MakerBot Replicates Works Of Art At CES
January 10, 2013

CES 2013: Aritist Uses MakerBot To Replicate Famous Sculptures

Lee Rannals for — Your Universe Online

A few years ago, I saw an inventive 3D printing machine sitting in a tiny booth at CES in Las Vegas. Who knew, just a couple years later, MakerBot would be as big as it is now, and inspiring one artist to create bronze sculptures.

I had the opportunity to speak for a moment with MakerBot CEO and co-founder Bre Pettis today here at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show, and to hear his passion about what he hopes the 3D printer inspires, was inspiring in itself. A product of that intuitive thinking is some of the work done by Cosmo Wenman.

At the MakerBot booth here at CES, Cosmo had some amazing bronze sculptures on display that he made, with the help of the 3D printer.

Wenman was able to spend some time at the British Museum and scan a few famous sculptures, including: Head of a Horse of Selene, Acropolis, Athens, 438-432 BC; Portraits of Alexander the Great: -300, 1440, 1945, Hellenistic Greek 2nd-1st century BC; and Antikythera Mechanism, Hellenistic Greek, 1st century BC.

With these scans, the artist was able to use his MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer to make some authentic, museum-quality replicas.

After MarkerBot spit out a few of the sculptures with its MakerBot PLA Filament, Wenman was able to use some finishing processes to help create the amazing replicas.

Wenman used AutoDesk 123D Catch to scan the original marble of the horse head and bust of Alexander the Great in the British Museum. He then used Blender and Netfabb Studio Basic to edit the images for printing.

Antikythera Mechanism was finished with a Salvage Bronze to make the sculpture really come alive, while the bust of Alexander the Great was reinvented in Lost Bronze, Firenze and Wrecked Iron.

One of the beautiful things about this, aside from the actual artwork, is the fact that Wenman was able to use a terrific invention like the MakerBot to assist him. What the 3D printer is capable of doing is limited only by the creativity of the one who utilizes it.

After talking to Pettis, it was obvious that being in the business to make money was more of an afterthought. He truly believes in these products inspiring people like Wenman to use them to their fullest and to advance the world. Only time will tell what stories will unfold from these inspiring inventions.