Icarus Had a Sister (with 200 3D Printed Feathers)

When two talented artists team up to soar beyond the boundaries of conventional art, magic happens. Especially if they have access to Stratasys 3D printing technology.

Take the UK’s Andre Masters and CJ Munn. Nine years ago, Andre had a vision to create a work of art based on the engaging premise, “what if the mythical Icarus had a sister?”

icarus-had-a-sister

Andre Masters arranging more than 200 feathers 3D printed on an Objet Connex multi-material 3D Printer in rigid VeroWhitePlus, VeroBlackPlus and VeroClear

Their original design included a graceful lifecast shape of woman, the couple’s absolute specialty. But another element proved a serious barrier to full flight – more than 200 metallic feathers affixed to the lifecast shape.

Andre Masters, explains “I wanted to depict in a minimalist sculpture the fragility of the female form as she’s balancing on this precipice waiting to take her initial flight but also her strength which is conveyed with her powerful wings.”

3d printed metal feathers

The feathers were 3D printed, covered in copper, and then hand patinated.

True to nature, each feather had to look unique with its own individual flaws and characteristics.  No manufacturing techniques available nine years ago could meet the challenge – not from an economic or a technical perspective. Then fast forward to 2012 when the couple heard about the possibilities of 3D printing; although they were a bit fearful of technology replacing artistic technique, they decided to give it a try.

The result – with the help of Gary Miller at local 3D printing service bureau IPF, Masters and Munn began experimenting with 3D printed feathers. IPF used Objet Connex multi-material 3D Printers from Stratasys to produce the feathers on a variety of materials – rigid VeroWhitePlus, VeroClear and VeroBlackPlus at 30 micron accuracy. The feathers were then coated with shiny copper.

“We have lost almost no detail from the original design whatsoever. It was so beautiful to work with and we can hand patinate it just as you would a real bronzed or copper piece…We’ve got incredible detail from the 3D printing; this is something that was simply not possible from traditional sculptural techniques.”

And speaking of reaching new heights, Masters and Munn captured the Rising Star Award at the recent 3DPrintShow in London for “Icarus Had a Sister.”

To experience the passion and excitement that goes with producing a work of epic proportions using 3D printing, check out the video.

This post is also available in: Chinese (Simplified), Korean

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