For the outdoor art exhibition Beaufort ’21, Poly Products has manufactured an unique object designed by Goshka Macuga: Family Module. A group of figures shows a small family scene. The unusual dimensions, 6m high, make this an impressive appearance at the Nieuwpoort Promenade in Belgium. At first glance the object seems incredible massive and heavy but looks are deceiving: the object is in fact very light and does not have a heavy foundation. Poly Products’ XXL-3D printing technique was key in making these objects.
Start small and go big: 3D printing is the solution
Base of the project were 3 small clay models, each 40cm high. The challenge was to enlarge these ten times without getting incredibly heavy. A digital approach, using high-resolution scans, CAD adjustments and our XXL-3D printer were the final solution Every detail in the small models were transferred to the final big products. ‘Attentive viewers will even see the thumb movements made by Goshka Macuga in the clay to shape the figures.’ Says Joppe Spaans, 3D engineer at Poly Products.
3D printing was not the sole solution for the final result. As the printer uses plastics, the challenge was to make the sculpture look like concrete, and not ‘shiny plastic’. The base was made with a recycled rPETG with Glassfiber filling.
Poly Products used their half-a-century experience in composites to develop a finish layer to cope with the thermal expansions of the plastic structure. Using various granulates and additives in a thermohardening material we have made a custom concrete-look finish.
Social impact: conscious use of materials
Using recycled materials with a long lifespan and a low environmental impact during production these objects are a great example of a new way of manufacturing: using waste as a valuable resource for new applications with a positive impact for people, environment and society. The materials of this object can later be re-used. This new way of creating objects is new and exciting: it prevents the use of more environmental impacting materials that would be needed when using ‘traditional’ production methods.