What is so novel about 3D printing anyway? And what impact does 3D printing have on individual lives? What about society? And even larger, the environment? All these questions will be explored at Making A Difference / A Difference in Making, from April 24th to June 7th at the internationally-renowned BOZAR Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels. Materialise has been working with curator Marta Malé-Alemany to put together this exhibition that looks at 3D printing with both the eyes of fascination and a deeper observation of its consequences.
As you can probably guess from the title, the exhibition will be split up into two main sections. One will show how 3D printing is “a difference in making” by showing designs that experiment with this technology. Specifically, how 3D printing can make complex forms, use new materials, and create scaffolds that support natural processes such as petrification or organic growth, like these pieces:
One_Shot.GMX by Patrick Jouin
One_Shot.MGX is one of the first applications of 3D printing for furniture design in the history of this technology. Its groundbreaking concept is still relevant today, because it explores how 3D printing can be used to manufacture entire assemblies of parts in one go, a unique characteristic of this technology. The stool is printed as a complete object with all its hinges, allowing it to twist and acquire its final form as soon as it comes out of the printer.
Escapism dress by Iris van Herpen in collaboration with Daniel Widrig and Materialise
Iris Van Herpen is known for her designs, and also for bringing 3D printing into the world of high fashion. The Escapism dress, designed in collaboration with Daniel Widrig and Materialise, explores the use of highly intricate geometries around the female body, creating an exuberant and unique garment that has been recognized worldwide.
The other section of the exhibition is called “making a difference” and looks at just that: how 3D printing is making a difference in terms of the environment, individual lives, and society.
The Environment: How can 3D printing save material and energy resources and be more sustainable and environmentally responsible? For example by 3D printing structures with less material. Such as the Fix3D bike frame by James Novak.
Fix3D bike frame by James Novak
The Fix3D bike frame is a one-off, custom-made piece of sports equipment, exemplary for its minimal design and striking absence of material. It is designed using lattice structures to make it lighter and stronger than traditional bike frames, and manufactured in one piece using 3D printing. The bike evokes the critical role of 3D printing for saving energy and resources in the future of mobility. You can read more about it in our blog post here.
Individual Lives: How can customized objects and parts use personal data to provide individual solutions to unique cases? Materialise got the answer with individually printed skull implants, hearing aids, and prostheses.
Skull implant by Materialise
With the advent of 3D scanning tools and 3D printing, custom medical implants became a reality that is due to transform the lives of many individuals. Today, a patient’s anatomical data can be used to generate a 3D body model, to design a custom implant and print it in titanium. Beyond its perfect fit, this skull implant in the picture above is designed with a porous, intricate three-dimensional microstructure that facilitates natural bone growth.
Society: How can 3D printing be used to conserve our past and future heritage and revitalize lost crafts? This section also looks at its implications as a critical instrument of emancipation and social empowerment and how it can improve education.
098XYZ SHOE by Earl Stewart
The 098XYZ shoe is an example of hybridization between 3D printing technology and traditional shoe making. It illustrates how the most advanced processes of fabrication can be integrated with (and contribute to the revival of) well-established crafts.
Learn more about this exhibition at www.a-difference-in-making.com, and check out the BOZAR page to learn more about this fine arts center. This exhibition coincides with the 25th anniversary year of Materialise. Another way that we’ll celebrate is through the Materialise World Conference from April 23-25 in Brussels and Leuven. Join us there to share ideas of how to create meaningful innovations through 3D printing.