AMS Spring 2023

3D Printed Graffiti Spray Can Characters – From Customization to Breast Cancer Awareness

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We have covered stories on a man named Fernando Sosa in the past. He is famous, or should I say ‘infamous’ for his 3D printable political sculptures, in which he sells on his Shapeways shop as well as his website. They range from products such as the Vladimir Putin Butt Plug, to the Senator Mitch McConnell turtle. His designs will either totally infuriate you, or turn you into a rolled up ball on the floor, laughing hysterically. Whether you love what he does or you hate it, you must admit that this very liberally minded 3D designer certainly has a huge amount of talent.

spraycancancerEverything that Sosa does is not meant to make fun of or offend others. He actually does have a conscience, and isn’t just focused on fun and games. This can be seen in one of his lines of 3D printable characters, which we will refer to as Graffiti Spray Can Characters.

“I designed [the first] piece about two years ago as a personal project because I’m an avid graffiti fan,” Sosa tells 3DPrint.com. “I originally made this piece to be about 4 inches tall and tested it on my [3D] printer. Later I designed a line of spray cans using 3D printed color sandstone. You can see my collection on Shapeways.com. I even designed custom ones for individual business[es] or artists.”

A mix between Garbage Pail Kids, which anyone between the ages of 30 and 40 probably remember, and Oscar the Grouch from Sesame Street, Sosa’s characters are certainly quite the entertaining little figurines. It can easily be seen why businesses would be interested in having Sosa design a custom Spray Can Character for them. They are attention grabbers that may remind you a little bit of that old grandfather that is so grumpy that he comes off as being kinda cute. Priced between $23 and $49.99, these characters measure between 3.8 and 6 inches tall. For Sosa, it’s not just about making cute characters and profiting off of his designs. He also has a huge heart.

“I designed one just to fund-raise money for Breast Cancer Awareness and donated all of the profits to the American Cancer Society,” Sosa told us.

Shapeways is not the only means in which Sosa has been developing these Spray Can Characters. He wanted to test how big he could 3D print them on his own desktop 3D printer, which has a build volume of 5 cubic inches. To do so, he broke his character into separate smaller pieces, and was able to create a 15 inch tall version (as seen below).

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“I pretty much print it in pieces, glue them together, prime them with automotive primer and later airbrush them,” he said. “However, my painting skills aren’t as good as I would like so I decided to do a collaboration with funsnuf. He is an amazing artist on Instagram and he does excellent work.”

The results of the collaboration are quite amazing, as you can see below. Painted in high detail, Sosa’s character came out looking even better than what can be done using Shapeways’ industrial level 3D printers.

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It wouldn’t surprise me to one day see these characters on an even grander scale. They have everything it takes to become quite the sensation among businesses, children, and just plain old hobbyists. What do you think about Sosa’s Characters? Discuss in the Graffiti Spray Can Characters forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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