Art and design works have benefited from 3D printing’s liberating capabilities for many years. From the creative endeavors of artists with 3D printers, we have seen unique geometries, seemingly “impossible” shapes and unprecedented combinations of color and materials. Continuing our exploration of the abilities of the recently announced Stratasys J750 full-color, multi-material 3D Printer, we are showcasing two groundbreaking artists.
“Polyomino” is the final stage of a two-year professional collaboration between Stratasys and Jose Sanchez, an architect, programmer and video game designer. This shape-shifting 3D printed structure can be reconfigured using magnets and recalls the building ethos of classic video games like Tetris. With more than 360,000 colors available for use on the Stratasys J750 3D Printer, Sanchez was able to allow the color to be the lead element of the piece.
“The artwork uses color as a guideline to construction,” Sanchez said. “Consisting of only two different geometries, we explored the use of color as a form of differentiating the connecting pieces. With the limitless colors available on the J750, we were able to explore the way in which different colors affect perception of the piece, mimicking areas of lightness and shade and facilitating an almost infinite number of unique mixes and blends. These options connect 3D printing with gaming strategies, allowing users to explore and interact with an artwork in an entirely new way.”
Nick Ervnick has been engaged with 3D printing for many years, using the technology to shape his intricate sculptural pieces. His newest collaboration with Stratasys will be part of a larger collection of art and design pieces, which will be launched later this year and will include work from Neri Oxman, Daniel Widrig, Dov Ganchrow, Luc Merx and Zaha Hadid Architects. The new Stratasys collection, called “The New Ancient,” will explore the shared interactions between ancient cultural crafts and modern technologies. Ervnick’s contribution is a sculpture, “Wolfkiam,” that draws on the design aesthetic from the Americas’ Mayan and Incan traditions.
“The nature of 3D printing has allowed me to redefine traditional design methods, facilitating the creation of complex, futuristic forms in which the empty space is equally as meaningful as the vibrant patterns and fluid shapes.” Running his ideas through the Stratasys J750 3D Printer, Ervnick said, he was able to “design a piece that combines an organic, biomorphic shape with a very technical play of lines and colors, and bring this to life from screen to sculpture with unmatched precision and quality – all at the click of a button.”
What was new for Ervnick, who has worked with Stratasys’ PolyJet technology in the past? “The vibrant colors and intricate details of the piece, such as the central lines representing the figure’s veins, were integral to the sculpture, both in creating a sense of movement and fluidity and in reflecting the traditional cultural styles that inspired the work,” he said. “It would have been impossible to manually transfer this texture onto the sculpture in any other way – it is only with the new Stratasys J750 3D Printer that this first-of-its kind artwork has been made possible.”
One production detail that both “Polyomino” and “Wolfkian” share is ultra-smooth surfaces; the Stratasys J750 3D Printer is capable of producing layer thickness as fine as 0.014 mm – around half the width of a human skin cell. According to Naomi Kaempfer, Creative Director, Art Fashion Design, Stratasys, Sanchez’s and Ervnick’s new works mark a milestone for digital art and design. “Wolfkiam” in particular heralds the upcoming Stratasys collection: “The New Ancient is a tribute to ancient wisdoms and lost crafts,” Kaempfer said. “The collection focuses on revisiting timeless design concepts from different cultures and antique eras and exploring the way in which these are interpreted with our modern tools, technologies and contemporary visions. Merging these historical design elements with our new breakthrough 3D printing technology is the perfect way to celebrate this transformation of art, design and manufacture.”