Dutch artist, Martijn Hage has created a collection of tantalising 3D “micro worlds” using 3D printing in a nine-panel art piece titled Hortus Filamentus.
Taking inspiration from nature, technology, archaeology and mythology, the seasoned designer confesses he is always on the lookout for a new technology to allow creative expression in his work. This unique project came about as a result of a radio broadcast on Opium Op 4 (Radio 4) where the artist was tasked with spending 5 days locked away in solitude at De Torenkamer studio at the VondelParkCS in Amsterdam where he found inspiration by the park’s natural surroundings and developed the concept of a botanical garden.
“I am a artist who likes to work with digital techniques and multi-dimensions,” Martijn, explained. “My artwork is created in 3-dimensions and that gives me the unique approach to act like the sculptor, painter and photographer in one.”
The project required three months of preparation including the base design of nine 3D panels which were printed in 2D on aluminium each measuring 50cm x 50cm. However, 3D printing allowed the artist to add a further dimension to the piece to create more than just a still life piece but rather a living organism.
Martijn told TCT: "My art has the virtual 3D depth but lacked the real tangible factor, so 3D printing - as well 2.5D printing - could give me this."
Hortus Filamentus is a combination of 2D and 3D printing.
Dutch desktop 3D printing company Ultimaker helped Martijn realise his ideas by loaning two Ultimaker 2 machines for two weeks whilst 3D filament manufacturer Innofil3D was on hand to provide a collection of PLA and PET materials. Martijn says designing and printing around 28 3D objects proved quite a challenge in such a short space of time, therefore some of the 3D printing work was carried out with the help of 3D printing community 3D Hubs.
“My 3D models had to be prepared bullet proof, so I examined ways how to solve repairing and cutting of the objects where needed,” Martijn added. “Software programs like Blender, MeshLab, Meshmixer and CURA I used for design and preparation to 3D printing. Most often I combined several objects to construct a new one, a fantastic creative process to do so this way.”
There’s even a tenth world hidden amongst these immersive prints which can be found in one panel which transforms in darkness to reveal objects 3D printed in InnoGlow filament.
3D printed parts were produced by the artist and the 3D Hubs community.
3D printing is providing contemporary artists with an additional tool that allows them to create works of art that were not previously thought possible. Earlier this year, Zurich-based designer duo, Drzach & Suchy unveiled a collection of shadow casting panels created with 3D printing to illustrate pop culture icons. More recently, an exhibition at the BOZAR Centre in Brussels exhibited a stunning collection of 3D works by artists such as David Grass who uses 3D printing to up cycle simple household items.