The art of sculpture requires complexity and sophistication to supplement the smallest details of every aspect of the figure. Particularly, 3D sculptures of animals such as deer demand an experienced sense of visualization and particularization to ensure the expression of the animal is conveyed to the audience.
Paco Raphael, a graphic designer, pop artist and graduate of The Hague University in Amsterdam, utilized 3D printing technology to create life-sized deer sculptures inspired by a documentary he saw in 2011. The sculptures were then captured in dynamic and energetic cities like New York to display a pop-art like theme.
Conceptually, Raphael intended to portray the innocence, purity and elegance of deer in more lively and active ecosystems. The unique placement of the sculptures in conventionally incongruous environments further emphasized the grace of deer, which led to the popularization and mainstream media coverage of Raphael’s work.
“This animal was so pure, so gentle, so noble. Wouldn’t it be nice if I could put the deer in a dynamic city like New York, expand it and put it in a neon color? This resulted in a series of pop art collages. I have worked it out and made them into five different versions with different deer in different cities,” Raphael said in an interview.
At the beginning of his project, Raphael first experimented with various scanning software and 3D printers to select the most suitable and efficient system for the production of sculptures. Amid his struggles to discover applicable 3D printing technology-based platforms, Paco attended 3D printing events, visited companies and participated in conferences to secure a partner that could lead the production phase of the project.
After comparing a list of platforms, companies and experts, Raphael finalized his plans to use the i.materialise platform to print large-sized figures.
“Placed next to each other after receiving all the results, I finally chose i.materialise because the quality was very good, the surface was clean and smooth, and because they can print large sizes,” said Raphael.
Almost immediately following the selection of i.materialise, Raphael consulted a 3D designer to find digital sculpting software to design a mockup of the deer sculpture. He used ZBrush, a professional digital sculpting tool developed by Pixologic, to create detailed structures and designs of his sculpture.
With designs, structures, measurements and 3D scans acquired, Raphael began to produce the sculpture through i.materialise. Initially, Raphael created statues of deer with a height of 30 cm and printed them in Paintable Resin to give the deer a smooth surface. Then, he went on to paint the statues with neon colors to support his theme of pop art.
Extending his success in printing small-sized statues, Raphael went on to create deer figures with a height of 50 cm using his previous 3D design. He had the design printed again, then used it to create a mold.
“It is beautiful to see how old and new techniques come together. To make the model as beautiful as possible, it was important to show the details and contours of the deer. With a 3D print, this is much more visible than with a clay version. So that’s why I chose 3D printing again,” he explained.
Throughout the entire process, Raphael realized the potential of 3D printing technology and its capabilities. As he continued to pursue his project, he developed an ambition to create life-size deer statues with the 3D printing system he established.
Eventually, Raphael intends to 3D print deer statues that are 4 meters tall, which are taller than the combined height of two average-sized human beings. Discuss in the 3D Printed Deer forum at 3DPB.com.[Source/Images: i.materialise]