Aug 30, 2016 | By Max

Car manufacturer Nissan has produced the world’s biggest 3D printing pen sculpture. It’s a full-sized physical render of the Nissan Qashqai Black Edition and it’s made up of an incredible 8.6 miles of filament.

Grace Du Prez led the team that created this 4.4m-long and 1.6m-tall model. It took three weeks and more than 800 hours to produce this stunning work of art using 3Doodler 3D printing pens and nothing more.

This pen heats the PLA filament to 230 degrees Centigrade before extruding it through the 0.7mm tip. That’s 0.7mm of surface area to draw an entire SUV. Think about that for a moment.

The Qashqai isn’t on sale in the US, but it is Europe’s premium crossover and Nissan produces 58 of them every single hour at its plant in Sunderland in the UK. It has been with us for more than 10 years now and Nissan wanted to celebrate this landmark moment.

The Black Edition will still be a rare sight, even in Europe. Nissan will build just 3,360 units of the SUV with touches that include 19” ‘Ibiscus’ black wheels, special door sills and silver styling plates on the front and rear.

The car also comes with a panoramic glass roof that even De Prez couldn’t properly represent with the 3Doodler. Instead she settled on light grey panels for the sunroof, windscreen and light clusters.

Other separate parts like the running bars on the roof, the wing mirrors and the aerial for the stereo are all present and correct and the team has done a stunning job of creating a car that looks anatomically correct from a distance.

The front end is particularly impressive and Du Prez used metallic grey filament to reproduce the grille insert. A delicately placed Nissan logo completes the car.

Du Prez is a graduate of the Royal College of Art, who now works exclusively with the 3D printing pen. She has become an ambassador for the 3Doodler and has used this unusual medium for a number of high profile commissions for 3Doodler and other corporate clients.

"I've been drawing with 3Doodler's 3D printing pens for a few years now, but this is by far and away my most ambitious commission to date," said Du Prez. "It demonstrates how far 3D printing technology has come and how it can be used by anyone."

She was joined by regular 3Doodler artist Niki Firman and Kingston University’s Karsan Haval and it was a serious test of endurance, as well as their skill with the pen.

The team had to create an intricate lattice structure to support the weight of the filament and give the finished look that has the translucent appearance of plastic lace. It has a massive visual impact and Nissan will surely take it on tour to motorshows and possibly the dealerships.

The 3Doodler was launched with a Kickstarter campaign in 2013 and it has gone on to make a major impression in the 3D printing world. It’s a simple way to get started and artists like Du Prez love the freedom to essentially draw in the air. When she picked up the 3D printing pen, though, even she couldn’t imagine she would one day turn almost nine miles of filament into one gigantic sculpture.

3Doodler has formed partnerships with a number of artists to show the creative possibilities of the 3D printing pen. In 2014 Kade Chan made a pair of high-heeled shoes and Erica Gray followed up on this early success last year with a collection of sculptured catwalk fashion pieces.

It has given designers a new tool that has allowed them to create structures that were simply impossible before. 3D printing is an increasingly common sight in fashion, but the pen provides the designers with a quick and easy way to create the image in their head and draw directly on to fabric as required.

So this pen makes perfect sense for clothing. The Nissan, though, is on a whole new level when it comes to sheer size and stature.

The spectacular results will surely lead to more big projects in the months and years ahead, but don’t be intimidated. The whole point of the 3Doodler is its simplicity and novices can download stencil designs from the website to use with their 3Doodler Start or Create kits.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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