Oct 9, 2016 | By Tess

In the world of architecture there are few structures as poignant and awe-inspiring as Gaudi’s famed Sagrada Familia temple in Barcelona. The massive church, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, began construction in 1882 and is famously still not finished being built over a century later. On a slightly smaller scale, maker and 3Doodler artist Cornelia Kuglmeier has recently completed a 3Doodled version of the Sagrada Familia, and let us tell you, while the replicated temple is miniature, it is still amazingly impressive.

Cornelia Kuglmeier, a German school teacher, took on the project of replicating Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia with a 3Doodler PRO, a professional-grade 3D printing pen earlier this year, and finally after four months of working on it day in and day out, she has completed it. Kuglmeier, who aptly said, “I like big challenges”, has gone into some detail about how the process of building the famed temple with a 3D printing pen went.

Looking at the detail of the final product, it is not surprising to hear that Kuglmeier spent much of her time actually researching the temple’s architecture and Gaudi’s building plans. As she explains, before starting to 3Doodle the building, she first had to understand Gaudi’s architectural style, such as his hanging model curved towers, and the organic looking pillars and support structures. One of the first challenges in planning out the design, according to Kuglmeier, was actually finding Gaudi’s floor plan and making her own stencils based on them.

“I first did some very long and some very detailed research,” the maker explains. “Then I made myself stencils where I counted on heights and relations on the different parts, and even drew in some decorations to see how much space it would take.”

One of the most challenging parts of designing and creating the 3D printed Sagrada Familia was to replicate the church’s three façades which detail the life of Christ in three scenes: Nativity, Passion, and Glory. The main challenge, she said, was that in real life only the Nativity façade is fully completed, meaning that she had to base the other façades on less detailed models and images which she found online.

The level of detail that Kuglmeier was able to accomplish with her 3Doodled Sagrada Familia is truly inspiring, from the turrets, to the arches, and even to the stain-glass windows. As one can imagine though, much time and patience were required to achieve such intricate results. “I didn’t count how many times I wanted to throw it against a wall,” explains the maker. Kuglmeier used a number of techniques to get the church’s design as accurate as possible, from forming still hot plastic with pincers, to oven-baking the colorful windows to make them as realistic as possible, to using her 3D printing pen upside down to assemble certain delicate parts.

The 3Doodled Sagrada Familia, which was made up of 1,050 strands of plastic, was for the most part built in separate pieces, as Kuglmeier traced the stencils she had made. Once the individual parts were completed, she then had to assemble them, which itself was a complex task. She explains, “I Doodled all the parts first, put together the towers, the facades and the church naves and then started assembling from the middle - Christ’s tower - in each direction. Having them all at the right height, sitting straight and at the right angles was very difficult; besides, as organic forms meet geometric forms, putting the pieces together was not always easy, or the form itself grew so edgy that my hand with the pen almost didn’t fit in.”

Finally though, after four months of hard and painstaking work, Kuglmeier completed her ambitious project and has a lot to show for it. To see the real Sagrada Familia completed, we may still have to wait another ten years.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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