3D Printing

Project Firstborn Uses 3D Printing to Take Handmade Sculptures into the Digital Era

Jacopo Truffa, a young set designer from Rome, has had a passion for new technologies and sculpture ever since he was very young, Through low-cost 3D printers, he found a way to better relate these two interests and, after working behind the scenes for other people’s projects, he has launched a Kickstarter campaign for his first sculpture project, “Firstborn”.

The project is based on a series of nine wax, wooden, and plaster sculptures made with traditional techniques. The artworks will be digitized and, once they exist as digital files, they will be uploaded to the artist’s website. On this website, the user, just like a visitor at a museum or an art gallery, will be able to admire them. At the end of this very personal tour, the user will be able to buy and download the 3D files of the chosen sculptures, to either print them at home or in a 3D printing shop.

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It’s not the first time that an artist has used 3D printing technology to create artworks that were impossible before. Leveraging the customization potential of personal 3D printing, Truffa relies on the users to produce the final artwork. In so doing, the artist and the art enthusiast both play an active part in the artwork creation process.

“This way, we have a direct dialogue between artist and user,” says Truffa, “where the 3D printer is the ultimate medium that transforms this dialogue from an abstract dimension into [physical] reality. Only through the union of these three elements – artist, user, printer – the artwork can be created: everyone plays an active part in the creation of the artwork, so every sculpture is unique. The variables that influence this process are endless [while at the same time the process itself] doesn’t damage its uniqueness. In fact, it exalts it, because every work is not replicable.”

F unita low

“Firstborn” favors a reduction in the production costs of the sculptures and democratizes them, making the artwork cheaper and accessible to everyone. The artist’s goal is to demonstrate that 3D printing doesn’t only change the way of creating sculptures; it can also change the way that this form of art is distributed. In a way, it follows in the footsteps of Artficial, a project that we have often covered on 3DPI in the past.

The “Firstborn” series will only be sold as part of the Kickstarter project, which is actually only seeking an initial funding of €500 to take off, with each digital sculpture available for as little as €10 (and package offers that are even more convenient). Once the project closes, they will be gone forever, so if you are interested in this approach to sculpture and art in general, you might not want to miss this chance.

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