Oct 6, 2016 | By Tess

Rosie the Riveter, for those unfamiliar with her red headband and blue work-shirt, is the cultural icon that represents the hardworking women who took on factory and shipyard jobs in the United States during the Second World War. Now, just as Rosie the Riveter helped to build up and sustain America during its hard time, makers can now help to build up Rosie the Riveter through We the Builders fourth crowdsourced project.

We the Builders, the popular sculpture crowdsourcing initiative, has just launched its most recent project: building a 33” tall 3D printed Rosie the Riveter sculpture. The sculpture, which is based on a design by Baltimore maker Jen Schachter, is part of Baltimore’s Digital Harbor Foundation, for which Schachter is Special Projects Manager.

If you haven’t heard of We the Builders before, it is an initiative that brings together makers from all over the world in order to construct scale replicas of sculptures for public exhibition. Their process essentially invites makers to request a file to print from the sculpture (which has been sliced into compact 3D printable parts). Once the part is printed and checked the maker ships it back to We the Builders in Baltimore where it is added to the sculpture.

For the Rosie the Riveter statue, Schachter modeled a 7” version of sculpture out of clay and wire framing, which was then 3D scanned and scaled up to 33” by Direct Dimensions. Then, using Netfabb, the We the Builders team was able to slice the model into 289 individual parts, which the initiative is asking you to help print.

To make the final sculpture as authentic as possible, We the Builders is requesting that makers who participate in the project stick to a color code for the parts they choose to print. That is, to capture Rosie’s iconic color palette, they are instructing parts that make up the headband to be printed in red material, and parts that make up the shirt to be printed from blue. For her hair and skin, they are requesting dark and light materials respectively.

Beyond the color requests, there is virtually no limit to what types of materials you can use to print your designated part. As the team explains, “We love having our builders send us parts in all kinds of diverse materials. Our past projects have included parts made from ABS, PLA, PHA, wood, resin, metal plated, UV reactive, bronze filled, glow-in-the-dark, and multicolor dyed and filament-swapped parts.”

To participate in the crowdsourcing sculpture movement, simply go to We the Builders’ website and click “Give me a file to print”. Once your file is printed, you can send them a photo and dimensions of the part and they will confirm whether it is ready to be shipped. Currently, the project is less than half complete, but We the Builders are confident that they will be able to complete the Rosie the Riveter statue by the end of 2016. Like their previous projects, the Digital Harbor Foundation will help in the assembly of the final piece.

We the Builders has up to now completed three crowdsourced projects, which have been featured at a number of maker events across the northeast, including various STEAM events and even at the White House. As is especially evident with their current project, the collective group seems to have really taken Rosie’s famous motto to heart: “We can do it!”



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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Todd Blatt wrote at 10/12/2016 7:30:14 PM:

Thanks for your concern, Mick! We've actually done this three times before with hundreds of parts and they always turn out great. Head over to the site to check 'em out. www.WeTheBuilders.com and I hope you're able to contribute! Thanks, Todd

mick wrote at 10/7/2016 4:55:10 PM:

Cool but, is your printer calibrated? To mix and match from many different printers I would worry about each part dimensions being off.

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