Magical 3D Printed Shadow Art from Drzach & Suchy: 3D Printing From a Different Angle
by Fabian | May 11, 2015
Drzach & Suchy are a designer duo like no other: Drzach is an architect who combines art and design, while Suchy is a cryptographer and a software engineer who experiments with holograms and various techniques and materials. Both designers live and work in Zurich, Switzerland, and are always on the lookout for new approaches to visual expression.
One of their most striking visual elements is the use of shadow casting panels (or SCP, for short). SCP is a novel technique for storing and presenting multiple images using one physical object whereby separate images become visible under varying illumination. Invented by Drzach in 2004, this technique has been constantly developed and further improved by the two creators. For an example of this process, let’s take a look at one of their designs:
‘The Force’ is an installation for Google Zurich Office, based on SCP, which consists of over 16,000 LEGO bricks and took about 10 hours to complete. Depending on where the source of the light is located, the visible image changes for the spectator. When the light comes from the left-hand side, Yoda is visible; when it comes from the right, Darth Vader appears.
Instead of having to assemble all those LEGO bricks together, Drzach & Suchy used 3D modeling software and i.materialise’s 3D printing service to create a colorful and stunning new piece of art: the “Got M?” project. For more information on the project, watch their incredible video here:
“Previously, we made a prototype of a colorful SCP, but we had to assemble it manually, pixel-by-pixel, as 3D printing with colored transparent materials was not feasible. Now that more materials are available for 3D printing, we wanted to give it a try.”
In order to get their print, Drzach & Suchy first had to create a 3D model. They used the SketchUp Ruby API to develop the 3D design since it allows for quick scripting and prototyping.
They then sent their files to i.materialise for 3D printing in transparent resin. After receiving the parts in different colors, the designer duo simply had to place them on top of each other to complete their art project.
The milk used in the video hides the supporting structure and provides a projection surface for the colored shadows. Moreover, as depicted below, it also adds a nice twist to the video – doesn’t it?
If you want to see more of Drzach & Suchy’s projects, make sure to visit their website and YouTube channel. If you want to take a look at some more art projects we 3D printed lately, you will enjoy seeing this 3D printed modern armor for the Royal Theatre of Madrid as well as this 3D printed alien neckpiece.