Dec 7, 2016 | By Julia

In support of Manchester’s new transport expansion, Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) has commissioned a stunning new 3D printed sculpture, titled Timeform Intersection. Don’t expect to see MMU Professor Keith Brown’s new artwork in a gallery anytime soon though. As part of Metrolink’s inauguration of the St Peter’s Square tram stop, Timeform Intersection was buried earlier today in a time capsule underground the transport hub.

Timeform Intersection by Keith Brown

The new tram stop at St Peter’s Square opened at the end of August, and construction is expected to be fully complete early next year. Once finished, the new tram line will shuttle over 36 million passengers through the city centre, easing congestion and facilitating Manchester’s continual expansion. To mark the occasion, the city has buried a Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) time capsule beneath the new stop, where Brown’s 3D printed sculpture will live on for eons to come.

Manufactured at the MMU’s 3D printing centre, the artfully entangled sculpture speaks to “the notion of multiple crossings between entities of different size and shape,” Brown said. “As well as alluding to the complexities of the Metrolink crossing, the sculptural composition also relates to the many interconnections and collaborations between neighbouring institutions, as well as connecting the present to the future.”

Timeform Intersection was initially created through the computer-assisted design of Autodesk’s 3ds max, and was later 3D printed on a Stratasys Fortus 360mc FDM 3D printer. Commissioned for the TfGM time capsule, Timeform Intersection was 3D printed in non-biodegradable ABS plastic, so as to survive unchanged into the future.

Known as an innovator in the field of 3D printed fine art, Brown chose to create this piece through additive manufacturing as he felt it best represented MMU’s focus on innovation, culture, and technology.

The Transport for Greater Manchester time capsule being buried at St Peter's Square

Along with Brown’s 3D printed sculpture, the TfGM time capsule contains notable accoutrements from across the city, including a signed Coronation Street script, a BBC film, Manchester United and Manchester City sporting memorabilia, and a copy of chef Adam Reid’s Great British Menu.

All are now buried underground at St Peter’s Square, where an inscription marks the landmark for commuters. “The Second City Crossing is just part of a wider multi-million pound transport package that heralds a major period of growth for the city region and the North,” Metrolink Director Peter Cushing told press. “It’s great to freeze this moment in time for future generations at this pivotal point in time for the city region.”

Keith Brown (right) at the MMU 3D printing centre



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