Welcome to another installment in a series of articles exploring how our customers are using 3D printing technology. Previously we shared the story about how we created a replica of the Worker and Kolkhoz Woman for the European Parliament history museum and an enormous Martian machine gun for an exhibition in Los Angeles, as well as how sculptor Dmitry Kavarga put 3D printing to work at the cutting edge of contemporary art.
In this issue we share the story of how 3D printing is employed in the Erarta museum of contemporary art. We interview Alexander Arkhipenko, manager of the Erarta design workshop, and Yan Dubravtsev, architect and design workshop employee.
Located on Vasilevskiy Island in St. Petersburg, Russia, Erarta is one of the most famous museums of contemporary art in the country.
This is the story of how the museum got involved in the world of 3D printing.
The museum workshop needed a printer produced by a recognized European manufacturer with a proven reputation for quality. A key requirement was that it should be able to print with two materials simultaneously, since the intricate models they were planning to build would require soluble support structures.
After a brief search and some consultation with our team, they decided on the Dutch-made Ultimaker 3 Extended.
The Ultimaker 3 Extended is essentially the same as the Ultimaker 3 but with a larger build volume of 215mm x 215mm x 300mm when printing with one nozzle and 197mm x 215mm x 300mm with both nozzles in operation.
Incidentally, we’re currently offering a gift package comprising eight spools of REC plastic modeling filament, two spools of support filament and a can of print platform adhesive spray in addition to the usual free delivery and training for all customers purchasing the Ultimaker 3 Extended from Top 3D Shop.
Erarta acquired their printer for manufacturing miniature souvenir copies of sculptures on display in the museum.
“We bought the printer so that we could set up our own souvenir production in the Erarta design workshop. Our first test pieces were scale models of sculptures in the museum collection. First we digitized the original pieces with a handheld scanner and used the resulting 3D models to print master copies. We then used those masters to create molds from which we cast a series of souvenir models in polymer. We can also produce portrait sculptures to order. We hope the printer will last us a long time.”
Before 3D scanning and printing, master copies for casting had to be hand-modeled by a sculptor, with absolutely no guarantee that the copy would accurately match the proportions and details of the original.
Creating scale copies of sculptures with a 3D printer is a breeze, and, most importantly, the resulting models are guaranteed to precisely match the proportions of the original. You can scan and print a modest-sized collection in the time it would previously have taken to create a single copy by hand.
“This is our first time working with this kind of technology. We never had a 3D printer before so we can’t draw any informed comparisons, but we’ll gladly share our overall impressions.”
“We were really pleased with how easy it was to master the settings, and the print quality is good for the price. Despite no prior experience, we were able to figure everything out for ourselves.”