Wednesday, December 26, 2012

All I Want for Next Christmas . . .
is a compact, desk-top, 3-D replicator.

Head of Serapis (plastic), created by MakerBot
(the original is on display at the Walter's Art Gallery, Baltimore, Maryland)
MakerBot employees travelled to the museum, and using their own digital cameras to capture items in the collection,
built their own copies in miniature inside the MakerBot Replicator.

Have you ever seen a sculpture in a museum that you wanted to draw, but wished you could move it into a different lighting set-up first?  Have you come up with an idea for an art product but cannot come up with a good-looking prototype?  Do you want to paint a self-portrait but hate using mirrors?  Have you ever pictured a complex setting for a figure painting, but did not have the time or ability to make and light the perfect maquette?

 If you have, then a possible solution to your problems can be found in a desktop 3D replicator like that made by Brooklyn-based MakerBot Industries.  Their newest model, the Replicator 2, is their 4th generation model, and it uses heated PLA plastic (made from corn starch) to build up, layer-by-layer, three-dimensional representations of digital design plans.

This past fall, the award-winning MakerBot opened its first retail store, located on Mulberry Street in New York City.  Visitors to the store can step into the first fully-automated MakerBot 3D Photo Booth, and for $5, have a 3D scan made of their face.  For a little bit more (price varies depending on the size of the finished product), customers can then have their scans made into a small, take-home bust.  And if you would like, you can also buy your own Replicator (prices start at $2199.00), and start building your own projects.

The MakerBot Store is located at 298 Mulberry Street in New York City.  They are open from 12 PM - 7 PM, Monday through Saturday, and from 12 PM - 6 PM on Sunday.  For more information, visit their website or call (347) 457-5758.  MakerBot also has a site called "Thingiverse," which features creations made on the company's Replicators (by clicking on the images below, you can visit the corresponding Thingiverse demonstration page).

l. Head of Serapis (Roman), c. image capture by Todd Blatt, r. MakerBot sculpt from scan

Portrait of a Man (original:  Walter's Art Gallery)

Portrait of a Man (origina:  Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore, Maryland)
Left:  MakerBot copy of original ⟷  Right: speculative restoration by Todd Blatt

Head and Shoulders of a Sphinx of Hatshepsut (original: Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York)

Egyptian bowl (original:  Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York)

Castle of the Maker Empire (original design)

The Puritan, a Sears kit house sculpted after designs found in the 1926 Sears and Roebuck catalog.

3D rendition of the cover to Sid Meier's Civilization game.

Bre Pettis, CEO and co-founder of MakerBot Industries,
explaining the build volume capacity of the Replicator 2 (410 cubic inches)
Photo (c) 2012 Louis Seigal //

Paris Building

Beethoven Mixtape (Beethoven bust designed to hold music collection in its head)

Brown Bear (ursus arctos)
(inspired by the dioramas at the Museum of Natural History in NYC)

Shofar (a functioning ram's horn trumpet)

Dragon Automaton

A Dalek from the sic-fi series, Dr. Who

Three sizes of heads available at the MakerBot Store using the store's MakerBot 3D Photo Booth for scanning

Person scanned using Kinect and ReconstructMe software, then cleaned up in MeshMixer

Miniature bust from a scan of a guest at Maker Faire, Detroit, July 28, 2012

Miniature bust from a scan of a guest at Maker Faire, Detroit, July 31, 2012
(check out the mustaches!)


etc, etc said...

I think it's the most exciting technology for artists ever. I don't think one can assume as a given that museums will go the route of public sharing, though.

Jason de Graaf said...

There's already a better 3D printer than MakerBot. By next Christmas that one will probably be surpassed as well.

Check this out..

Lynne Rutter | the Ornamentalist said...

This is extremely cool! I'd want mine to be a bit bigger, maybe. but just imagining the possibilities! wow.