Faculty of Fine Arts has launched a new robotic workplace within 3D Studio
On Wednesday, March 13, 2019, the BUT Faculty of Fine Arts launched a completely new robotic workplace based on a robotic hand with a milling head. Thanks to the new investment, in the 3D Studio artists from Brno University of Technology can easily work with soft materials and create sculptures sized several meters.
"Working on a 3D printer is limited by both the size and length of printing. The robot uses the digital data that we already possess, allowing the implementation of works of art much faster and on a larger scale," said Tomáš Medek, the head of FFA 3D Studio. Our students work mostly with polystyrenes, polyurethanes or artificial wood. Thanks to the new equipment, both the students and faculty staff can create works of art several-meter in size, which has so far been possible only in the cooperation with other workplaces. In addition, the robot can machine the model from multiple sides.
3D Studio equipment includes 3D printers and optical scanners. For example, the ATOS I scans the surface of a digitized object using a projector and two side cameras. The images are subsequently computer-linked together on the basis of reference points. The result is a virtual model that can be further worked on. The final data are subsequently ready to be exported into 3D printers or other 3D applications. The device in question is an industrial scanner with the ability to digitize even large objects. It can even scan a locomotive, but it is also detailed enough to scan a nut. There is also an Artec Eva scanner that is much smaller and capable to run at a high speed, which is for example suitable for making portraits.
The combination of scanning and subsequent 3D printing facilitates to organize exhibitions even over long distances. In the past, FFA students had the opportunity to exhibit their works at The SVA Flatiron Gallery in Manhattan thanks to their cooperation with the American School of Visual Arts. All they had to do was to send the data to the USA and the exhibits were printed on the spot. On the other hand, the students from New York could exhibit their works of art in Brno without the need of their difficult transportation.
The studio combining fine art with modern technology has been running at FFA since 2007, when it became one of the first to use 3D technology as a tool and form of artistic expression in teaching. "We were the first to introduce what is now called digital sculpture into teaching, and since then we have been continuing to do so," said Michal Gabriel, the founder of the studio. "Digital sculpture enables making sketches in space," suggests Mr. Gabriel, whose works of art are accessible to Brno citizens e.g. at the Šiligrák mini gallery on Šilingrovo Square in Brno.