Budmen Industries exhibition mixes 3D printing with art

3D printed design is slowly starting to enter the homes of those outside the 3D printing community with a range from Ikea and the much hyped Carbon x adidas futurecraft 4D shoe.

Budmen Industries is a design house that brings together creativity, technology, and industry. Founded in Philadelphia by artists Isaac Budmen and Stephanie Keefe, Budmen Industries recently unveiled All of the Lights, an immersive installation of 100 unique 3D printed lamps in a dark room.

The process of making of the display is as illuminating as the lamps themselves.

The "All of the Lights" display. Image via Budmen industries.
The “All of the Lights” display. Image via Budmen industries.

Spotlight on fabrication

The artists drew the lamp designs by hand before digital sculpting them using CAD tools. Some of the designs were purely geometric (including spirals and low poly shapes), others reflected bodies in motion, and the rest resembled natural and artificial objects.

Once prepared, the designs were 3D printed from a white translucent material. on a Budmen BUILDER large scale FFF/FDM 3D printer. All 100 lamps were 3D printed over 453 hours using 4.5 miles of filament.

A Budmen BUILDER 3D printer manufacturing a lamp. Image via Budmen Industries.
A Budmen BUILDER 3D printer manufacturing a lamp. Image via Budmen Industries.

Reconciling manufacturing and individuality

According to the artists, All of the Lights “represents a bright future where individuality is celebrated and reflected in environments that are as unique and complex as we are.”

To maintain the individuality of the lamps, the artists ensured that the finish on them was raw, with “striations similar to those seen on rock formations and tree bark,” and that imperfections in the process (intentional or not) were retained.

This includes random holes due to the filament skipping a section, and different tones caused by varied temperatures, a disruptive technique also used by artist Toby Zeigler. The increasing complexity the shapes of the lamps also reflects 3D remix families.

A 3D printed lamp with visible layers. Photo via Budmen Industries.

Promotional, but heartfelt

According to Budmen and Keefe, “the installation redefines craft for the 21st century, combining sculpture and digital fabrication to create an immersive glimpse into the future.” 

There is little doubt that the installation is promoting the forthcoming Budmen BUILDER 3D printer. Nevertheless, the physical crossover of art and manufacturing, mixed with some timely ideas makes it both aesthetically pleasing and a memorable gesture.

Make your nominations for the 3D Printing Industry Awards 2018 now.

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Featured image shows Isaac Budmen (L) and Stephanie Keefe (R) at the installation. Photo via Budmen Industries.