This week’s selection is the gigantic Loom Light by Titia Ex.
Amsterdam-based Ex is a conceptual artist with a number of large-scale works to her name, many of which deeply involve the use of LED lighting.
The city of Eindhoven in The Netherlands commissioned a sculpture from Ex to commemorate the work of WWII resistance hero Jan Zwartendijk and 75 years of years of freedom from the Nazi regime. Ex chose a design that used light to convey her message. She explains:
“The work changes shape and moves with you. During the day, the monument reflects the sunlight. In the evening there is a feast of lights referring to the Hanukkah, where the light is ignited by an invisible hand for eight days. It is a tribute to Jan Zwartendijk and the countless invisible people who have worked to save lives.”
The 3D printed sculpture is truly enormous, being at its highest point 6m (20ft) tall, and 3.5m (11.4ft) wide. Inside is a 1500kg steel frame that supports the more than 20,000 individually controllable LED lights.
On top of the frame is a large set of 3D printed panels, each made from recycled PP. Notably, some of the recycled material came from discarded audio CDs, which just happen to have been invented by Philips, by far the biggest company in Eindhoven.
The 3D printing work was completed with huge Colossus 3D printers in Belgium, with the assistance of industrial design expertise from OMD3D. The structure was extraordinarily complex, as each piece was unique and yet had to fit together and provide the lighting functions. To complicate matters further, the design had to allow for maintenance workers to access the LEDs and other features inside from time to time.
The specifications for the project were quite incredible:
- 250 hours to design the work
- 390 hours of 3D printing on Colossus machines
- Largest part was 2.6m x 1.5m
- 450kg of recycled material
- 20,439 LED lights
The Loom Light has been installed in Eindhoven in a public area where it is able to fully show visitors the LED light effects from all directions.
The complexity of this project is notable, and could serve as an example for other artists to consider. It may be that we see other large-scale 3D printed works in other cities if the concept becomes widespread.