Additive Manufacturing Strategies

13 Pound Solid Gold Tiger Mask is 3D Printed in Japan – Selling for $500,000

ST Medical Devices

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tigermask2What is it with 3D printing? It seems as though each and every day brings with it a new vision by innovators throughout the world to come up with ideas which have yet to be used within the 3D printing space. Whether it was the first 3D printed musical instrument, first 3D printed car, or first 3D printed house, there is always room for further innovations and ultimately more “firsts” that can be accomplished in this rather juvenile industry.  Create something new within the 3D printing space, and you are sure to gain plenty of media attention.  Whether it is the desire for media attention or the simple feeling of accomplishment that drives these innovators, we are not sure, but certainly we all love seeing everything that is brought to fruition.

We’ve seen many 3D printed masks created by cosplay hobbyists, movie prop makers, and those looking to replicate costumes they see in videos games and films. However, what we have yet to come across is a 3D printed solid gold mask. That is until today!

One Japanese company recently received an order from a customer to have a custom solid gold tiger mask created. When it comes to making masks, there are many old-school methods to the madness, many of which are usually pretty time consuming and messy. If it isn’t placing plaster on a subject’s face in order to create a genuine replica, then it is taking tedious measurements using tools which lend themselves to many mistakes. For this company though, they elected to use 3D technology not only to create a precise model, but also to 3D print an exact replica of what they wanted the end product to look like.

tigermask4Once the 3D printed model was created, plaster was applied all around the mask before the 3D printed portion was heated and melted away, in the same manner as lost wax casting of jewelry is performed.

After the 3D printed mask was melted away, the company heated a large amount of gold to a temperature in excess of 1,948°F (1,064°C), and proceeded to pour the liquid gold into the plaster mold which originally housed the 3D printed object. Once the gold was completely cooled, the plaster was removed, leaving an astonishing gold mask which measured 18cm x 16cm in dimensions. The end product weighs a staggering 6kg (approximately 13.22 pounds), and is expected to fetch around 60 million yen (approximately $501,106) when sold.

Tigers have long fascinated Japanese artists, and this latest 3D printed Golden mask will certainly garner quite a bit of attention within the country and abroad. What do you think of this unique 3D printed golden tiger mask? Would you pay $500,000 for it? Discuss in the 3D printed tiger mask forum thread on 3DPB.com.

 

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