Mar 25, 2016 | By Benedict

Dutch author Patrick Berkhof is using 3D printed props as an incentive for backers to preorder his debut fantasy novel, Djizary—Het Levende Systeem. Early backers of the book can receive a 20cm 3D printed model of a mechanical staircase used by characters in the story.

Berkhof, an inventor, designer, and author of fantasy literature from the Netherlands, is hoping to soon become familiar with the printing press, as he oversees his crowdfunding campaign to fund his debut novel, Djizary—Het Levende Systeem (Djizary—The Living System). But in order to secure the necessary €3,333 from backers, the aspiring author is first turning his attentions to a different kind of printing.

As an incentive to potential readers, Berkhof is not only offering backers the opportunity to secure a first edition of the novel, he is also offering them 3D printed steampunk props, inspired by objects within the story world. Berkhof’s decision to marry storytelling with 3D printing is both a marketing strategy and a storytelling aid, as the author believes that physical representations of textual objects can help stoke a reader’s imagination.

The author has used 3D printing to create a 3D printed model of a set of “rent-stairs”, an unusual invention used by the characters of Djizary to get over walls. Since the labyrinthine world is incredibly hard to navigate, this can apparently be the simplest way of getting from A to B! The 20cm tall 3D printed rent-stairs fit together like a model kit, taking around 10 hours to print and assemble.

The first 3D printed props are being made with the utmost attention to detail. Four different types of PLA filament have been used by Berkhof to create a realistic and unique model. The steps themselves are printed in woodfill PLA, the motor and piping with copperfill PLA, and the rest with two different colors of standard PLA. The blend of antique, Victorian-style wooden parts and chunky mechanical components is typical of the steampunk aesthetic, which Berkhof has tried to bring to life in his debut novel.

All backers of Berkhof’s campaign will have their name listed in the acknowledgements of the book. A donation of at least €20 will secure an early bird copy of the book itself, while €155 is the price for the book plus 3D printed rent-stairs. An extremely luxurious “suitcase” edition of the book can be ordered for €500, a package which will also see the backer’s name made into the name of a street within the story.

Berkhof’s venture represents one of the first instances of 3D printing and literature going hand in hand—a move that could be followed by authors and publishers in future. At present, Djizary is only available in Dutch, but the author hopes to develop an English translation should he exceed his campaign funding goals. Keep up to date with his progress on the Djizary official website.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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