3D Printing Applied to Modern Sculpture

Even if you have never been to the mythical town of Pompeii and you haven’t seen the astonishing remnants of the ancient heritage solidified by the great tragedy, now you have a chance to see the original and artistic vision of those who perished.

ZORTRAX M200 3D Printing Sculpture Marcello Silvestre Sculpture by Marcello Silvestre inside Zortrax M200 3D printer

79 A.D. that Went 3D

It appears that the ancient city of Pompeii is not only a place where citizens made a tragic tribute to the forces of nature, but also a massive inspiration for various artists. One of them, Marcello Silvestre from in3dart decided to use the additive manufacturing technology to help him embed the silhouettes of the tragically died in a form of modern sculptures. Apart of his great admiration for the past masters of sculpture he chose to create something entirely different apply the latest technology to show his artwork in a completely new light. Being a fan of smart and reliable solutions he finally take advantage of the Zortrax M200 3D printer which gave him the necessary quality and accuracy – so essential when it comes to complex and delicate structures. Yet another aspects that ensured him of making a good choice and released from major bothers was the Zortrax Ecosystem. As the artist claims he required “a printer that had a good print quality and low error rates. I did not want to play with parameters such as temperature, speed, etc. I just wanted to concentrate on the creative process and not waste energy on the printer settings every time. I therefore welcomed the “closed ecosystem” characteristic of Zortrax”.

ZORTRAX 3D Printed Sculpture Marcello Silvestre 3D printed sculpture and 3D model

The Shape and the Speed

As his expectations were finally met, his projects could develop freely. The designer used some of his favorite modeling programs like Sculptris, Rhinoceros and Blender that allowed him to “sculpt in a professional and comprehensive manner” and create models that can be easily exported to the Z-SUITE – a dedicated Zortrax Software and one of the key elements of the Zortrax Ecosystem. However, apart from the ease of use of this turnkey solution, the designer stressed also another advantages given by the technology itself and the Zortrax 3D printer like: “the possibility of giving the matter to the many drawings scattered in the drawers and the many hours of computer modeling. It was the tool I was looking for for years to be able to combine my passions and my skills: the art and sculpture with my technical skills in the field of three-dimensional computer design.”

ZORTRAX 3D Printed Sculpture Marcello Silvestre Designing the sculpture

A Dash of Ash

When it comes to the very process of 3D printing, the artist usually divides the models into a few smaller parts that can be further assembled. As the adhesive solution he uses is made from the small parts of the Z-ABS printing material solved in acetone there is in fact no need to look for any particular glue. After he got his pieces bond well, he goes forward to the next step which is post-processing, that in this case is made primarily to achieve the effect of metallized parts. To make this Marcello had to prepare a special mixture of resin and metal powder, after obtaining a uniform mass the substance is carefully applied on the surface of the finished prints. It is worth to remember that before this step we need to make the surface extra smooth for better adhesion of the liquid cover. To achieve such effect it is recommendable to polish the surface with sandpaper, changing the grit for the bigger each time. Such kind of post-processing technique gives not only a visually aesthetic look that reflects the sculptures made of metal, but in this particular case was probably used to remind the look of the bodies of the ancient Pompeii citizens that were covered with a thick layer of Vesuvius ashes.

ZORTRAX 3D Printed Sculpture Marcello Silvestre Post-processed and painted 3D printed sculptures

3D Print the Pristine

Although the interpretation of the art pieces should be an individual matter it is hard to neglect that the author presents a complicated vision of the human condition. Complex structures of entangled human bodies remind great tragedy but also show an astonishing vision of selfishness and devotion as some of the figures are shown as supporting the others, while the other ones as climbing upwards on the other peoples backs. Each piece done by Marcello is undoubtedly a challenge and a trial of each people’s morality and ethics confronted with the traumatic situations.

ZORTRAX 3D Printed Sculpture Marcello Silvestre Details of the 3D printed sculpture by Marcello Silvestre

The Smart Art

It’s definitely worth seeing how various approaches towards the art and its techniques can lead to different and interesting results. As we are far from ensuring you that nowadays substances like Z-ABS or Z-ULTRAT can become the contemporary marble, we can admit that they are successfully utilized in art. Being a designer and architect that once, convinced by the capacity of the latest technology, joined the group of the digital sculptors, Marcello Silvestre created works of art that interlink the future and the past.