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Artist Duo 3D Prints the Super Bowl, But It Doesn’t Look Like You’d Expect

by • February 9, 2016 • No Comments

benitez_vogl_49_02-1024x528When you ponder of the Super Bowl, you may not ponder of art. Okay, there’s a lot of artistry that goes into the halftime show and, of course, the most commercials of the year, but in in terms of traditional visual art – well, the Super Bowl is no fruit bowl when it comes to commonly painted subjects. But, there’s nothing traditional of Margarita Benitez and Markus Vogl’s 3D printed Super Bowl sculpture series. The duo, known as benitez_vogl, have 3D printed all 50 Super Bowl games in their entirety.

How is that possible? Well, 3D printing has opened up a whole new sculptural realm that empowers artists to turn the fleeting or invisible into the solid and permanent. We’ve written of creative people who have turned music or other sounds into sculpture by 3D printing sound waves, for example. In the case of benitez_vogl’s versus 0.02 [gridiron] series, distance and movement are the basis for the turn it into. Each sculpture traces the path of the ball across the field over the course of the game, so that the game is depicted, play by play, as a series of arcs.


To generate the sculptures, data of equite game, on the market online, is analyzed to turn it into a visual representation based on the distance the ball traveled for equite play. The information is input into a 3D software program and and so printed. The accomplished sculpture looks like a path of boulders, or a child’s drawing of round clouds. If you examine it closely, yet, you can follow the progress of the game, starting with the kickoff at the quite back. Incomplete circles at the edges of the sculpture represent field goals or touchdowns. Gaps between the arches mark fumbles, fouls or penalties that interrupt the ball’s travel.

vs2_chrome_1The sculpture of this year’s Super Bowl was only accomplished, and can be purchased, along with any of the before 49 games, in the duo’s Shapeways shop. Sculptures are printed in white Strong & Flexible PLA for a price of of $200, but options are in addition offered in sandstone or several metals.

Benitez, a style technologist and assistant professor at Kent State University, and Vogl, an assistant graphic turn it into professor at the University of Akron, have been working together since 2000. Their work often focuses on the confluence of art and innovation, and 3D printing has been a favourite tool in new years. A 2014 project called {skin}-D.E.E.P (Digital Ephemeral Epidermal Patterns) involved 3D printed jewelry that, when removed, gave human skin the temporary texture of snakeskin. Other projects have involved clothing based on desktop code, a “synesthetic augmented reality application” and an installation that combined ice blocks, LED lights and custom software.


Versus 0.02 [gridiron] was the follow-up to VS :: 0.01 [eight-ball], that turned the movement of billiard balls over the course of a pool game into a sound composition. Premiering in 2012, the piece was revealed as the initially in a series of “sonically interpreted sports events.” The project has changed a bit, with Versus 0.02 [gridiron] turned into a solid visual sculpture pretty than sound, but I’m curious to see if extra
installments can be introduced to the series. As we’ve seen, there’s a lot that can be done to turn complex data into abstract art. Below, you can see Benitez and Vogl discussing their two 3D printed projects. Discuss in the 3D Printed Super Bowl Game forum over at 3DPB.com.