Thai artist O Witaya Junma has created a dizzying 3D printed zoetrope, serving as a postmodern homage to the late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Housed in Bangkok’s new maker hotspot FabCafe, “Pieces of Happiness” cleverly presents a digital re-incarnation of the zoetrope, but with a decidedly 3D printed flair.

Junma achieved a similar effect with “Pieces of Happiness,” his elaborate 3D printed sculpture set on a spinning motor, and paired with a strobe light. On each level of the piece, a male figure is shown performing various activities, including playing sports, interacting with animals, taking photos, and playing music. Residents of Thailand will instantly recognize the figure as the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who passed away late last year.

Moved by the widespread sorrow at the Thai King’s death, Junma was inspired to create an artistic piece that would honour the king’s memory. Due to the illusion of motion generated by the 3D printed sculpture, observers are able to see the King as if he were alive and enjoying his favourite hobbies. With this clever work, Junma essentially found a way to offer happiness from within a melancholic context, forming an important part of his focus on art-interaction (not just mere observation).

Technically speaking, “Pieces of Happiness” has been a long time coming for the Thai artist. Junma explains that his artistic path began at the University of Chiang Mai, where he worked exclusively with paper. At school, however, Junma quickly realized the limitations of this traditional medium, and was inspired to try 3D printing. While it took a fair bit of learning and practice, Junma eventually carved out an artistic niche for himself, and now favours the Zortrax M300 for bringing his creations to life.

Junma says that nowadays, 3D printing continually gives him results that exceed his expectations, and helps him optimize his work, meaning he can save time when producing a series of similar elements, as seen in “Pieces of Happiness.” Whereas a traditional sculpting method would require approximately a year’s work to finish this piece, Junma spent 3 months completing the sculpture. He says he 3D printed the majority of “Pieces of Happiness,” and used a resin casting technique to prepare some of the minor aspects. Once all the individual components were finished, Junma polished the surface for maximum smoothness, and began assembly.

Julia. “Watch Thai Artist’s 3D Printed Zoetrope ‘Pieces of Happiness’ Come to Life.”3ders.org. N.p., 01 May 2017. Web. 01 May 2017.

Posted in 3D Printing, 3D Technology Blog.

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