Jan 19, 2016 | By Tess

Everyday we see how 3D printing continues to be a unique manufacturing technology that has reached far into the very different realms of medicine, fashion, engineering, and art, to name but a few. As the technology allows for just about anything to be created from a computer file, from a 3D printed prosthetic part, to a 3D printed figurine keepsake, to a 3D printed gun, certain contradictions exist within the technology and its applications. In an effort to highlight and investigate the potentials and contradictions inherent in 3D printing technology, art curator Gabric Menotti has devised a collaborative art project called APPROXIMATELY 800cm3 OF PLA which is essentially an “all-you-can-print” exhibition using only a single spool of biodegradable plastic filament.

Artist's skull, submitted by Jason J Ferguson

The exhibition, which is a part of The Wrong (Again) New Digital Art Biennale in Brazil, started with an open call for people to submit their 3D designs. From there, the project curators have manufactured one of the submitted 3D designs a day using a standard amount of PLA material and are continuing to do so until the spool of filament runs out.

In line with their intention of investigating the potentials and problems of 3D printing, the open call states that there are no restrictions on what 3D printed designs can be submitted as they are hoping for a range of objects, from 3D scanned real objects, to algorithm based designs, to trinkets, to engineering tools.

"GoatPrint" submitted by Filip Ugrin

So far, the project has additively manufactured such diverse objects as a 3D printed segment of a person’s skull, a crumpled piece of paper, a Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse figurine, an abstract shape made up from Google trends, a 3D printed brain tumor, and, almost inevitably, a 3D printed piece of excrement.

"Girl" submitted by Katherine Farley

As a press release by the curators states, “Much of the excitement about digital fabrication technologies comes from the limitless reproducibility they seem to allow…But, as with other theologies of prosperity, this one can be very contradictory. The presentation of 3D printing as a technology of abundance overlooks not only the secular obstacles of copyright legislation, but also the world’s material scarcity, as if the transformation of prime matter into manufactured goods consumed no energy or natural resources”

"Walt and Mickey," submitted by Brit Bunkley

APPROXIMATELY 800cm3 OF PLA is drawing attention to these contradictions by highlighting the various potentials of 3D printing by manufacturing diverse objects while also imposing a limit to the materials that can be used. Ultimately they are asking the simple question “Will it be enough for everything that is worth being made?”

The exhibition is still running, and the project is still welcoming 3D digital model submissions, which can be sent in OBJ or STL format to their email 800cm3@gmail.com. The objects already additively manufactured as part of the project are being exhibited at the Baile project space in Vitória, Brazil. Of course, if you can’t get to Brazil to see the pieces in person, all of the submitted and 3D printed objects have been posted online in a virtual gallery, here.

"Forks" submitted by Taylor Hokanson

"DownloadSHT" submitted by Dennis de Bel



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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Ken wrote at 1/19/2016 6:19:08 PM:

wow. this news site literally just posted a picture of a 3D printed turd.

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