Davide Prete

Assistant Professor
University of the District of Columbia
Washington, DC, USA

Recently I am investigating the beauty of minimal surfaces especially Scherk surfaces. In mathematics, a minimal surface is a surface that locally minimizes its area. Scherk surfaces arise in the study of certain limiting minimal surface problems and in the study of harmonic diffeomorphisms of hyperbolic space. The first part of this exploration is completely digital. Using different software and virtual reality I am able to visualize different variations of forms. This study involves also my response to the changes that I make that include bending, scaling and twisting. Combining additive manufacturing technologies with traditional metal casting, I am able to express figurative images through a mathematical language.

Theseus' labyrinth
Theseus' labyrinth
30 x 10 x 10 cm
3D Printed ABS

In my latest work, I have been working with triply periodic minimal surfaces. For this specific sculpture, I started from a simple gyroid that was bent and twisted until the final shape was defined by specific alignments of its parts. The gyroid is the unique non-trivial embedded member of the associate family of the Schwarz P and D surfaces with angle of association approximately 38.01°. Because it separates space into two oppositely congruent labyrinths of passages, I decided to name it "Theseus' labyrinth."