MO-Labs: Math Objects & Math Art

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No art – just math

Indeed, our works of art are defined by math, by precise formulas! In some sense, the math behind our objects IS the art.

This math is moved from abstract math space into the real world using top quality materials and machines such as laser-in-glass machines, most recent 3d printers, laser cutting of mind-blowing acrylic.

Dr. Oliver Labs – the head behind MO-Labs – is a mathematician, computer scientist, and artist. For more than 20 years, he has been creating 2d and 3d visualizations of mathematics. Often, Oliver does even create the formulas behind his shapes by himself – e.g. for his well-known cubic surface models or for some of his famous world record surface glass sculptures.

Oliver also implemented many of the software tools he uses by himself – sometimes by using software developped by other people. E.g., the tool to visualize the math during the creative process of finding the right formula, and also the tool which computes the 3d data from the formula.


Our glass sculptures visualize math objects almost as perfectly as in the mathematically abstract world.

A laser creates hundreds of thousands of tiny defects inside an extremely homogeneous block of glass. These reflect light in an astonishingly beautiful way.

Some of the most fascinating objects for this math-in-glass are the world record surfaces, such as the Barth Sextic.


Oliver’s math sculptures are created from a wide range of materials. The image shows one of his well-known cubic surface sculptures. Oliver’s models of cubic surfaces shown in collections of math departments and math museums all over the world are usually produced in white plastic by 3d printers.

The example shown here is in gold plated brass. This materials features fascinating reflections focussing on the abstract beauty of the curved mathematical shape.


Computer renderings of algebraic geometry has been our major speciality since 1999 when Oliver started working on cubic surface visualizations.

His images of world record surfaces have been shown in Imaginary exhibitions since 2008, e.g. at the Deutsche Museum in Munich, Germany.

A Quintic with 15 Cusps, 80cm x 80cm
A Chmutov Surface with Many Singularities, visualization 2002 by MO-Labs
The Barth Sextic with 65 Singularities, 80cm x 80cm

Our Story

As a teen-ager, Oliver Labs was fascinated by developping his own software to visualize mathematics. At that time (the last 1980s) mainly software for interactive elementary geometry in 2d. He also developped a software for creating (not quite photo realistic) 3d-renderings of surfaces of revolution defined by a curved line “hand-drawn” using the computer mouse.

Oliver started visualizing cubic surfaces in 1999 while working on his diploma thesis at the university of Mainz, under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Duco van Straten.

From 2000 to 2009, Oliver Labs worked as a researcher in applied and pure math, one of his main topics of interest being the creation of interesting equations, such as those for world record surfaces. One of the major outcomes of his ph.d. thesis was the construction of a surface of degree 7 with 99 singularities which still holds the current world record for these kinds of surfaces.

In 2008, he became known to a wider audience as the visualizer of algebraic geometry via his 3d renderings shown in Imaginary exhibitions world-wide.

Since about 2002, Oliver has been creating 3d math models using 3d printers. About 2010, laser-in-glass became a second important technique for Oliver’s visualizations of math in 3d.

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From time to time, we publish here some posts on our work.

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