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In November, we wrote about how i.materialise was sponsoring a Designer of the Year Award for 2015. This competition has been going on annually since 2013, and in the past it has recognized some outstanding design work from Italian design team AmniosiyA and Danny van Ryswyk, for example. This year, we see an equally talented Swiss design team, Drzach & Suchy, win the 2015 Award after all of the votes were counted in i.materialise’s community poll. The award is based on the team’s exceptional 3D printed art pieces, and if you look at the other nominees (including Jewery Designer Desmond Chan and Fashion/ Jewelry Designer Francesca Paolin) you see that this is a highly competitive award featuring some of the top 3D designers out there. So, what is so special about Drzach & Suchy’s work?

Zurich-based Drzach is an architect combining art and design, and Suchy is a software engineer and cryptographer who experiments with holograms and a variety of materials and techniques. You can see the range of areas each designer covers when you check out the two 3D printed art pieces Drzach & Suchy contributed to the competition.

The first piece is entitled “Got M?” and it is based on the Shadow Casting Panel (SCP) technique that Drzach established in 2004. This technique uses varying forms of illumination to reveal different images from the same physical objects. (In “The Force,” another work based on this concept, 10,000 lego pieces show either Yoda or Darth Vader depending on where the light shines.) With the second winning piece — “Got M?” — milk is poured over the 3D printed panels to “hide the supporting structure and provide a projection surface for the colored shadows.” These panels change imagery as lighting changes, with the milk backdrop serving as the shadows’ projection surface.

See how “Got M?” works below:

“Got M?” uses 3D modeling software and i.materialise’s 3D printing services to create panels using transparent resin. And we see here how this team’s artwork evolves with 3D printing technologies. Transparent resign was not available as a material when the team worked earlier on a similar project, and they had to assemble that work manually, pixel by pixel. You can imagine how 3D printed resign panels free the designers up to work on other aspects of the art pieces, instead of spending hours on assembly.

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The next winning artwork from this team is called “haiku,” and it is made up by 3D printed word panels in polyamide mesh that can only be read in certain settings. As we saw back in November, the magic of this piece is visible in shadows cast in water, inspired by water striders that play upon the surface of a pond.

You can see more about how exactly this works in the below video.

Although competition was quite stiff in this design competition, Drzach & Suchy came out on top with their innovative designs which prompt the viewer to acknowledge how shadow and light make images contingent on their surrounding environments. The combination of 3D design and printing skills with natural elements, like light and water, makes this team’s design work stand out among the growing body of 3D designed and printed art.

Congratulations to Drzach & Suchy, and we look forward to seeing more from them in the future! Tell us what you think of these innovative designs in the Drzach & Suchy Win Award for 3D Printing forum over at 3DPB.com.
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