3D Print the Impossible! Turning Escher Drawings into Real 3D Models

This video has now gone viral with over 200,000 hits on YouTube since it’s release this August. And I can see why! The researchers at the Technion – Israel’s famous Institute of Technology, have used their own Objet 3D printer to re-create the impossible Escher Drawings as real, tangible 3D models.

Particularly intriguing is the 3D printed Belvedere (below), first produced as a 2D drawing in May 1958. In his original work, Escher drew a rectangular three-story building supported by a number of pillars that, at first glance, appears to be plausible. But on close inspection you see that those supporting pillars at the front appear to be supporting the back side of the top floor while those at the back appear to be supporting the front – an obvious paradox. You can see how this is solved in the “real” 3D world – by the clever manipulation of the viewer’s perspective…

For more on this project see Professor Gershon Elber’s ‘Escher for Real‘ project at the Computer Science Department, Technion.

Objet 3D Printed Escher Model in Rigid White Material

This post is also available in: Chinese (Simplified), Japanese, Spanish, Portuguese (Brazil)


  • Paul Ray
    Aug 28, 2012 7:44 AM

    I think you might find this intriguing, Col, as I imagine Mia might as well since Escher is one of her favourite artists.

  • Paul Lewey
    Aug 28, 2012 7:44 AM

    Wow this is good! After the story of 3D printers being used to create a usable gun, it is good to hear stories like this and to see that people are using these printers to make positive sculpture! Nice one Professor Gershon Elber and the Computer Science Department, Technion!

  • Greg
    Aug 28, 2012 7:44 AM

    boring, wat a snoozefest

    • Eric
      Aug 28, 2012 7:44 AM

      And yet you were intrigued enough to read the article and take time to leave a comment.

  • Paul
    Aug 28, 2012 7:44 AM

    what a waste of resources ….

  • Daniel
    Aug 28, 2012 7:44 AM

    Nice idea, but the end result are not very nice looking objects whose sole purpose is to take away the magic from Escher’s beautiful artwork.

    Clever? Meh.

  • Lise silickas
    Aug 28, 2012 7:44 AM

    Not as exiting as the “sand beast” !

  • Mario
    Aug 28, 2012 7:44 AM

    Consider this superior technology as a primary means to scan in 3D and reproduce the body and its finer details (for disassembling and then) re-creating and manipulating the data for future use in a mode of transport (“Scotty, Beam me up!”) but not for printing…

  • Ben23
    Aug 28, 2012 7:44 AM

    Frankly these are nowhere near as impressive as the versions made out of Lego by Andrew Lipson and Daniel Shiu. Near the bottom of this page: http://www.andrewlipson.com/lego.htm

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