MINIMALS, which is currently being exhibited at Boston’s Axiom Gallery, is a work by my friends and labmates Jonathan Bachrach and Jonathan Ward. In the academic world, they both research “digital assembly,” or the idea that in “the future,” we will be able to make anything out of reusable, discrete blocks of interesting and varied geometries and materials. I think it’s pretty cool to see that research applied to an art piece about the resolution limits of perceiving familiar things (in this case, animals) in an increasingly digitized world.
The production of this piece was quite a sight to behold. 3D printed positives were used to create silicone rubber molds into which urethane plastic was cast to make hundreds of plastic parts.
Combining a single 3D print with traditional casting techniques is a great quick and inexpensive way to make lots of customized parts. If you aren’t lucky enough to own your own 3D printer and need to make lots of things, don’t despair. Just remember that project completion can be only a Shapeways order and a call to Smooth-on away!