Elizabeth Boorman May 7, 2014
Who are the “heroes of tomorrow”? In Flanders, the Helden van Later competition asked young people to theorize a better world by thinking of creative solutions to modern day social problems. The 582 entries were reviewed by a panel, which consisted of 14 politicians, 10 experts and 8 youth and they chose three winners: Hanne, Lora and Natallia.

Hanne, Lora and Natallia

When the organizer of the Helden van Later, Hannes Jossart, was faced with the question, “How does one reward the three ultimate heroes of tomorrow?”, he decided to do what so many before him have done to honor heroes: that is, to create a timeless sculpture of them. omg-omg But using traditional sculpture techniques did not fit with the mood of the competition, which was focused on creativity and innovation. So when it came to making the sculpture he decided to use 3D Printing and came to none other than Materialise.
girl-1Bust of Hanne. Hanne’s idea is to create an online platform for neighborhoods where people can ask questions to each other to increase interaction between them. For example, years ago people used to go to their neighbor to borrow a cup of sugar. With the web platform she envisions, people could ask on the platform for some sugar and if a neighbor has some, they can come and get it. She finds that social media should be used so that “we support the current society joyful living together” and encourage genuine, spontaneous contact.
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Bust of Natallia. Natallia saw that many people, particularly elders and youth, are lonely today. Her idea consists of a series of actions to encourage these groups to be more social. One is to have an older person share their home with a younger person. This will help the younger person who does not have lots of money and let the elderly person have some people around to share time with. Another idea is to have a “neighborhood dinner” where people in the neighborhood agree to cook and eat together. Her last idea is to have young people behind their computer less by having more social time for elementary school children, and to have elderly people use the computer more to maintain contact with one another from a distance.
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Bust of Lora. Lora suggests having a compulsorily politics and civics class in high school. This class would teach students about the political system and political parties, how to fill out tax forms and the values of being a good citizen, such as helping a blind person on a train.
To make these busts, each girl was scanned, and using our 3D printing software, Magics, the scans were turned into 3D models that could then go to 3D Printing. Using mammoth stereolithography, the busts came to life to be a real life 3D structure.
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Once the winners were scanned, their 3D images were uploaded into Magics so we could plan how they would be 3D printed.
The busts were then printed in mammoth stereolithography.
The busts were then printed in mammoth stereolithography.
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The sterolithography busts without their metal coating.
The stereolithography busts were sanded down and to finish the busts, Tom Rubens from the production team used a “cold metal spray”. What he did was combine a metal mix called “gunpowder” with polymer and apply it on top of the stereolithography to give a metal finish. Once the verometal mix was dry, Tom then worked on sanding the busts down so that they would have a nice smooth finish.
The middle one has a matte finish still as it had not been sanded and polished yet.
The middle one has a matte finish still as it had not been sanded and polished yet.
On April 30th, these winners were honored in a ceremony at the Flemish Parliament where the 3D-printed busts were unveiled. The busts will remain on display at the Flemish Parliament for a short period of time before they can take them home. The girls were thrilled to receive these 3D portraits of themselves.
Lora’s excitement from seeing her 3D-printed bust for the first time.
Lora’s excitement from seeing her 3D-printed bust for the first time.
Natallia examining her resemblance in the statue.
Natallia examining her resemblance in the statue.