The Dutch Via Nova College, based in Utrecht, asked visual artist Monira Al Qadiri to develop a concept that will inspire their students and show their students that anything is possible to create. The idea that Monira came up with was a wall structure based on the intricate shape of a romanesco broccoli. To create this piece, it would first have to be 3D printed, then painted and finally mounted on the wall. Just one catch.. the final piece had to be at least three meters wide.
In order to get this piece fabricated successfully, Monira Al Qadiri turned to Amsterdam based design and production company Local Makers.
Local Makers was made responsible for scanning, designing, 3D modeling, managing the printing, structural support and supervision of the installation. A huge amount of work was required to realise this project. Basically, Local Makers managed the whole production process from idea to installation. Here’s how they did it in five steps:
Step 1: Scanning
In order to create the basis for a 3D model, a Romanesco Broccoli needed to be 3D scanned. Local Makers 3D scanned the broccoli onsite using their HP SLS3 3D scanner. The file then needed to be scaled up to 3m. This appeared to be relatively easy compared to the rest of the project.
Step 2: 3D Design & Print Preparation
After a good quality 3D scan file was made by the design team, the engineering work began. Approximately 100 hours later the giant sculpture was split into a puzzle of 20 printable pieces, designed to slot into each other. Each piece received approximately 30 places to secure nuts and bolts.
Step 3: 3D Printing
In order to get everything 3D printed, Local Makers teamed up with their production partner Lay3rs, a 3D print company based in Eindhoven. Lay3rs did the production of this piece on a Builder Extreme, which is a large scale 3D printer. The total production for this piece took 400KG of filament and six months of printing. Now, all the broccoli parts were ready for assembly and painting.
Step 4: Assembly & Painting
The next Local Makers partner to handle the broccoli was Einzel; a race car company. It took Einzel approximately 10 days to assemble and paint this monstrosity of a vegetable.
Step 5: Installation
On the 17th December the Romanesco Broccoli was installed at Via Nova College in Utrecht for all the students to enjoy.