A rather unusual project hopes to raise awareness of elephant mistreatment through 3D printing.
The World Animal Protection group is sponsoring a petition in which signers pledge to never ride an elephant again. This may sound like an obscure act to pledge, but there’s a cause here. Evidently the rising demand by tourists to ride elephants has resulted in exploitation and mistreatment of captive elephants by those agencies providing elephant rides. For most of us, it’s an easy pledge as there aren’t many opportunities to ride elephants, at least around the Lab here.
But aside from the pledge itself, which you may sign up for personally at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, where Ultimaker has added a fantastic twist to your pledge: At the airport they’ve set up a custom configuration of five Ultimaker 2 3D printers that are printing a large elephant sculpture. Each signer’s name is imprinted on the elephant surface using the Elephont font. If this sounds a bit bizarre, you can check out the livestream here and verify this is indeed a real thing.
Why do this? Firstly, World Elephant Day demands a response. And secondly, elephants!