A Project of Epic Proportions: A Taiwanese Artist is Using 30 Printers to Print a 26-Foot Long Boat Consisting of 100,000 Parts
Over the past year, we have seen many incredible 3D printing projects take place. There have been houses, cars, boats, and prosthetic hands that have all been created on 3D printers. However, one artist, named Hung-Chih Peng, may have them all beat, at least when it comes to creativity and time involved.
Hung-Chih Peng is a Taiwanese artist who thinks outside of the box, and I’m not just talking about throwing in a few extra colors on a painting, or sculpting a slightly controversial scene. He has garnered a tremendous amount of attention with his unique exhibits such as Post-Inner Scripture in 2013, God Pound and 200 Years in 2009, and Little Danny in 2002, among others. Now Peng’s latest work is The Deluge – Noah’s Ark, which is currently an exhibition that can be seen at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum. It takes a model of a boat, and twists and turns its body in a way that isn’t physically possible in the real world.
But this is art, and The Deluge is Peng’s way of showing the inability that humans have exhibited in rectifying uncontrollable catastrophic challenges. Climate change, ecological crises, and environmental pollution are all changes that this planet is facing, yet seemingly humans do not have a way to correct these problems. The work is meant as a metaphor for showing the battle being waged by Mother Nature on the accelerated development of industrialized civilization. And as Peng explains:
“Human beings are unable to return to the unspoiled living environment of the past, and have become victims of their own endeavors. In the biblical time, Noah’s Ark is the last resort for humans to escape from the termination of the world. However, if Noah’s Ark sinks, where is the hope of the human race? If Noah’s Ark, a symbol of mankind salvation, becomes just as a shipwreck, human and nonhuman were placed in an equal position. Human subject is losing his predominance as the supreme center of the world.”
Currently on display is this piece which Peng has created. It is 3D printed and measures 2 meters long. It depicts a time when the Anthropocene period (a period when human activities have/had significant global impact on Earth’s ecosystems), is replaced by the Mechanocene period when machinery begins taking over some of the jobs.
“It is certain that, no matter what circumstance will turn out, there will certainly be a disaster beforehand,” explains Peng. “Destruction and construction always grow and demise together. We will once again encounter the problem of moral degeneration.”
As part of the exhibition that features Peng’s 2 meter long “Noah’s Ark,” which has been twisted and turned in all directions, he has also turned his exhibition space into what he terms “an artist’s studio,” and is currently 3D printing a HUGE 26-foot-long model of the same boat, using 30 UP 2 FDM-based 3D printers. In all, there will be about 100,000 separate 3D printed pieces that will go into assembling this giant boat.
“The boat is not finished yet, it will be finished at the beginning of Jan 2015,” Peng tells 3DPrint.com. “It will be 8 meters long and about 165 cm high and wide. We will use 560 kg of filaments, sponsored by UP printer maker, Beijing Tiertime. This is my first time using 3D printers. The original idea was only to build a huge twisted boat for this biennial. It has to be huge. After evaluating all the possibilities of different working processes, we think 3D printing is the best final decision.”
Visitors to the exhibit can see first hand as 30 3D printers are constantly working, printing different parts of the boat. When finished, they are assembled onto the larger model, which also is currently on display.
What do you think about this incredible art exhibit? Discuss in the 3D Printed 26 Foot Boat forum thread on 3DPB.com.
by EDDIE KRASSENSTEIN | DECEMBER 19, 2014