Wednesday 13 March 2013

The seed of an idea realised

CFPR Editions is pleased to announce that we have recently complete the first 3D printed bulb series for the artist Gordon Cheung. By using an Identica dental scanner (with assistance from Robert Keogh at 3dScan Alliance in Bristol) we were able to record the three dimensional surface of a tulip bulb. The capture data was then used to create five separate files as part of a devolutionary print series. 

In the photographic recording above you can see the five devolutionary stages of the bulb that begins with the original high resolution 3D recording on the left (constructed of 381,774 triangles) toward the simplification or decimation of the object as a pyramid structure on the right. Before the printing process begins the 3D files are set to a specific number of triangles that are then 'cleaned' (by adding or subtracting triangles in a 3D software program) to make sure that the model is 'water tight' for the printing process. The print ready object is then uploaded to the 3D print on demand company imaterialise to complete the process. 

The company is able to render 3D files in a range of materials and in this instance the model is 3D printed in wax then dipped into a ceramic slip - an ancient process known as lost wax casting. The ceramic coated bulb is then baked in an oven that melts the wax whilst hardening the ceramic exterior, creating a shell that is then filled with molten brass. The brass is then plated to have an 18kt goldish appearance. 

The relevance of the tulip bulb for the series refers to the Rothschild bulb that was selected by the artist whilst visiting Amsterdam earlier this year. The artist explains that the bulb is named after one of the most powerful banking family dynasties in history and therefore a principle player in spreading Capitalism globally. More examples of Gordon Cheung's work and activities can be found on his website here.

Collaborative print team contributors include: Peter Walters, Robert Keogh, Gordon Cheung and Paul Laidler