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Womb-shaped scanner demos 3D printing at Brighton's Jubilee Library
Brighton's Jubilee Library has installed a giant womb-shaped scanner as part of a project designed to introduce people to the concept of 3D printing.
Library goers step into the 12ft willow structure and are then presented with a detailed miniature statue of themselves, automatically produced by a 3D printer.
Break the Mould, which forms part of the Brighton Digital Festival, is a joint effort by the artist Emilia Telese, digital agency Developing Dreams and tech firm 3dify.
Kati Byrne, director at Developing Dreams, said: “We want to get the technology into the public consciousness and demystify it.
“3D printing has been so male dominated and geeky, we want to give it a female touch.
“When you are in the scanner it makes a deep, bassy heart beat, and from that a small version of yourself is created.
“The experience gets people thinking about rebirth.”
The scanning technology is fashioned from an old Xbox 360, depth sensors and infrared cameras.
Skanect software then creates a digital avatar of the subject, before sending it to a 3D printer which creates the statue using polylactic acid, derived from corn starch.
“This has been a labour of love,” said Ms Byrne.
“We wanted to highlight the design freedoms of this technology, and it’s been great to see the response of Brighton artists.
“It is such a disruptive idea and we’re so excited about it.”
The long-term goal of Kati, her husband Ian Byrne and Mark Rayner, his business partner at 3dify, is to develop an affordable desktop 3D printer.
Ian said: “This scanner is really a proof of concept and a way of researching how people engage with it.”
Ms Byrne predicted that more and more everyday objects will be 3D printed from digital files.
She said: “I can’t wait to 3D print my own shoes.
“You will be able to scan your feet to get the perfect fit then play with the software for the perfect design.”
Breaking the Mould is at the Jubilee Library until Sunday, September 22 before moving to the Clearleft Gallery on Brighton’s Kensington Street on Tuesday, September 24.
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