By Bridgette Butler-Millsaps | 3D Print
3D printing is by definition all about replicating ‘things.’ The technology is impacting the world due to its ability to work as a replacement for many required things from body parts, as in prostheses, to medical devices and implants. 3D printing can help work to replace tools, household items, and more and more these days even to include parts for aerospace and the automotive industry
Mathias Bengtsson is attempting to replicate nature though–and with some pretty cool results. Based out of London, he has produced several examples of biomimicry, with his 3D printed works bearing titles such as ‘The Big Growth Table’ and ‘Growth Chair.’ The artist, traditionally a cabinetmaker, works with some of his central mediums and materials, like wood and metal, to use 3D printing to replicate nature in the truest sense. He uses his artwork to tell a story organically that begins with the concept of a seed, sprouting into a fluid natural shape. Juxtaposing the purity of nature with extremely sophisticated technology, his 3D printed work is represented in elegant, modern furniture.
“I’m trying to create an artificial universe where we can grow things as nature would,” says Bengtsson. His style dominates the work, no matter the content or technology, as his background is in cabinet making, and he works the old-fashioned way, with pencil to paper, before bringing the 3D print to fruition.
The seed concept was exemplified further as he produced variations on “Big Growth Table,” beginning with one that was 1.6 meters long, and later, another with a size of 4.2 meters long, but unique in that it was produced in solid bronze.
The tables have been exhibited together, showing off Bengtsson’s successful attempt at biomimicry, with the artful furniture resembling that of roots, and working to show off mastery of 3D printing, furniture building, and engineering—as well as creativity.
“The furniture parameters get embedded in the digital seed; however, the form is not defined ahead of time and instead emerges as a result of the growth process coded into the seed,” said Bengtsson.
Bengtsson, Danish-born, is an artist who has been experimenting and growing creatively over many years. With an education at the Royal College of Art, he branched out into working with different materials and finding his own approach to art, focusing on both technology and progress. He has always enjoyed working with a wide variety of materials, combining traditional craftsmanship with modern work and materials that continually push boundaries. His work is made of many individual pieces that require an enormous amount of labor, and attention to detail, with the reward being extremely unique pieces of art that are innovative as well. Bengtsson’s work has been extensively shown in venues around the world.
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