3DP Applications

A 3D “Alphabet of Alphabets”

Some time ago Johnson Banks started a research project called Arkitypo with one of their clients, Ravensbourne. The aim was to develop and showcase the 26 letters of the alphabet in 3D, using 3D printing technology. For those who haven’t come across this brilliant story before, here is a profile of the project.

The interesting aspect to Arkitypo is that each letterform is unique following the logotype on which it is based. The team undertook an extensive research programme in order to come up with the full scale of fonts and styles. For example the letter “A” is Akzidenz Grotesk, an early sans-serif typeface from 1896. The letter “E” represents the font Engravers (which is also used in our logo) that is a typical design style for engraving into metals such as gold and silver.

Before actually printing the alphabet letters the team went through ‘virtual proofing’. After all parties were happy with them, the printing started. Some of the letters took as long as 8 hours to print and the entire project lasted for six months.

The alphabet was originally put on display at the global engineering firm Arup’s offices in London, then at Ravenbourne’s Greenwich Peninsula Campus earlier this year. It was also on show at the Personalize Pavilion a couple of weeks ago. This is a truly inspiring 3D printing project that exemplifies all the positive aspects of the technology. We want to profile it here for anyone that was unable to see it in person.

You can view the full alphabet in the image gallery below or watch the video which rotates each alphabet letter. Kindly refer to Johnsonbanks’ ‘Thought for the week’ for the full alphabet description.

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More on this topicPalaeontology and 3D Printing