World’s First Crowdsourced 3D Printed Sculpture to Debut in Calgary

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Linked 3D Printing Jeff de Boer Gothic Bat Cat cover

Internationally Known Artist Partners with Award-Winning Startup for Crowdsourced Sculpture

PrintToPeer is a software startup company which aims to make 3D printing accessible through a web-based printer remote control and monitoring app. For their launch, PrintToPeer has partnered with artist Jeff de Boer to create “Linked,” the world’s first crowdsourced 3D printed sculpture. Unique medallions 3D printed across the world will be assembled into a hanging mesh, which will form a mosaic as the intersection of art and engineering.

“We’re able to take our artist’s vision and allow anyone in the world with this technology to be the sculptor. We’re excited to demonstrate the endless possibilities and limitless creativity of the community,” says PrintToPeer co-founder, Tom Bielecki.

3D printer owners from around the world are asked to personalize an interconnecting medallion design, and ship their contribution to Calgary. Contributors are encouraged to show off their logo, equipment, materials, and 3D modelling skill, and are invited to submit as many different designs as they like.

Here’s how to get involved: PrintToPeer has built a unique online platform at Once signed up, printer owners are given an automatically customized piece of the sculpture, which they can further modify with any image. More technically inclined participants can also download a plain medallion, and use computer-aided design software to customize it themselves.

The sculpture has been titled “Linked” to represent the connection of engineering and art, as well as the literal connecting links sent from around the world. de Boer has developed the concept from his experience with chainmail, and has designed a common linkage system to hold the pieces together. Guest artists will be invited to arrange the links into mosaics and different physical arrangements.

Printer owners are asked to ship their contributions by September 7th. Linked will be assembled during Beakerhead (September 11-15th), a city-wide festival in Calgary which celebrates the convergence of art, science, and engineering. The completed sculpture will be on display at the Calgary Maker Faire (September 14th), a festival of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker movement. This will take place at the Alberta College of Art and Design (ACAD) in Calgary.

Below is a photo gallery of the team and sculpture process.

About Jeff de Boer

Jeff de Boer is internationally known for his four distinct bodies of work: armour for cats and mice, armour for executives, exoforms, and space objects including rocket lamps. Jeff has continued to work and grow, developing new and fantastic ideas. He has also gone back to the Alberta College of Art and Design (ACAD) where he studied Jewelry Design, this time as an instructor teaching a Jewellery Design and Presentation class. He currently has a studio in south-east Calgary, where he now works with his wife Debbie.

Here is what de Boer said about “Linked”

The distance between art and technology is beginning to not just close; it is beginning to merge.  The emergence of the 3D printer has given individuals who would not normally consider themselves makers the power to create in three dimensions.  Now that the masses can make anything, the big question will always be, “what is worth making?”

The 3D printer right now is a little bit like a television without content provided by a broadcast network.   The truth is, it is no longer necessary to have a centralized network for content, as each individual can now create the content in an open source environment.

“Linked” will be the world’s first collaborative 3D sculpture ever produced.  The idea is to demonstrate the collective power of individuals as links in an open source content generator.

I have designed a standardized linkage system on which individuals can apply their own content, print it out and send it to us so as to be linked to an ever-growing hanging sculpture.  In the end, each link will be unique, creating a vast gallery of colors and images.  The links’ wide range of colors will act like pixels and can be arranged by a guest artist to create an overall image.

This sculpture can be arranged over and over by different guest artists, each time generating a unique overall image.  The sculpture comes together in an additive way, not unlike the process of 3D printing itself.


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