3D Printers

Echoviren — A 3D Printed Sculpture of Size, Style & Natural Substance

Currently, in a rural corner of Northern California, an impressive 3D printing project is taking shape. The proponents of this project are Smith|Allen (aka Stephanie Smith and Bryan Allen) who are participating in the Project 387 Residency, located in Mendocino County, and taking place from August 4-18, 2013. Mendocina county is particularly noted for its redwood forests, and in the heart of one 150-acre forest in the region, Smith|Allen  are putting together ‘a site-responsive, 3D printed architectural installation called Echoviren.’ At the intersection of architecture, art and technology they are looking to ‘explore the dialectic between man, machine and nature.’

Echoviren 3D printed partsEchoviren is an ambitious 10 x 10 x 8 foot 3D printed sculpture, obviously not printed in one piece, rather it is composed of 585 individually printed parts, with sizes range from 5 x 9 x 8″ to 0.5 x 9 x 9. They are all printed in a translucent white PLA material — a plant based bio-plastic that will decompose naturally back into the forest in 30 to 50 years — on a battery of consumer grade Type A Machines desktop 3D printers. Echoviren is being 3D printed and assembled on site by the artists — so far they have completed just over 10,000 hours of printing. This project is about passion — and impressive it is too.

“A graft within the space of the forest, Echoviren is a space for contemplation of the landscape, of the natural, and our relationship with these constructs. It focuses on the essence of the forest not as a natural system, but as a palimpsest.” The sculpture offers a stark and artificial comparison against the natural palette of reds and greens of the forest. According to the artists: “Walking around and within the structure, the aim is to show that the viewer is immediately consumed by the juxtaposition, as well as uncanny similarity, of the natural and unnatural: the large oculus, open floor, and porous surface framing the surrounding coastal landscape.”

Echoviren Type A MAchines

Echoviren exposes an ecosystem of dynamic natural and unnatural interventions: the interplay of man and nature moderated by technology over the centuries.

Source: Type A Machines

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