3D printing techniques can help to create sculptures in a much easier and faster way. While sculptors had to do everything by hand in the past, 3D printing techniques are now helping them out. Richard Loffler is an artist who makes wildlife sculptures which are often made in large-scale sizes. He created a series of buffalo sculptures, and it took him as long as five years to finish them, because he crafted all details with his own hands. That, however, was before he found out about 3D printing and CNC machining techniques.
Loffler works as follows: he starts his work with a smaller model, after which he tends to translate this into a larger model which he divides into different sections. He works on all sections an makes sure they are ready to be printed. He then prints all separate sections and assembles them in order to create the real-life model.
After he finishes the assembly part, he covers the model with clay, and ffter he perfects all details, what he does is divide the sections again and make molds out of them. Then the molds are transported into a foundry and are individually cast to rebuild the sculpture. Loffler then waits until all individual pieces have been cooled, removes them from the molds and cleans them. And then all parts get back together in the original way. He makes sure the sculptures are sandblasted, so tiny imperfections can be erased. And ta-da! The sculptures are ready to be delivered to the customer. What used to take five years can now be made in a shorter amount of time.
Within the field of sculpture and architecture, 3D printing can seriously be an added value in order to increase the amount of time and work required for the job. All around the world, artists are using the technique to improve their work. In Holland, sculptor Jos Hamann uses potato skin filament to 3D print his own works of art. During last year’s inventions festival Maker Faire in California, studio Smith|Allen even managed to create an enormous wall consisting of 222 individually 3D printed parts.
Image credits: Richard Loffler.