Feb 19, 2016 | By Andre

I don’t think there’s a question in anyone's mind that the internet is an incredibly vast place where one can spend a lifetime getting lost in. The most obscure hobbies or niche interests groups can find solace knowing that there’s someone (or sometimes thousands of someones) out there that match up with exactly whatever it is that keeps them curious.

So when I first heard about Europeana, its existence didn’t surprise me in the least. Europeana is a project whose sole purpose is to promote, gather and distribute digital content from personal, communal and industrial resources that relate specifically to food & drink. The scale of the project did surprise me however. As of this writing, they provide integrated access to over 27 million books, films, paintings, museum objects and archival documents from over 2,200 content providers; all of which relate directly to food and drink.

3D printing makes its entrance to this story as the catalyst technology behind the winning entry of the Third Open Innovation Challenge hosted by Europeana. The contest, held late 2015 is focused around the idea of reimagining content available on the site into a completely new thing.

The winning contestant, Gabriele Crivelli, used a painting called Still Life with Saltcellar as his muse and 3D printing as his medium when he converted this food & drink related painting into a 3D printed lamp called "MilleFori".

Inspired by the shape and warmth of the cup in the painting, Crivelli went through a great number of sketches and design iterations before coming up with his final 3D printed reimagining of the painting.

A mechanical engineer by day, he has been exploring his creative side in his free time and 3D printing has piqued his interest for some time now. After becoming aware of the competition, he focused his search on “not so much on the shape of the element, but especially on the colors and patterns that can emerge from some details in the painting works.”

With this goal in mind, it wasn’t long before he found the painting and immediately saw a lamp in its prominently featured glass. "With different drawings steps, the circular down pattern of the glass became quadrangular and took the top position becoming a technical distributor of light creating a luminous effect similar to the chromatic effect of the painting," he said.

From there, early sketches turned into a 3D model which in turn was sliced to be printed using the Color Jet Printing (CJP) process by 3D Systems.

Similar to other sintering based 3D printing techniques, CJP relies on a powder and a binder that gets selectively solidified based on the 3D print file being executed. As the 3D print process moved along, one layer at a time, Gabriele’s lamp started to form (as can be seen in his contest submission video below).

When it comes to contest challenges, he didn’t even touch on the complexities of 3D design and 3D printing but instead discussed the challenge of trying to create an object that “evoked a feeling of warmth” like he discovered in the glass of the painting.

So what’s next for this creativity infused mechanical engineer? In the short term, he’s hoping to use 3D printing technology as a tool to sell his unique products in limited numbers. I also imagine he’ll enjoy his contest winning of €2.000,00 in cash as well. I do say, what a wonderful world we live in that a mechanical engineer can enter a contest on a food & drink archiving website only to win by using modern 3D printing technology by reimagining a 17th century painting for inspiration.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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