Jun 29, 2015 | By Simon

Ever since they first hit the 3D printing scene in February of 2013, the 3Doodler 3D printing pens have helped thousands of makers, artists, designers and engineers create 3D ‘sketches’ in ways that were previously never possible.  

The pens, which extrude heated plastic filament that cools almost instantly into a solid, stable structure similar to a fused deposition modeling (FDM) 3D printer, have been used to create everything from lamp shades and architectural models to even decorations and jewelry.  

But while the applications for the pens are seemingly endless, some creative uses for the pens tend to stand out more than others - including the various sculptures that have been created by artist and sculptor Justin Mattarocchia.  

In an interview on the 3Doodler blog, Mattarocchia describes his design process as a series of building up shapes starting with some loose reference points.  Among his more well-known examples include his life-size humanoid skeleton ‘Plastic Man’, which he unveiled last year.  

"I started by drawing out on some foam core project board a rough face shape, laying out where the eyes, nose, and mouth would be,” said Mattarocchia.   

“Then I traced over it with the 3Doodler and built off of that original outline. Getting curved features can be tricky mid air, especially if you don't have a form to work on, so I decided to think in polygons. I would form triangular shapes off the initial trace, and continued to build off them until a face feature was formed. Once the initial polygonal structure was in place, I could then either build off that, or fill it in, by running back and forth between the lines of the polygon."

Now, US automaker GMC has taken inspiration from the art and technology aspects of Justin Mattarocchia’s design process for the Plastic Man and have recently presented the process in one of their new advertisement segments - along with the inventor of the 3Doodler himself, Mr. Peter Dilworth.  

“At GMC, we admire art and technology and its elevation of both in the hands of artist-sculptor Justin Justin Mattarocchia," says the company.   "For part 2 of our series, Justin introduces us to his life-size Plastic Man sculpture, and shows us how GMC technology helped craft his unique vision."

Using the company’s latest backup camera sensors, which are used to aid in the parking process, Mattarocchia was able to provide his robot with unique 3D vision.

"Having their cameras to work with, giving him sight, through that, is terribly exciting," says Mattarocchia in the video. "I just want to make something great, something grand, something beautiful."

While the Plastic Man has been upgraded to include vision, Mattarocchia doesn't plan to end there. With his 3Doodler in hand, Mattarocchia is also planning to fill out the interior cavity of Plastic Man with internal organs. While we don't know yet if the organs will be 'smart' like the sensor-laden eyes, we wouldn't be surprised if Mattarocchia's creativity led him towards using another piece of smart technology to help bring Plastic Man to life.


Posted in 3D Printing Applications



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