Have you ever stopped to think about your relationship with light? I’m not talking philosophically in terms of Star Wars and the light side versus the dark side, but actual illuminating light, which can give us the instant ability to see our surroundings and then take it away just as fast once extinguished.
Light, and lowlight photography, is the subject of, and inspiration for, a new series of 3D printed sculptures by Brooklyn-based graphic and motion designer and photographer Shir David, a recent graduate of New York University’s interactive telecommunications program.
David, who won a Magic Grant from Columbia Journalism School and Stanford University’s School of Engineering last year, is bringing her Light Scapes series of small-scale, 3D printed sculptures to the Currents New Media 2018 art festival in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The sculptures were previously shown at the ITP Spring Show last May, and at the World Maker Faire in September.
In her series, created for her thesis project at the ITP-NYU masters program, David wanted to, as Michael Abatemarco of Pasatiempo put it, “capture the allure of the commonplace.” She replicated scenes that she was attracted to due to their light, based on common experiences with light that I’m willing to bet most people can relate to, such as getting into the fridge for a midnight snack, sitting in the dark playing on our cell phone or laptop, or walking into an underground club with a neon sign above the door.
Her first 3D printed sculpture, Nightlight, was the result of an effort to use her available technology to document a common, domestic scene.
“The first sculpture that I did was called Nightlight. It was actually something that I did in this one class where we learned about 3D scanning and 3D printing,” David explained. “I made this sculpture of a girl sitting on her bed with her computer in the few moments before she goes to sleep. The computer is actually a light and it sort of functions as a nightlight, this whole sculpture.
“I thought about scenes that are really mundane, but we all experience them, like opening the fridge in the middle of the night.”
The 3D printed sculptures in David’s Light Scapes series depict a young woman standing outside the stairwell entrance to a bar, four boys sitting on a bench in front of a TV, and her roommate opening the door of an old-fashioned fridge. Interestingly enough, each sculpture is based on photographs.
“I love taking photos,” David said on her website. “Something about the way you can capture a moment and the light in it- fascinates me.”
In order to create each sculpture, David replicated the specific scene she wanted, then took several 3D scans of each scene from several different angles.
“The way 3D scanning works is you need some sort of array of photos that will overlap with each other. Then you process it, creating a 3D model out of the images,” David explained.
She then 3D printed her tiny, detailed sculptures in color, though she could also have manipulated this in the design stage if she’d wanted to.
David said, “I can also change the model, but that’s not usually something that I’m doing.”
After the pieces were 3D printed, David then attached light components, trying to copy from the original sources and capture the actual light as best she could.
“The fridge has three LED lights in it. It’s basically mimicking the blue light you have inside a fridge,” explained David. “The kids with the TV — I actually have a screen inside this tiny TV. It’s like a one-and-a-half-inch screen. The one of girl in front of the bar has this EL wire, which is mimicking a neon sign. The stairs are hidden inside the pedestal. If your head is near to the sculpture, you see that. It’s inviting you to get even closer.”
Each 3D printed sculpture is mounted on a pedestal, which also serves to conceal the electronic components and wires that power the sculptures.
Discuss this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts below.[Source: Pasatiempo / Images: Shir David]