Mar 4, 2019

3D Printed Sculpture – 10 Most Jaw-Dropping Pieces of Art

There are many phenomenal 3D printed sculptures out there. Here, we give you an overview of the most stunning statues to have been made through additive manufacturing.


3D Printed Sculpture Nesurak

Ervinck's cyborg sculpture on display. Source: nick_ervinck / Instagram

This colorful 3D printed sculpture is the result of cooperation between Belgian artist Nick Ervinck and the 3D printing service provider Materialise. Inspired by aliens, robots, and science-fiction creations, Ervinck’s artwork appears as a heroic god statue from the future — like a mask from Mayan and Incan cultures with a Star Trek flair.

The futuristic sculpture measures 40.9 x 19.3 x 21.3 inches and is made up of 200 pieces. Materialise produced the individual parts with laser sintering machines. The pieces were sent to Nick’s studio where the artist smoothed and colored the surfaces before putting them together to make his cyborg sculpture.


3D Printed Sculpture Girl with the Oar

Pokras Lampas next to his statue. Source: Esquire

Russian graffiti artist Pokras Lampas is well-known for his calligraffiti work and collaborates with big brands, such as Lamborghini, Adidas, and YSL.

In 2018, Lampas recreated the lost Soviet statue “Girl with the Oar” for the 90th anniversary of Moscow’s Gorky Park. The original 26-foot-high sculpture was built in the 1930s and is an example of Socialist Realism. The nude sculpture was criticized as too vulgar, thus it has disappeared from the Gorky Park.

During the reproduction of the statue, the calligraffiti artist first designed a digital 3D model based on photographs of the original sculpture. Then, the relatively young 3D printing company Temporum printed the model in pieces of just 12 inches. Finally, they were assembled to a 13-foot-tall sculpture. The entire working process took almost two months!


3D Printed Sculpture Yeezy Boost Glitch Sculpture

Unreal meets real. Source: Shane Griffin

You may know the Yeezy Boost Glitch sneaker as a collaborative work between Adidas and musician Kanye West. What you probably don’t know is that artist Shane Griffin replicated the footwear to a 1:1 scale shoe sculpture representing an optical illusion of virtual manipulation. 

The New-York-based artist first 3D scanned the original footwear using photogrammetry. Then, he twisted and distorted the shape of the 3D model to reach an optical illusion. Eventually, the model was 3D printed into three separate tiers of white PolyJet resin and assembled as a  6 x 6.7 x 10-inch sculpture.


3D Printed Sculpture World's Tallest 3D Printed Sculpture

James Bruton presents the largest 3D printed sculpture in the world. Source: Guinness World Records

James Bruton, known as the YouTube maker of XRobots, broke the Guinness World Record with his 3D printed sculpture in 2017. The record-breaking statue of himself is almost 12 feet high and weighs 110 lbs!

The Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries from Portsmouth University helped Bruton by 3D scanning him, thereby creating the digital 3D model. The design was then meshed into individual pieces, which were produced by two Lulzbot 3D printers. The printers worked nonstop and finished the last component after 500 hours! The entire work process took about two months.


3D Printed Sculpture Poly

The bronze statue at Georgia Tech, Atlanta. Source: Julian Voss-Andreae

Julian Voss-Andreae isn’t only an artist but also a studied physician and mathematician. Thus science is a crucial source of inspiration for his art. It shouldn’t be a surprise, then, that he used 3D printing for his bronze sculpture “Poly”.

Within 10,000 hours, he 3D printed 100 molds with PLA filament using LulzBots printers. These pieces served for casting the female-shaped statue in bronze.  

The 3D printed sculpture was revealed in 2017 and can be seen at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta.


3D Printed Sculpture Token Homes

The sculpture in King Square, London. Source: Matthew Plummer Fernandez

This piece of art by British artist Matthew Plummer Fernandez is a critique of the housing crisis in London. He, himself, struggled to find a place to live in the British capital. With “Token Homes”, he criticizes the way that many homes are seen as an investment rather than a place for living.

The 10-foot-high sculpture is composed of 400 miniature homes, which the 3D printing startup Fluxasis printed on a Fortus 900mc 3D printer. The service provider is a sister company of engineering design firm Stage One, where Plummer Fernandez worked as an artist-in-residence.


3D Printed Sculpture Bio-Digital Sculpture

Maintaining the bioreactor. Source: NAARO

What do you get when a design studio collaborates with a research institute? Tremendous installations that give insights into the microbiological world!

The sculpture “H.O.R.T.U.S. XL astaxanthin.g” simulates the growth of substratum inspired by coral morphology. It’s the result of collaboration between ecoLogicStudio and the research institutes Synthetic Landscape Lab at the Innsbruck University and CREATE Group from the University of Southern Denmark. 

The artwork is the world’s first 3D printed bio-reactor. Its experimental structures were algorithmically designed and then sectioned into 185 different construction units. The parts, weighing 597 lbs in total, were entirely printed on WASP 3D printers for a total of 1,780 hours!

The statue is part of the exhibition “La Fabrique du Vivant” (“the Fabric of the Living”) at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, running from the 20th of February to the 15th of April.


3D Printed Sculpture Blooms

A fascinating result of the golden ratio. Source: John Edmark

Through his work, John Edmark demonstrates that it’s possible to create something remarkable when merging art and science. The Stanford University lecturer and designer uses 3D printing to create fascinating masterpieces such as the Blooms sculptures. Inspired by nature and geometry, the flower figurines animate when spinning them under a strobe light.

Thrilled by Edmark’s flower sculptures? You can buy your own Bloom flower or create one.


3D Printed Sculpture Bronze Tree Stumps

No watering necessary. Source: Nick and Rob Carter

Rob and Nick Carter are well-known artists, their pieces being collected by Elton John, the Beckhams, and many more notable people. They aim to reinterpret traditional art pieces using innovative technologies. 

One such example is their reinterpretation of Vincent Van Gogh’s famous “Sunflowers” oil painting from 1888, which they produced using 3D printing. For the production of the 23-inch-high replica, the Carters collaborated with creative visual effects studio MPC, transferring van Gogh’s painted image into a digital 3D model. The 3D file was printed with Visijet-X resin using a high-end ProJet 3500 printer, which can print with precision as high as 16 microns. Finally, the sculpture was cast in silicon bronze.


3D Printed Sculpture Caged Angel

Definitely surreal. Source: Eric van Straaten

Eric van Straaten is a digital sculptor who exclusively works in full-color 3D printing. He believes that the hyper surrealism of our daily life can only be realized through computer modeling and 3D printing. The Danish artist aims at physical expressiveness while preserving a certain digital feel.

His art consists of multicolor composite 3D prints, like the “Caged Angel”. This 14-inch-high sculpture is part of the Caged Girls series and shows the burden of young girls in contrast with their youthful hopes and dreams.

Would you like to get a deeper insight into Van Straaten’s work process? Here’s a video where he illustrates the little challenges of full-color 3D printing:

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