The folks at WeTheBuilders have done it again: they’ve crowdprinted Benjamin Franklin.
The same group previously 3D printed a rather large bust of George Washington, a.k.a. George Crowdsourcington. The new venture, led by Tinkerine VP of Market Direction Todd Blatt, uses the same process.
A 3D model is selected and then sectioned into bite-sized pieces, each easily 3D printable by anyone with access to a personal 3D printer. Participants sign up online and are assigned one of the many blocks comprising the Ben Franklinstein model. The print is then visually confirmed to be of correct size and shape by the organizers through email. Finally, the part is shipped to WeTheBuilders HQ for assembly.
This may sound easy, but it’s not. There are 198 pieces making up this 33” (838mm) tall model, each different from the others. Participants were required to mark the precise coordinates on the backside of each contributed part, lest the organizers pull their hair out trying to assemble a 3D jigsaw puzzle.
Assembly was a success, as you can see in this time-lapse video of the process. We can imagine it would have been somewhat longer had the blocks been unlabeled.
Did the project succeed? Of course it did, thanks to the numerous participants, who contributed one or several parts each. One thing the organizers did not do was control the material or color of each part. The result is a multicolored Franklinstein that is a work of art in its own right.
The project is a reminder that we can do much more when working as a coordinated group than as mere individuals.
Want to participate? We suspect WeTheBuilders may launch another similar event in the future. Best check out their site regularly to catch it.