3D Printing

3D Printed Art Project Project Egg Finally Gets Cracked

Do you remember last years Project Egg? Furniture designer Michiel van der Kley asked 3D printer owners all over the world to help construct a large egg shaped building by 3D printing the nearly 5,000 individual blocks needed. Well, Project Egg was finally completed and made its debut at Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven this October.

project egg 3d printing

It took a while, but the international 3D printing community came through for van der Kley and he received all 4,760 of the unique “stones” used to create the structure. Interested 3D printing enthusiasts simply needed to send him the printbed dimensions of their 3D printersand van der Kley would send a single STL file that would need to be 3D printed and shipped to him in the Netherlands. There was also an option to sponsor the printing of a stone by paying between $10 to $19 each, depending on the size and shape of the stone.

The project was conceived as a collaborative art installation meant to rethink how we as a society construct large-scale objects and how far he could push 3D printers and 3D design software. With this in mind, van der Kley designed his egg-shaped structure using Rhino with the Grasshopper plug-in, and each stone was completely unique in shape as a way to emphasize the versatility and power of 3D printing.

3d printing project egg build

“I did not want to give this ‘space’ a regular function, because I did not want to have a conversation about that. Its purpose is, to start with, to show other people what 3D printing is capable of,” van der Kley recently told the GrabCAD Blog. “It shows a maybe new world we’re entering where everything is different – the shape of things, the way we can produce, the way people can get evolved, maybe even the democratization of building things.”

project egg 3d printing assemble

The stones were designed to be 3D printed on FDM style 3D printers and optimizednot to require any support structures. van der Kley said that more than twenty brands of 3D printers were used to create the stones, and at least one of them was printed on an SLS printer.

Managing the individual stones and the final construction was a production in itself,requiring a lot of time, energy, and volunteers to complete, but, once assembled, the structure is quite striking. It almost looks unreal, like something out of a science fiction movie.

project egg 3d printing

“You have to see it with your own eyes in order to get it completely. It does something to you, standing inside and seeing the walls merging into the floor, and merging into the ceiling. It is as if you lose control for a second, and a lot of people that went in (something all of the contributors of project EGG had an opportunity to do) were almost touched by just being in it.”

van der Kley is calling this the largest collaboratively 3D printed object in the world, and, while I may have missed something, I couldn’t find anything that even came close. The structure ended up being a little over 16 feet by 13 feet by 10 feet in size.

project egg 3d printing

This is only the beginning for the Dutch designer. He says that his new project will be very different but have the same basic premise of making something large with a lot of small pieces. You can read his entire interview with GrabCAD, and you can keep up with all of his art and design projects on his website.