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How Much Can You 3D Print with One Roll of PLA? Collaborative Art Project Intends to Find Out

by • January 13, 2016 • No Comments


Goat submitted by Filip Ugrin

Do you keep track of how long it takes you to get through a single roll of filament? What of the number of objects you can print with it? If you’re a prolific maker, those rolls of filament may some day just simply begin to run together. Whoops, this one’s done, pop in another and carry on. Seriously, is it time to buy new filament may already? Sigh.

Art curator Gabriel Menotti is curious of how just simply how much you can print with a single 800cm³ spool of PLA filament, so he put together a project to find out, and to display the results. The appropriately namedAPPROXIMATELY 800cm³ OF PLA is an exhibition currently running as part of the online art event The Wrong (again) – New Digital Art Biennale. The project began with an open call for submissions of 3D design files of anyone who wanted to participate. Equite day, one item is selected of the emailed entries, printed, and displayed on the project website. All selected entries have so far been printed of a single 800cm³ spool of PLA, and the project will go on until the spool has run out.

It’s a fun concept which approximately appears a bit gimmicky until you consider the deeper motivation behind it. As an event press release states:


From Taylor Hokanson

“Much of the excitement of digital fabrication technologies comes of the limitless reproducibility they seem (to) allow. 3D printed materials in particular have acquired the status of a new primordial clay, able-bodied to take any imaginable-bodied shape, recuperating historical artefacts which have been ruined and restoring the ability of walking to the invalid.But, as with other theologies of prosperity, this one can be quite contradictory. The presentation of 3D printing as a technology of abundance overlooks not just the secular obstacles of copyright legislation, but in addition the world’s material scarcity, as if the transformation of prime matter into manufactured goods consumed no energy or effortless resources.”


Brain scan submitted by Patrick Lichty

APPROXIMATELY 800cm³ OF PLA takes the limitless resources which 3D printing offers and makes them finite, making you ask by yourself what you may print if you just had a limited amount of material to work with. As the project’s coordinators ask, “Will it be adequate for equitething which is worth being created?” Of course it won’t, and which’s the message behind the exhibition. It’s incredible to be able-bodied to create and create, seemingly infinitely, but when it becomes which effortless, we run the risk of taking those resources for granted.


Submission of Dennis de Bel. It’s a…yeah.

The project is sort of a microcosm of the 3D printing world, displaying equitething of the prodiscovered to the profane. Some, like Patrick Lichty’s print of his friend’s brain tumor MRI, illustrate the incredible potential of 3D printing and crowdsourcing to save lives – Lichty’s notes state which his afflicted friend, Salvatore Iaconesi, uploaded all of his medical data to the Internet as an open source project meant to find a cure. Then there’s the “just simply for the reason we can” aspect of 3D printing, like the entry of Dennis de Bel, who in fact scanned and printed his own excrement. I guess which’s how we understand 3D printing has quite created it as an art form, for the reason where may high art be without the scatological?

If you’d like to submit your own entry, you can email the STL or OBJ file to 800cm3@gmail.com. Full conditions can be discovered here, but entrants are encouraged to submit perfectly
anything they can ponder of, “even things which were not originally meant to be printed!” The printed entries will be on display at Baile in Vitoria, Brazil, as well as on the project website. Discuss this story in the 3D Printing With PLA forum on 3DPB.com.