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Additive Manufacturing Inspires Artists

Rapid prototyping is an undeniably essential function of additive manufacturing (AM). Prototypes are fantastic business tools, but perhaps lack a certain je ne sais quoi when it comes to beauty, elegance or style. Give a 3D printer to a creative individual, however, and suddenly the same machine that prints functional prototypes is building works of art.

Sea Creature

Sea Creature by Crawley Creatures. Courtesy of Crawley Creatures.

Crawley Creatures, located in Buckingham, England, has created animatronics, prosthetics and models for TV and film, along with museum pieces, for clients around the world. The creator, Jez Gibson Harris, recently began working with 3D printing and is ecstatic with the results.

“I have always made sculpture, usually in spare fleeting moments. The sculptures I used to make were in carved marble, stone, wood, cast iron or sculpted in clay and cast in various materials,” says Jez Gibson Harris. “All aspects of the process have really excited me, and with the Objet30 desktop 3D printer in the studio and a new purchase of ZBrush 3D sculpting software, a whole new world of freedom has opened up for me.”

 After working up an object with ZBrush, Harris prints them out on his Objet printer using the Vero family of rigid, opaque ABS-like material. He then smoothes the objects before giving them a metal coat and sealing them. The end result is an interesting and unique sculpture.

Harris isn’t the only artist using additive manufacturing for art (as previously reported). Fourfoursixsix, in cooperation with Ogle Models and EOS, have created a 3D printed egg sculpture for Fabergé Big Egg Hunt. The sculpture was built using laser sintering to create a piece of art that is unconventional.

3D Printed Egg Sculpture

3D Printed Egg Sculpture by Fourfoursixsix. Courtesy of Fourfoursixsix

Conceptually, the design works around a rational grid of components that have been configured to react to both light and scale across the surface of the egg,” says Daniel Welham of Fourfoursixsix. “Each component incorporates an aperture within its design that can adjust to control the amount of light entering the internal space of the form.”

Below you’ll find a video of the creations from Crawley Creatures. While it doesn’t focus on AM, it does display some impressive modeling skills.

Sources: Objet, EOS

About John Newman

John Newman is a freelance writer in Northeast Ohio.

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