New York-based 3D printing services bureau Voodoo Manufacturing is teaming up with Wide Open Arts to assemble a crowd-sourced 3D printed city. The city will be called Babel and is inspired by the biblical tale of the origin of human languages. The installation will be made up of buildings, towers and structures designed by volunteer artists and is set to be put on display at the 2016 Outsider Art Fair in January. Submissions will be open to everyone, and any received designs that adhere to the dimensional and structural criteria will be evaluated by Wide Open Arts.
The best designs will be 3D printed by Williamsburg-based Voodoo Manufacturing before being incorporated into the babel installation. Any artists who have their designs selected for Babel will be fully credited at the curated booths accompanying brochure as well as given credit on the Outsider Art Fair website. The first place prize given to the best design will receive a $1000 honorarium. The entire Babel project and installation space will be judged and curated by independent artist and designer Leah Gordon.
“We are in search of contemporary, modern and ancient towers; industrial or religious; fantastical or utilitarian; brutalist or gothic…from air traffic control towers to bell towers to tower blocks and skyscrapers. Imaginary cities and surreal structures have long been the domain of many outsider artists. This exhibition aims to create a collective multi-authorial installation that descends from the Fluxus mail art movement. ‘Babel’ is the 21st century mail art for the digital world,” explains Wide Open Arts.
The designs will be separated into four individual bounding boxes with towers and buildings of similar size. When submitting the final design, the artist must designate which of the bounding boxes their design is intended for. Because of space and cost the chances of a building being printed is higher if it has been designed for some of the smaller display boxes. There will be four different bounding boxes:
A.) 3.5 x 3.5 x 12 cm (1.3 inch x 1.3 inch x 4.7)
B.) 5.5 x 5.5 x 15 cm (2.1 inch x 2.1 inch x 5.9 inch)
C.) 8 x 8 x 25 cm (3.14 inch x 3.14 x 9.8 inch)
D.) 12 x 12 x 30 cm (4.7 inch x 4.7 inch x 11.8 inch)
Voodoo Manufacturing and Wide Open Arts suggest that designers keep in mind the maximum overhang and bridge length of the PLA material being used for the tower designs. Typical PLA prints can manage a 68 degree overhang and a two-inch bridge without needing support material. All towers must be designed with wall thicknesses of at least 3mm and should be designed to be as support-free as possible, as any designs with excessive supports or requiring a lot of cleaning may be disqualified. Gordon will attempt to notify designers of any printing issues, but depending on the amount of entries that may not be possible. Any towers intended for bounding box C or D must be designed to be divided in half and printed in two 150mm (5.9 inches) parts that can be joined together.
In order to submit a tower, digital artists simply need to produce a 3D printable CAD file in STL format of a tower or tall structure of their own design. The project must be titled and include a brief 250 word explanation of what the tower design means and why it was designed. The project description must be saved as a PDF and include the designer’s full name, title, email address, descriptor text and which specific bounding box category the work was designed for. Once completed, the designer simply needs to email the STL and PDF of the design to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. All files must be sent as downloadable links via Dropbox or Google Drive, NOT as attached files. The submitted files must be labelled:
BABEL_FIRSTNAME_LASTNAME_PROJECTTITLE_BOUNDINGBOXLETTER (A, B, C or D)
Babel is currently accepting submissions and will continue to do so until midnight GMT on Friday, January 1st, 2016. Designers will be notified if their work will be featured in the exhibit no later than Sunday, January 10th, 2016, and the Outsider Art Fair will be held from January 21st to the 24th, 2016 at the Metropolitan Pavilion located at 125 West 18th St, New York, NY 10011. You can find out more information about the Babel submissions process here. Learn more about Voodoo Manufacturing here, and discover more about the Outsider Art Fair on their website. What are your thoughts on this initiative? Discuss in the Voodoo 3D Printed City forum thread on 3DPB.com.