3D Printing Brings an American Dream to Life

Davide Prete, Director of The Fab Lab at The Catholic University of America in Washington DC, was introduced to the art of metal smithing by his father Alessandro in his hometown of Treviso, Italy. His love of art and design has translated into a career in sculpting and architecture that he started abroad, but eventually brought him to the United States as an educator.

Becoming an American citizen was an exciting and inspiring process for Davide.  As he looked around at the many faces of the others becoming naturalized at the ceremony with him, he had the idea to create a community based project to 3D print an American Flag using the scanned faces of people as the mosaic backdrop for the design.  He found individuals that agreed to be a part of his art piece because of their love for America.  Just as many communities encompass the diverse backgrounds and cultures that are represented in the American landscape, Davide wanted the project to be inclusive of everyone who wanted to be involved. Incorporating 3D printing was also important to Davide, so that he could share with this community his knowledge around the fun and ease of designing a project and bringing it to life with 3D printing technologies. Additionally, he is planning to connect the participants online as well, carrying the theme forward to a digital space that gives people the accessibility to the project from any location.

Davide’s skills have not only been noticed by those in his local community but by Congressman Tim Ryan as well.  Davide was able to capture the legislator’s face for his American Flag project, as well as producing bust of the Congressman that showcased his sculpting and 3D printing talents.

Davide sharing scanned images with community members.
The 3D printed forms for the American Flag project begin to take shape.
A rendering of one of the stars in Davide's project.
David's presentation of Tim Ryan's bust.

You can find additional ideas and resources on how educators are using 3D printing in the classroom here.

 

Carrie Wyman

Carrie is a technology and 3D printing enthusiast, with a passion for beautiful design.

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