AMS Spring 2023

Kepler’s Dream – 3D Printing Meets Obsolete Projection Technology to Create Beautify Eye Candy

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photos via Ann-Katrin Krenz

photos via Ann-Katrin Krenz

Art… It’s hard to define. Art can come in many different forms, including music, painting, photography, sculpting, and the list goes on. Many people wonder where inspiration for art comes from, and no one really has the answer.

Two students at the Berlin University of the Arts have come up with one of the most unique pieces of art that I have ever come across. Michael Burk and Ann-Katrin Krenz used a 3D printer to print out a digitally created, very intricate object. Once printed, they took the object, built a holding device for it, and positioned it over an old overhead projector. This was combined with other glass lenses to create what the artists thought would make for a unique display.

“Inspired by obsolete projection technologies like the overhead projector, and especially the episcope, an installation was designed that generates unique imagery and a fascinating experience,” wrote Michael Burk. “Mixing digital aesthetics – parametric and generative shapes – with the qualities of analog projection creates an otherworldly look that seems to be neither digital nor analog.”

The 3D printed design is spherical to allow for it to be spun in different directions, creating an illusion of continuity (see video below). “Interacting with the installation creates a deeply immersive effect, as the instant reaction of the projection and the ‘infinite frame rate’ let this fantastical world come to life,” wrote Burk.

keplersdream3

It isn’t too often you get creations so unique, and so “analog” in nature. While the object that is having light passed through it is 3D printed with modern technology, the actual display of the work is presented through outdated, obsolete technology. It’s nice to know that some of our technological history can still go to good use.

So where in the world did these two artists come up with such a clever idea? Burk explains:

“The formal aesthetics of the first prototypes evoked associations with the model of the solar system in “Mysterium Cosmpgraphicum” by Johannes Kepler, who thought to have found the geometrical basis of the universe in the platonic bodies. Picking up the mysticism created by Kepler, who also saw the platonic bodies as representations of the elements (fire, water, earth, air), the projected world embodies an abstract story.”

As for the 3D model used in this piece, it was created with CINEMA 4D and printed by Shapeways.  The shapes were modeled in XPresso and MoGraph. Check out the video presentation of this incredible art piece below:

What do you think? Do you enjoy how these artists took something as modern as 3D printing and combined it with outdated technology, in order to create a work of art that would not be possible without combining the two? Discuss in the Kepler’s Dream forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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