You remember ultra-creative 3D printing artist Ioan Florea, right? The Romanian-born artist first made other 3D art enthusiasts sit up and take notice when he designed a fascinating 3D printed liquid metal Ford Gran Torino in 2013. He later worked on an elaborate 3D printed liquid metal house in 2014, and unveiled a wildly colorful 3D printed art-covered Chevy Camaro at the 2015 New York International Auto Show. He was considering auctioning off the Camaro last year; he said people seemed more drawn to that piece of car art than his Gran Torino. Now we’ll have a chance to see if his other vehicular 3D printed artwork can bring in some money: Barrett-Jackson, a leader in collector car auctions, is taking the custom display Gran Torino to its Arizona auction next month, and hope to find it a brand new garage to call home.
They will attempt to auction off this non-running, abstract car at their Scottsdale auction, and have it on the block for more money than a new Ferrari 488. Thousands of bidders are coming to the auction, to compete for at least one of 1,600 rare vehicles on display and for sale at the event. Back when he first unveiled the 3D printed Gran Torino, Florea said he wasn’t sure if there would be any “commercial value” to the car, so time will tell if anyone tries to bid on his artistic creation in January. He says his theory behind the Gran Torino is that it’s “supposed to symbolize the bridge between the second Industrial Revolution of Henry Ford’s assembly line and the third Industrial Revolution of 3D printing.”
According to Florea’s artist statement, he became fascinated by bones while exploring the Transylvanian wilderness as a child in the Communist regime. The government forbade citizens from slaughtering their own animals for food, but people did anyway, and would later hide the animal bones in the forest.
Florea writes, “I was very intrigued by the interesting shapes of the vertebrae and I started to collect turning them in toys, carve and draw on their surface. Also my grandmother use to save the bones and make soap for washing laundry and I was very fascinated by the alchemical process of transforming the messy leftovers in something pure.”
He was also interested in clay’s ability to turn into plastic, and how mud could be transformed into bricks. This fascination turned into a specialization in 3D textured painting and sculptures. The 3D printed liquid metal Gran Torino was modified using his innovative 3D printing technique, and took 150 prototypes to create. Thanks to his collaboration with 3D printer manufacturer voxeljet, Florea has nearly full complimentary use of one of the world’s largest industrial 3D printers, the voxeljet Jet Binder, and uses it to 3D print the abstract shapes you see on both his Gran Torino and Camaro.
“In my paintings I integrate and explore different new pigments and lightweight materials and I get inspired from the world of nanotechnology,” Florea explains. “I developed my own custom 3D image fused resin and pigment transfer of my shapes on canvas and I also use liquid metal paint that I formulate. My paintings have double function addressing both the visual and tactile senses.”
If you are interested in bidding on Florea’s 3D printed liquid metal Gran Torino at the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction, mark your calendar: it starts on January 14th, and continues until January 22nd. If you want to bid, but won’t be able to get to Arizona for the auction, you can still participate using the Auction Insider app on your computer or phone. Discuss in the 3D Printed Gran Torino forum at 3DPB.com.[Images: Barrett-Jackson & Ioan Florea]