, Sörensen shows how he can move the metal ball in the housing above. And after figuring out how to overcome the ball’s tendency to make a horrible scratching noise as it moves across the glass, the rest of the work is just the icing on the cake.

This kinetic art table uses magnetism and a metal ball to create and destroy endless zen patterns in the sand.


Ultimately, while Sörensen’s setup isn’t as perfect as what we see on the Sisyphus website, it still looks stunning. And, more importantly, it works surprisingly well; moving his little metal ball slowly, endlessly, as fascinating geometric patterns blend in and out of existence. Speaking of which, looking at these geometric patterns can help you relax as well. And, oddly enough, makes you hungry. (Again, Bill and Ted would love the patterns.)

Feature image: RCLifeOn

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