A festive 3D printed art installation has been made the centrepiece at London restaurant, Aqua Shard, which sees an array of delicate printed leaves cascading down three stories from the 31st floor of the iconic Shard building over the Christmas period.
Replacing the traditional Christmas tree, the 9-metre piece, entitled “Human Nature”, is formed of 3,000 leaf skeletons from five species of threatened British trees, which were 3D printed in 100% recycled common household waste plastic by 3D printing specialist, ObjectForm.
The piece was designed by Timothy Hatton Architects in collaboration with Sir David Attenborough. Each leaf is being sold to raise funds for Sir David’s nominated charity, Fauna & Flora International, which protects threatened species and ecosystems worldwide.
Sir David has been involved with the project from the outset, he said: “Timothy Hatton’s installation at Aqua Shard captures wonderfully the fragility of nature, the beauty found in its diversity and the need to reflect upon the impacts of our own behaviour and of our ‘throwaway’ society – particularly at this time of year.”
Each leaf took around 20 minutes to print on ObjectForm’s “mini manufacturing farm” of Ultimaker 2 machines using its own Fila-Cycle HIP filament, which is made from recycled packaging and refrigerator waste plastics.
Scott Knowles of ObjectForm commented: “ When we first investigated 3D printing it was clear that the 3D printing industry would be technologically disruptive and would put further pressures on the environment. Finding environmentally friendly plastics source was key to help champion 3D printing and all it could achieve. I am delighted to have worked in collaboration with Timothy Hatton Architects to create this amazing installation for Aqua Shard, the end result, a stunning depiction of nature.”
Leaf 3D printed on Ultimaker 2.
The piece is on display from now until 5th January.