We have a common interest in demonstrating that with the right finishes and attention to detail, consumer-grade 3D printers can already produce objects of art worthy of public and private display—objects of desire that show that the 3D scanned and printed future is now.
There’s something surreal about the whole scan/edit/print process that’s hard to describe. Like a dream, it needs to be experienced to be appreciated. But if there are sculptures that resonate with and might be able to communicate some of that weirdness, the ancient bronze Head of Hypnos in the British Museum is one of them. The subject: the god of sleep, father to Morpheus, god of dreams—the design: the piece’s odd asymmetry, the single wing, and the missing wing, the ambiguous gender. The whole package makes for a remarkable artifact of otherworldliness which has spoken to people across time.
In August 2012 I photographed a number of objects in the British Museum, including “Marble Portrait of Alexander the Great” , and “Head of a Horse of Selene“. I used Autodesk’s 123D Catch application to process my photographs into 3D wireframe models. I printed them on a MakerBot Replicator, and I metalized and patinated them with Alternate Reality Patinas. Then I published the scans and design files into the public domain.
I designed and 3D printed this very loose printable sketch of the two thousand year old, shipwrecked analog computer. It doesn’t tell time or anything, but it looks cool.