3D printers have been used to create prosthetic limbs, meat, and entire two story homes. They are even capable of producing new 3D printers! But 3D printing does not conform to the limits of the physical world. Architect Ekaggrat Singh Kalsi is pioneering a new technique to create artworks using LED lights instead of filament traditionally used in 3D printing. Kalsi captures his 3D-printed illumination masterpieces through the use of video or long exposure photography.
Kalsi’s artwork is facilitated by equipment modified specifically for his purposes to essentially print a hologram one layer at a time. Kalsi originally used a NIKON D3100 camera for his work, which focused on long exposure photography. However, he grew dissatisfied with the limitations of still image, which did not include the full color spectrum. For Kalsi, the final form is less meaningful than the medium of 3D printing with light. He determined that this artistic form would be better expressed if the method could be improved.
Over time, Kalsi refined his process, allowing him to print in full color. The camera is now programmed to start and stop automatically, which greatly facilitates the artistic process. Using specifically designed code available on GitHub, Kalsi programmed the printer to accurately control the movement of the LED and turn the light source on and off as needed. Kalsi’s featured artwork is of his daughter’s face, captured using a 3D scan and then communicated to his printer through the creation of a GIF. Who knew that GIFs were good for more than making us giggle?