The Sleeve of Destiny
Printed in three parts and then glazed
Perhaps the most touching use of 3D printing yet has to come from the Shapeways blog as their forum moderator and 3D modeller Michael Williams took on a project in memorial to fallen American soldier, Staff sgt. Liam Nevins.
Just weeks before Sgt. Nevins and two other Special Forces soldiers were killed by enemy fire, Nevins had been shot in the arm and given the opportunity to return home. Such was Nevins dedication to his men he chose to stay and fight the good fight. After being shot in the arm medics had to cut off Liam’s sleeve in order to operate, he kept that sleeve as a memento. It became known as The Sleeve of Desitiny.
When Liam’s possessions were returned to his parents the sleeve stuck out as a symbol of pride. Liam’s mum, Victoria, took to the Shapeways forums to ask for help from a 3D modeller in recreating the sleeve to give to friends and family. Michael spotted this post and took it upon himself to lend help.
Victoria and her son were no strangers to biggest 3D printing marketplace as they found the website when looking for a way to prototype Liam’s custom designs as he looked to start his own business when returning from duty.
Michael doesn’t usually go scouring the forums for 3D modelling work but when reading Victoria’s post in the wrong forum he felt obliged to help out. Victoria’s vision was to recreate the sleeve, full size and have it printed, she’d hired a professional photographer to take as many photos as possible of the sleeve in order to remotely get this done.
Using Autodesk’s 123D Catch and learning Blender Michael was able to produce a full sized replica. That full sized version was too big for one print run so he segmented the files and glued together in post processing. Unhappy with the dull look the full colour Sandstone finish of the sleeve Michael glazed the print to give it a presentational like sheen.