How to Make Molten Metal Look Like Rain

How do you make an outdoor sculpture look like raining metal? Here's how London architect/designer/artist Thomas Heatherwick did it when creating this 100-foot-high sculpture for the Wellcome Trust building in London:

How to Make Molten Metal Look Like Rain


1. Poured molten metal into water, creating a 2-inch blob.
2. Used a 3-D face scanner from a nearby hospital to digitize the blob.
3. Created glass beads according to coordinates assigned by the scanner's modeling program.
4. Hung the beads on 26,732 steel wires held together by tiny metal springs. Image by Gaetan Lee

Thomas Heatherwick via Wired