3D printed book of bas relief from Art Institute of Chicago


Tom Burtonwood sez, "I have just published Folium, a 3D printed book of bas relief from the Art Institute of Chicago; it's posted to thingiverse for download: 12 pages, 9 scans featuring works of art spanning over 2000 years, from the Ancient Egyptians to Louis Sullivan department store decorations."

Burtonwood's last 3D printed book, a collection of textures and reliefs, was also a free download.

In addition to the scans all the texts have also been translated into braille so that low sighted and visually impaired people can experience the reliefs and identify what they are.

We'll be premiering it at World Maker Faire in NYC this coming weekend, we'll be in and around the 3DP village and selling 3D printed Play Doh molds derived from both Orihon and Folium.

Folium a 3D Printed Book of Bas Relief from the Art Institute of Chicago [Tom Burtonwood/Thingiverse]

(Thanks, Tom!)

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  1. It's not just "molds to make copies." FTA:

    In addition to the scans all the texts have also been translated into braille so that low sighted and visually impaired people can experience the reliefs and identify what they are.

    I love the idea of books that allow blind/visually impaired people to enjoy great works of art. I hope that someone comes up with a portable e-reader that could provide a similar tactile experience—maybe a hi-res, electronic version of those "pin art" screens.

  2. you're right it is "weird" - like my first 3D printed book - Orihon - part of my goal is to contextualize this material in a book format, it opens up lots of interesting avenues to me such as seeing these objects then end up in libraries etc. "Books" are important, we locate culture in them. we use them to transmit ideas through time and space. Sure the internet is useful for that too - but i'm coming at this on one level as an artist so i'm not always super concerned with it being a logical thing to do. the intended purpose is to locate them in the book, but in order to make copies, like u might on a xerox, i figured giving people the option to make an impression in a mold was a good solution.

    i picked these pieces in discussion with folks at the Art Institute of Chicago where i was Artist in Residence during the first half of 2014. In my prior 3D printed book all the pieces were quite high relief, i chose this time to use low relief (bas relief) pieces so that the pages would be thinner and i could "bind" them more or less like a "proper" book. The reason for printing them rather than just studying them on the screen is in part to see them in the round, in part to be able to touch them and in part so that copies can be made from them. Plus when the power goes out the book doesn't go dark.

  3. i don't know. interesting idea though.

  4. I personally find this and the previous book project to be really, really cool. I love the concept as well as the execution. Kudos!

    This new learning amazes me, Sir Bedevere.

  5. Glitch says:

    A fair point - and it seems yet again, I fall prey to cognitive biases!

    Being sighted, even despite having lived with a blind friend for a while a few years back and coming to appreciate just how much I take for granted about my vision, the tendency to forget that not everyone experiences the world as I do still crops up on me!

    Ahh, human failings.

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