Virtual Reality Meet 3D Printing

Classic Art met with Modern Virtual reality in the Royal Academy of Art for the Virtually Real exhibit. Featuring amazing VR crafted “universes”.

Exhibiting VR technology and 3D printing in a 19th century room from one of Great Britain’s Oldest Art School is undoubtedly an unique experience.

Virtually Real

The exhibit started by doing what we love most… Putting on a VR headset!

For this particular experience the HTC Vive was the VR headset of choice, and the reason would be apparent by the end of it. Once the headset was on participants were transported to different worlds. These showcased different 3D sculptures that they had seen around the exhibit.

The 3D sculptures had titanic proportions, and participants would walk around them and explore every inch of them. The experience felt special because the sculptures were small, however in the Virtual Worlds the were huge! This made participants feel like they were not transported to a different place, but rather as if they had been miniaturized.

This is an idea that explored on many different VR games, but not applied to real objects. There is just something about looking at something in the real world, and then seeing it differently in VR that allows us to get more from the experience, rather than just having a duplicate experience.

Virtually Real’s 3D Sculptures

The exhibit was pretty straight forward… A handful of students from the art school had make 3D models in Virtual Reality, and this models were later 3D printed. You could see the actual 3D printed models within the academy, and later you would see them in VR.

This meant that we would see the final “draft” the artist worked with! not only that but we got to see it from a very detailed perspective. What was the point of the exhibit? It’s hard to tell. I can see Virtual Reality being used by artists to produce 3D pieces in the future. Why? because some of the work made by the school’s students was great!

But just like any other market, VR artistry is limited by VR’s costs… And 3D printing costs as well. As the price of both technologies comes down there will be more and more items you can see in VR and then immediately print in your home or office. Imagine being able to buy and print a sculpture from the internet!

The money collected from the this exhibition goes towards funding the school.

Image Credit Ministerio da Cultura



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