3D printed book of bas relief from Art Institute of Chicago


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It seems weird to present this in a “book” format, given that it’s unlikely anyone using the 3D printed “pages” for their intended purpose (to act as molds to create copies of the works out of other materials) would choose to store the molds in that manner - assuming they even bother to keep the physical molds around when the digital files for them are available.

I also wonder why the files are designs for printing molds to be used to make copies of the objects, rather than simply being designs for printing copies of the objects themselves directly. If the concern is printing resolution, the molds would suffer just as much in that regard as printed copies of the objects themselves.

And then there’s the question of why these handful of pieces specifically? Who would use this? What endeavor necessitates these files? I could understand perhaps wanting them in order to visually study these specific objects, but why do you need a physical recreation printed in reality as opposed to a virtual one rendered on a screen?

It’s all very neat on a “Yay, 3D printing is keen!” sort of level, but I’m not seeing much practicality.

Interesting stuff and right in the same tradition as Victorian plaster-cast collections such as the one at the [V&A.][1]
[1]: http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/t/the-vanda-cast-collection/


Bass relief? Is it what you feel when your fishing trip finally results in catching something else than a cold?

It’s not just “molds to make copies.” FTA:

In addition to the scans all the texts have also been translated into braille so that low sighted and visually impaired people can experience the reliefs and identify what they are.

I love the idea of books that allow blind/visually impaired people to enjoy great works of art. I hope that someone comes up with a portable e-reader that could provide a similar tactile experience—maybe a hi-res, electronic version of those “pin art” screens.


you’re right it is “weird” - like my first 3D printed book - Orihon - part of my goal is to contextualize this material in a book format, it opens up lots of interesting avenues to me such as seeing these objects then end up in libraries etc. “Books” are important, we locate culture in them. we use them to transmit ideas through time and space. Sure the internet is useful for that too - but i’m coming at this on one level as an artist so i’m not always super concerned with it being a logical thing to do. the intended purpose is to locate them in the book, but in order to make copies, like u might on a xerox, i figured giving people the option to make an impression in a mold was a good solution.

i picked these pieces in discussion with folks at the Art Institute of Chicago where i was Artist in Residence during the first half of 2014. In my prior 3D printed book all the pieces were quite high relief, i chose this time to use low relief (bas relief) pieces so that the pages would be thinner and i could “bind” them more or less like a “proper” book. The reason for printing them rather than just studying them on the screen is in part to see them in the round, in part to be able to touch them and in part so that copies can be made from them. Plus when the power goes out the book doesn’t go dark.


From the photo, the book is already dark enough. :stuck_out_tongue:

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Thought… could the relief surfaces be printed on an inclined board? So there is no need to print in layers, as only a single layer is sufficient? The entire printer would have to be inclined, or only the base (and then move the head in all three directions instead of scanning in one plane), but the filament could be laid in a single- (or just few-) layer thickness. The inclination of the base, in combination with the maximum steepness of the relief, would have to be chosen so the overhangs would be still less than what causes problems…


next time i’ll print it day glo pink


i don’t know. interesting idea though.


I personally find this and the previous book project to be really, really cool. I love the concept as well as the execution. Kudos!

This new learning amazes me, Sir Bedevere.


thank you!

A fair point - and it seems yet again, I fall prey to cognitive biases!

Being sighted, even despite having lived with a blind friend for a while a few years back and coming to appreciate just how much I take for granted about my vision, the tendency to forget that not everyone experiences the world as I do still crops up on me!

Ahh, human failings.

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