UK Artist Daniel Hilldrup 3D Prints with Objet 'Fragments in Time'

Daniel Hilldrup, Artist in Residence at the London Metropolitan University, has unveiled new Objet 3D printed artwork in a series titled 'Fragments in Time'. Objet Ltd., the innovation leader in 3D printing for rapid prototyping and additive manufacturing, printed the two striking pieces, which Hilldrup describes as contemporary fossils.

Flux and Aquiform in Rest were produced on an Objet Connex 3D Printer, with the unique capability of printing multiple materials and properties in a single print run, allowing Hilldrup to simulate movement and fluidity in his first piece ‘Flux’.

“Necessity being the mother of invention, I’m often influenced and motivated by technology, so I keep an ear to the ground for new technologies,” states Hilldrup. “I first heard about Objet multi-material 3D printing and thought ‘wow – this is a game changer’. It was the Objet Connex technology that inspired these pieces. For example, without the multi-material aspect it would not have been possible to print the Flux candelabra, and if I was to produce it via traditional methods – casting it in a block of glass – it would be a very difficult thing to achieve, and there would be a loss of control over the final piece.”

Flux: Described by Hilldrup as “a statement on the transference of energy and its transition and total transformation from one physical state and form into another”, Flux depicts black candle wax melting into the liquid base of a candelabra, captured, like a fossil, at a specific moment in time.

The ‘fluid wax’ was printed in Objet black rubber-like material (Objet TangoBlackPlus), which appears to be melting into liquid, but is in fact encased in a solid base of Objet clear transparent, rigid material (Objet VeroClear). The removable candle holders were printed separately in Objet rigid opaque black material (Objet VeroBlack). Hilldrup finished the pieces by hand to a very high standard, polishing the surfaces to achieve a superior level of clarity.

Aquiform in Rest: A free standing sink basin possessing a sculptural form. As its name suggests, it captures the motion of agitated water within a constrained volume. Printed in Objet clear transparent material, it has been finished with a two-pack polyurethane paint.

Hilldrup’s work aims to create design that is beautiful, fit for purpose, and that provides benefits, or otherwise enriches the life of the user, he comments, “My interest is the creation of functional sculpture and innovative object forms where there is an emphasis on the aesthetic and narrative of a piece, but not at the expense of usability. I wish to explore the boundaries between art and design by embracing digital tools, manufacturing technologies and through associated process pipelines and craft.

“In this sense I’m really pleased with both pieces. The Objet multi-material Connex capability allows you to approach the work from a different angle, potentially working on concepts you couldn’t otherwise achieve. I’m very happy with how the pieces have translated; sometimes you do something in the virtual domain and then it doesn’t quite come up to scratch when you do the physical piece. In this case I’m really pleased with the pieces across the board, the way the materials and finish have translated the concept. I’d certainly call them a success.”

Daniel Hilldrup Researcher, Lecturer and Artist in Residence at the London Metropolitan University, practices digital-craft and embraces digital fabrication technologies to realize pieces that span the art and design domains, to create functional sculpture and objects of 'beautility'. Hilldrup’s aim is to create innovative object forms where there is an emphasis on the aesthetics and narrative of a piece, but not at the expense of usability.

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