Ao Gitsune Takes 3D Printing Over our Heads With Ankou, the Levitating Skull

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Forget the old idea of the ubiquitous lightbulb floating over the cartoon character’s head, indicating a bright idea. This has quite literally, been taken to a higher level! The team at Parisian design company Ao Gitsune has conceptualized the comprehensive flow of the imagination with a 3D printed levitating skull they call Ankou, created by Guillaume Kuntz and Arthur Clement.

Arthur Clement and Guillaume Kuntz, designers at Ao Gitsune

Arthur Clement and Guillaume Kuntz, designers at Ao Gitsune

“Levitation is one of the first absolute laws on earth, so powerful that it affects everything. It is very similar to passing time. We decided to use gravity as a metaphor for time. Being able to break away from the attraction is a subtle yet strong metaphor to show the ‘infinite’ power of human imagination against the relentless force of time. The little idea made its way, step by step – a challenge as magnetic levitation won’t allow design errors – gathering knowledge, skills and a lot of time” explains Guillaume Kuntz.

Ankou comes from celtic mythology, regarding “a god whose function is the perpetuation of life cycles.” A couple of years ago, Ankou was merely a sketch with the concept that “modern vanity is about trying to fit in our daily life a symbol that embodies this reflection.”

Now the object has been brought to full fruition as a reward for this team who worked with the concept and science of electromagnetic levitation using trial and error to bring Ankou to the desired form. Weight of materials was a concern with the 3D printed object, and for something suitable enough to allow the object to levitate, they settled on Sculpteo’s polyamide material which was lightweight enough, weighing in at about 0.9 g/ cm3.

blue ankou

Ankou, blue

The polyamide material also allowed for the aesthetics they were searching for with Ankou. This is exhibited in the colors and polishes they were able to achieve. Ankou is evolving into other projects as well, going from what might have been an illumating mascot, into a full product line, and another area for the design company with a focus on items such as; home furniture, bathroom objects, office accessories and lighting products

Edmund art toy

The Edmond Art Toy

With more pieces currently being added to the collection, such as Edmond, the designers have figured out how to transform the original art installation of Ankou into an everyday object for everyone. There are two versions of Edmond:

  • A DIY six-foot-tall art toy that the customer assembles according to a video. It will be available in blue, orange and black, with a white limited edition.
  • The Edmond Origami Art Lamp, uses LED technology and is both a sculpture and a lamp. It will be available in white, with three finishes for the braided wire: intense red, sapphire blue or steel grey.

Ankou-levitating-skullAo Gitsune, Japanese for blue fox, is a company putting 3D technology to work for them, and especially in the creation of all their prototypes.The company’s pieces are currently available in France and Belgium, as well as their online store.

Using an SLS printer (Sculpteo uses either OS Formiga P100, P110, P395, and P730s) Ao Gitsune produces their objects at a high precision. Their prints have a precision of 100 µm, and even reach 60 µm when Batch Control is activated.

Have you 3D printed anything like this as an object of art, or seen anything similar? Check in with us at the Ankou forum thread on 3DPB.com

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