Mar. 6, 2015 | By Simon

When it comes to purely conceptual 3D printing projects, leave it up to artistic duo //benitez_vogl to knock your socks off with their wild and crazy projects.  

Last time we heard from the team, which consists of Margarita Benitez, a Fashion Technologist and Assistant Professor at Kent State University's Fashion School, and Markus Vogl, Assistant Professor at the University of Akron, they were working on a project solely focused on using 3D printed exoskeleton sleeves to create a temporary “snake skin” effect on human skin.

According to their website, Benitez and Vogl “question contemporary issues concerning technology, such as exploring the mediation of information in our lives.”  For their most recent project, the team decided to focus on interpreting game data of an American football game and visually telling a story using a sculptural form.  

Titled VS:0.02 [gridiron], the project interpreted a 60-minute game and used 3D printed depictions that visually condensed all of the gameplays into a single frame.  To create the piece, the duo used data from publicly-available sources and analyzed the travel of the ball in the game for every play.  Using 3D modeling software, they were able to build arcs based on the distance that the ball traveled.  The sculpture was printed using a large-scale Gigabot 3D printer.  

As any American football fan knows though, there are always two teams per game.  In order to keep the flow of the game recognizable from team to team, each of the teams was assigned their own side with the kickoff team starting on the right side. The plays were then numerically advanced from the back of the sculpture to the front. Among other games that the team has visually presented in physical form was Super Bowl 49, which took 5 days to complete.  

Although the project is taking a different route from what we normally hear about with 3D printing replacing traditional forms of manufacturing, it is projects like these that help us keep an open mind as to what’s possible using 3D printing as not only a tool but also as a new way of communicating conceptual ideas.  

For those interested in seeing the 3D printed sculpture in-person, the duo will be premiering at the BOX gallery in Akron, OH.  For those that can’t make it to the opening exhibition, the show will run until April 4th, 2015.


Posted in 3D Printing Applications


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