Oct 7, 2015 | By Kira

Every year, from the 15th to the 19th of March, the quiet town of Valencia receives up to three million visitors from across the world to celebrate one of the biggest and most outrageous festivals in Spain. The festival of St. Joseph, more commonly referred to as Las Falls, literally, ‘The Fires’, is a five-day celebration focused around the creation and destruction of giant wood and papier-mâché statues, measuring up to six feet tall that, at midnight on March 19th, are simultaneously set alight in a blazing display of fireworks, smoke and flame. However, one of the most important moments of the festival is a religious ceremony known as the Ofrenda de Flores a la Virgen de los Desamparados — the Offering of Flowers to Our Lady of the Foresaken. Thousands of men, women and children dressed in traditional Valencian costume converge on the Plaza de la Virgen and construct a towering homage to the Virgin herself out of freshly picked flowers.

The Offering of Flowers to Our Lady of the Foresaken is a towering statue covered entirely with flowers

For the 2016 celebration, local 3D printing and digital fabrication company Stuyo 3D is offering the chance to all Valencian citizens to be made into 3D printed models of themselves, which will be used to build a towering, 16 meter tall (52.5 feet) replica of the Ofrenda de Flores a la Virgen de los Desamparados. If successful, it will be the largest 3D printed statue ever made, and will require over one thousand 3D printed townspeople. According to Stuyo 3D, this is an unprecedented project that invites all members of the community to make both Valencian and 3D printing history. 

Stuyo 3D told 3Ders.org that to build the statue, they will be using a 1:10 ratio. That means that the individual 3D printed figurines will measure approximately 16-18 cm tall, and once combined, the statue will stand at 16 meters tall and 5 meters wide. Each individual statue costs €55, with €5 of each sale donated towards a local charity, the Fundación Mare de Déu dels Innocents i DesamparatsThe goal of the project is two-sided: to make 3D printed technology known to the people of Valencia, and to make Las Fallas known to the world.

"Do you want Las Fallas 2016 to make 3D printing history?"

The 3D printed composite statue will be on display in the Nuevo Centro, one of the oldest shopping centres in the city, and at the end of the week-long festivities, participants will be able to collect their 3D printed selves and bring them home to commemorate the occasion. In order to construct the main statue and accurately represent the population that makes up the celebration, Stuyo 3D requires 700 men, women and children in traditional costumes, 80 brass band musicians with their instruments, 230 townspeople in civilian clothing, and 10 flower bearers. Registration to take part opens today, via Stuyo 3D’s website, and will close once they have achieved the required number of participants.

Roughly 700 of the 3D printed models used to make the statue will be of people like these Falleras and Falleros, Valencians in traditional costume

Given that Las Fallas and the Offering of Flowers is the biggest and most anticipated celebration in the Valencian community, and one of the biggest in all of Spain, it’s not hard to imagine that people will jump at the opportunity to participate in such a personal and unique way. Since the model for La Virgen de los Desamparados changes every year, the company was not yet able to tell me about what the final design of their 3D printed statue will look like, but they will be hard at work for the next five months in order to pull off the impressive feat.



Posted in 3D Printing Applications





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