Dimensional Innovations 3D printed MEANDER, a large sculpture that highlights Missouri River’s footprint in KANSAS

The team at Dimensional Innovations recently unveiled MEANDER, another work of art they achieved – this time in Kansas, USA. Commissioned by resident of this city, the goal of the project was to create a sculpture that could liven up his residence and pay homage to the geographical location of his home.

Drawing inspiration from the mighty Missouri River and understanding the river’s unique footprint on the region, the team at the design firm first explored ways to showcase the natural beauty of the waterway while injecting one-of-a-kind, personalized creativity into the sculpture.

 Their focus was the Missouri River. In order to represent how it will evolve over time, they utilized Grasshopper, a scripting and parametric modeling application, to build an algorithm predicting numerous variations of how the river could change over time.

“Reimagining its ebbs and flows through this algorithm that would reflect those subtle changes, we knew that slight variants could drastically change its entire form over hundreds — and even thousands — of years. Then, our team took a fully comprehensive, 3D scan of the site location where the sculpture was to be installed and utilized Augmented Reality to strategically (and virtually) place the sculpture”, they explained.

The script finally revealed numerous forms they should bring to life. What better technology than 3D printing could highlight these forms?

In this specific case, given the large size of the sculpture they needed to build, they relied on Thermwood’s Large Scale Additive Manufacturing. As a reminder, the very first time we heard about Dimensional Innovations, they leveraged their in-house LSAM system to fabricate a 93-foot 3D printed torch in tribute to Al Davis.

The Thermwood gigantesque machine enabled them to achieve 180 3D printed layers representing a different geographical variation of the river, Meander was created. Produced using PETG, one of the most widely-used plastic materials, the final print weighs 700 pounds (317 Kg), stands 3 feet tall (91.44 cm), and stretches over 14 feet long (427 cm). Its layer measures 65 feet (1981,2 cm).  The team added a UV resistant additive to the polymer material so that the final piece could withstand the harsh weather conditions of Midwest and to create better aesthetics.

To display the intricacies of Meander, a full spectrum of LEDs at the base of the installation allows the artwork to take on dynamic forms, scattering light and revealing new shapes for all to behold. To manage this light, our team developed a custom interface that provides the owner with complete control over them, DI points out.

We like to see the capabilities of Thermwood’s LSAM in appealing industries such as aerospace, but we need to recognize that Dimensional Innovations’ holistic use of the technology enables to go beyond the outward appearance of works of art to embody a much deeper meaning.

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