The intersection of evolving printer technology and open source art is growing vaster and vaster. From 3D printed instruments to actual fucking food, our ability to mass produce an artist’s work with their approval in the comfort of our own homes is becoming not just tenable, but desirable.
Now, 3D printer artist (they exist now!) Tom Burtonwood has stepped it up a little. The man who miniaturised Duchamp’s fountain and turned it into a working Pez dispenser has now turned his intricate focus onto bas relief sculpture and multimedia bookmaking.
Burtonwood, who once said “As the sampler was to hip-hop so 3D printing is to sculpture and designed objects”, has taken the sculpting style of relief (where it appears as though the sculpted objects are protruding from a flat surface) and documented its existence across two thousand years, from ancient Egypt to India to the founding of America. The final product is a carefully conceived, thick cut plastic book where the 3-dimensional pieces sit flush thanks to ingenious design.
If you’ve got a 3D printer, you can go ahead and download the schematics right now at MakerBot and if you’ve got a spare fifteen minutes, check out some of Burtonwood’s other incredible creations. It’s incredible that works and methodologies that have permeated through so many cultures across such a huge historical expanse can now be reproduced in a matter of hours in our own house. Or you could just make your own 3D printed Vladimir Putin butt plug. Whatever.
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