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Glass Blown 3D Printing: Roos Meerman’s Aera Fabrica
Posted by 3DP4E

By Evan Chavez | 3D Printing Industry

By combining different forms of production, Roos Meerman has created something called Aera Fabrica. The process combines elements of blow molding, 3D printing, and glass-blowing techniques. Essentially, each piece utilizes the elemental forces of temperature and air to inflate and customize the already customizable prints produced with a 3D printer. Inspiration for the technique developed from an investigation into scientific experiments illustrating the fantastical effects of when different objects are exposed to various forces and conditions.

Each piece carries a uniqueness beyond typical 3D prints that seek a finished form upon printing. With Aera Fabrica, the objects take on different dimensions, often bulbous, when reacting to air pressure or heat. Meerman explains, “From an experiment with stretching plastic, I moved to seeing the plastic form as a balloon that you can blow up. By heating up the balloon, it is made flexible and can be transformed. Cooling it solidifies the form again. In contrast with the glassblowing technique, with Aera Fabrica I determine the form before the inflating process, which allows me to more influence on the final form.”

The contrast in shades of color and strain results in striking visual phenomena oft expressed in scientific models and experiments. Many of the objects resemble organelles meandering in cytoplasm, vacuoles blown and magnified by the magic of 3DP.

Roos Meerman comments on the inspiration, “I watched videos of scientific experiments and I was enchanted by the seemingly magical way in which material can change. I did several experiments with, for example, air pressure and sound waves and materials with which it is possible to expose the processes. The result is a snapshot of a point in a process, the result of the interaction between the laws of science and the freedom of movement of the material.”

As the source indicates, the information for this article came from a project that deserves a Kickstarter. Anything that combines an ancient technique, a hard art like glass-blowing, and innovative artistic production typified in 3D printing certainly demands consideration. Roos Meerman has given light to forms that call out for a closer look, to be held, to be examined and reproduced.


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Posted on August 20, 2014

By Eddie Krassenstein | 3DPrint