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3D printing and injection moulding are all the rage these days. While home devices are still on the primitive side (Gadget Show reviews), the professionals are rushing ahead quickly. No matter what these new tools allow, the artistic challenges for sculptors remain as they always have been. Among many others decisions, they still must choose how best to pose, how to animate, and how to interpret their creations.

As part of our efforts to promote engagement with the park, we at FCPD have discussed making use of these technologies many times. We’ve wondered how we might encourage designers to use the Waterhouse Hawkins statues as muses to explore this new technology. We’ve discovered this already is happening.

3D printing Manuel Bejarano

Manuel Bejarano is the first sculptor we’ve discovered who has used Crystal Palace statues as a subject. His portfolio includes an extensive collection of custom-made dinosaurs species posed in contemporary interpretations. Scale model versions for some of the Waterhouse Hawkins statues are part of his “retro” set. At the time of writing this blog, he has produced models for Iguanodon and Megalosaurus.

These models are sold through the online merchant shapeways.com, which provides 3D printing and distribution services for hundreds of designers and sculptors. Dinosaurs are a popular category in this service. Printing can take many forms – colours, materials, and scale can each be varied – so there is a great deal of flexibility in what a customer can specify in their purchase.

We purchased two variations of Megalosaurus.

Megalosaurus retro 1/72 Frosted Ultra Detail (cost €28.80 exVAT+delivery) has a chalky, light,  brittle texture. It shows very fine detail and expression, especially in the skull and the feet.

Print Print

Megalosaurus retro 1/72 White Strong and Flexible (cost €13.02 exVAT+delivery) has a rubbery, heavier, and more flexible texture. Details are less prominent both because the print resolution seems slightly lower and because the plastic used does not become opaque consistently, so thin areas as more translucent. This changes what draws the eye, and it takes work to see the finer detail. This model works best where texture dominates over detail, so the mid-rift skin works better as a surface.

Print

Overall, these seem expensive models, more for the enthusiast than for use as a toy. As the cost of printing quickly drops, however, the potential for this medium will grow. It’s exciting to see how fast the products and the productions are improving. The more we can encourage their development, the better.

 

 
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