Design of the Week: Spherical Creations

By on April 17th, 2016 in Design

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 Dario Santacroce's Spherical Creations
Dario Santacroce’s Spherical Creations

This week’s selection is the set of Spherical Creations by French Sculptor Dario Santacroce.

Santacroce’s collection leverages the idea of interactions between spheres. He overlays spheres to create new shapes that are simple, yet unfamiliar. His “Spherical Creations” collection comprises fifteen unique shapes, but there’s more uniqueness than just their shape. 

 Dario Santacroce explains his theory of circles
Dario Santacroce explains his theory of circles

 Dario Santacroce's Spherical Creation VI
Dario Santacroce’s Spherical Creation VI

They’re 3D printed in a sandstone-like mix, which Santacroce points out is rather similar to the natural sandstone in his region: sandstone is simply stone particles held together with a natural binder, just like certain 3D printing processes. 

 Dario Santacroce sanding his Spherical Creations with a custom 3D printed tool
Dario Santacroce sanding his Spherical Creations with a custom 3D printed tool

Santacroce found that the prints were not particularly smooth, which is a critical element for the success of these works. To rectify the problem, he 3D modeled a negative of each shape and curve. These were printed and then used as tools to smooth the sandstone prints to perfect curves. 

 Dario Santacroce's Spherical Creation I
Dario Santacroce’s Spherical Creation I

The fifteen works are all brilliantly simple, while being unusual at the same time. 

Santacroce asks a key question in his video: Is he truly a sculptor if he does not literally make the sculpture with his hands?

This is a question I’ve often wondered about as well. With the advent of 3D printing and other digital manufacturing methods, the “making” part of the process is often reduced to “touching the start button”. However, I believe the essence of the sculpting process is still present: the design component. 

 Dario Santacroce
Dario Santacroce

Indeed, the digital tools we use today to develop startling 3D models provides a means for sculpting to go well beyond the possibilities of the past – in exactly the ways that Santacroce has done.

Via Dario Santacroce

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!