s4When people looks towards 3D printing usually they don’t think “intricate, fine detailed sculpting.” After all, most desktop 3D printers on the market are based on FFF/FDM technology, which isn’t known for its high resolutions. One designer out of London, named David Rencsenyi, however, sees things a tad bit differently, thanks to the Form 1+ SLA 3D printer from Formlabs.

Rencsenyi, who works as a 3D modeler at Pinewood Studios in London, got into the world of 3D modelling at the very young age of 15, over one decade ago.

“Games and films sucked me in and I just knew I wanted to do something like that,” explained Rencsenyi. “As the years went by I tasted every aspect of the post production process, but digital sculpting was the area I liked the most. So I focused all my efforts on modelling. I moved to London a few years ago to learn from and work by the side of the worlds best and this is how I ended up in the heart of the movie industry: Pinewood Studios.”

At work, Rencsenyi is used to modelling props such as guns, statues, vehicles, etc. They are all modeled water-tight so that they may be 3D printed on any number of machines. He also spends quite a bit of time on his personal artwork, particularly a piece he had modeled last year. On a trip to the Tate Britain art gallery, he saw Sir Frederic Leighton’s famous sculpture from 1877, ‘An Athlete Wrestling with a Python.’s6

This summer he decided to purchase a Form 1+ 3D Printer in order to be able to experiment printing his own work. For his first major project he got a bit daring, choosing to print out a 22 cm tall statue he had modeled based on Sir Frederic Leighton’s piece.

Because of the size that Rencsenyi wanted to print his model — which dwarfed the 165 x 125 x 125 mm build envelope available to him with the Form1+ — he had to break it up into several sections.

“It was meant to be made out of 8 pieces, but in the end I struggled printing the legs successfully so I cut up 5 failed leg prints and fixed them together,” explained Rencsenyi to 3DPrint.com. “So technically it’s 11 pieces but I’m working on a new revised version that’s only 7 pieces.”

After about 30 hours (45 if you consider all his failed prints) of printing, it was now time to begin cutting, gluing, and painting his masterpiece.

“I modelled pegs in Zbrush with the appropriate tolerances to make sure it’s an easy fit and there’s space for the glue as well. I stuffed the hollow model with clay for weight and then I used superglue to attach the parts,” stated Rencsenyi.

s3Overall the piece turned out fantastic, with little to no trace that it was ever 3D printed. With intricate detail and no major noticeable seams from piecing all the body parts together, you might just mistake Rencsenyi’s work for that of Sir Frederic Leighton himself.

Since this first print of his, Rencsenyi has been working on several other projects including a 28-30 piece, 25cm tall macaw skeleton. He has also begun to set up a business around his intricate printed models, an online boutique offering high quality modern 3D printed art. As for his thoughts on 3D printing and art?

“3D printing is a great opportunity for artists like me,” he explained. “Starting from digital art I feel I’m heading back to traditional art. It’s kind of a reversed process, but I guess this is the result of the computer age. With 3D printing I’m able to materialize my work and it also helps me to get into the physical side of sculpting when I try to finish my models.”

Let’s hear your thoughts on Rencsenyi’s work in the 3D Printed Athlete/Python Statue forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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