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Life-Sized 3D-Printed Portrait Raises Mortal to Godly Status
Posted by 3DP4E

By Michael Molitch-Hou | 3D Printing Industry

If you’re wealthy or important enough to have a sculpture made of your likeness, Cosmo Wenman is the ideal person for the job. He’s proven himself to be an expert in digitizing and rematerializing famous works of art, often in new ways, using 3D printing. We’ve covered him for his Google Glass scans of “Venus Reclining on a Sea Monster with Cupid and a Putto”, his recreation of the “Venus de Milo”, and his remix of Alexander the GreatBecause Cosmo couldn’t scan the person he was to recreate, he had to model a mesh based on photographs alone. Rather than design a standard bust, Cosmo opted for something a bit more godlike, saying, “I proposed a bust, roughly from the shoulders up, with classical allusions, but I was vague about the details beyond that. The final design references the Artemision Bronze, Leighton’s An Athlete Wrestling with a Pythonand a few other sources…what’s the point of having rock & roll hair if you aren’t going to do the whole heroic barbarian-warrior-champion-god thing when you have your life-size 3D printed portrait done?

The above result isn’t simply a Grecian homage to someone living in the 21st Century. The project reflects some of Cosmo’s own philosophical concerns and the potential that desktop 3D printing carries. As with the Google Glass project, the artist urges more cultural artifacts, particularly of a historical nature, to be made accessible to the greatest number of people possible. Cosmo explains in a blog post on this most recent bust, “This kind of remixing is just one small reason the world’s back catalog of public domain sculptural artwork should be digitized and published, freely, and without restriction.

Coupled with the relative accessibility of desktop 3D printing, public domain work has allowed Cosmo to bring the art of antiquity into his own workshop. This print, which was eventually painted to resemble an aged bronze statue, was initially printed on a MakerBot Replicator 2 3D printer, as you can watch in the video below. In my mind, it’s only a matter of time before IP law, and possibly wealth as we know it, falls by the wayside in favor of a more culturally, intellectually, and socially free society and it is work like that of Cosmo Wenman that pushes us towards that idealistic future.


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