London New Vision: Henry Reichhold's journey to Heathrow – 3D Printing Industry


July 25, 2016 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ 3D Printed Articles


For the next three months, passengers arriving to London Heathrow Airport Terminal 5 will have exclusive access to a groundbreaking 3D printed photography exhibition. Photographer Henry Reichhold has partnered with Nikon, AutoDesk and Ultimaker for a project that takes live photogrammetry capture out into the world via high speed cameras (Nikon D5), and blends this with Bas relief to create a excitingly innovative piece of work. Read on below to learn more about what steps Reichhold took to bring his vision to life.

Heathrow_Reichhold1

Looking for something to hold

Almost exactly a year ago I started looking into how to take my 2d images into the third dimension. I very briefly looked at 3D cameras (stereo lenses) but the results needed extra technology to be enjoyed and what I really wanted was something I could hold in my hand, something real.

Research took me into the world of photogrammetry and led to the discovery of AutoDesk’s Beta software called Memento (now called ReMake), which people were using primarily to copy artwork. This had amazing potential but could only provide half the answer, something was missing.

What I needed was bas relief software and a way to fuse this with full 3d capture. The search was long and I tried many bas relief programs but found that they were very basic and offered no real creative control. I then turned to the most knowledgeable person in this new media, Tatjana Dzambazova, who introduced me to ArtCam Pro. This software had limitless creative potential and amazing control, proving to be ideal for my purposes.

Getting to grips with the software was a good start but I still had nothing in my hand. I started looking into 3D printers and was really impressed by Ultimakers vision and willingness to test new waters. The printer itself, the Ultimaker 2 Extended, was perfect; so the project now had most of the pieces needed to get underway.

Heathrow_Reichhold3

Finding the right technology

The next huge problem to tackle was figuring out how to capture the people for my 3D pictures. Statues present no issue, as they don’t move and if you make a mistake you simply go back and do it again. I started looking for a camera that could do something very difficult – capture hundreds of high resolution raw images in a small space of time. With the blazing performance of the Nikon D5, all I had do was ask subjects to sit still for a few seconds while I ran around them shooting at 14 frames per second! The project was moving along well.

The size of the images I wanted to show also created new challenges. At one meter in length, the photos would have to be printed in pieces (15-20 pieces for each model) then re-assembled. Thankfully, MyMiniFactory resolved this issue using 20 printers simultaneously to make the 3D printing of the models possible within a realistic time frame. I also needed a large quantity of PLA, which was provided by 3Dfilaprint, who proved to be really helpful in making this project possible. However, PLA was only part of the solution,I also wanted something solid and dense to hold, so I turned to bronze. Unfortunately, the project would require a large budget for bronze, so that just wasn’t going to happen. In the end, cold casting in bronze resin was the option that most appealed and suited our budget. For help with this I turned to Sarah Wade from Pongo Studios. Finally, I had a real, weighted end result in my hands and I was delighted.

Heathrow_Reichhold4

For the next three months, passengers arriving to London Heathrow Airport Terminal 5 will have exclusive access to a groundbreaking 3D printed photography exhibition. Photographer Henry Reichhold has partnered with Nikon, AutoDesk and Ultimaker for a project that takes live photogrammetry capture out into the world via high speed cameras (Nikon D5), and blends this with Bas relief to create a excitingly innovative piece of work. Read on below to learn more about what steps Reichhold took to bring his vision to life.

Heathrow_Reichhold1

Looking for something to hold

Almost exactly a year ago I started looking into how to take my 2d images into the third dimension. I very briefly looked at 3D cameras (stereo lenses) but the results needed extra technology to be enjoyed and what I really wanted was something I could hold in my hand, something real.

Research took me into the world of photogrammetry and led to the discovery of AutoDesk’s Beta software called Memento (now called ReMake), which people were using primarily to copy artwork. This had amazing potential but could only provide half the answer, something was missing.

What I needed was bas relief software and a way to fuse this with full 3d capture. The search was long and I tried many bas relief programs but found that they were very basic and offered no real creative control. I then turned to the most knowledgeable person in this new media, Tatjana Dzambazova, who introduced me to ArtCam Pro. This software had limitless creative potential and amazing control, proving to be ideal for my purposes.

Getting to grips with the software was a good start but I still had nothing in my hand. I started looking into 3D printers and was really impressed by Ultimakers vision and willingness to test new waters. The printer itself, the Ultimaker 2 Extended, was perfect; so the project now had most of the pieces needed to get underway.

Heathrow_Reichhold3

Finding the right technology

The next huge problem to tackle was figuring out how to capture the people for my 3D pictures. Statues present no issue, as they don’t move and if you make a mistake you simply go back and do it again. I started looking for a camera that could do something very difficult – capture hundreds of high resolution raw images in a small space of time. With the blazing performance of the Nikon D5, all I had do was ask subjects to sit still for a few seconds while I ran around them shooting at 14 frames per second! The project was moving along well.

The size of the images I wanted to show also created new challenges. At one meter in length, the photos would have to be printed in pieces (15-20 pieces for each model) then re-assembled. Thankfully, MyMiniFactory resolved this issue using 20 printers simultaneously to make the 3D printing of the models possible within a realistic time frame. I also needed a large quantity of PLA, which was provided by 3Dfilaprint, who proved to be really helpful in making this project possible. However, PLA was only part of the solution,I also wanted something solid and dense to hold, so I turned to bronze. Unfortunately, the project would require a large budget for bronze, so that just wasn’t going to happen. In the end, cold casting in bronze resin was the option that most appealed and suited our budget. For help with this I turned to Sarah Wade from Pongo Studios. Finally, I had a real, weighted end result in my hands and I was delighted.

Heathrow_Reichhold4

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