Yup, you heard that right — the interview is well worth checking out as the remaining art documentation for this short-lived, smallest sculptural exhibit. 😉
The artist elaborates, in the absorbing interview (embedded below), on his experience upon receiving the prints. When he receives the package with his prints, Hurwitz begins climbing into his nanoscopic world: first opening the box and digging through the packaging material, then coming to a small jewelry box. Opening the box, he sees nothing. Though he ultimately makes out faint glints of something, tilting the box into the light, it isn’t until he gets them under an electron microscope, the property of a microscope salesperson that Hurwitz calls “Mr. G”, that he finally sees them in their nanoscopic glory.
“Cupid and Psyche” on the head of an ant by Jonty Hurwitz
As the story unfolds, Hurwitz eloquently explains his hour-long search for the prints under the microscope, the final moment of seeing them and how indescribable that moment really was. Then, as Mr. G and G’s engineer take the slide out of the device, Hurwitz hears a quietly uttered “oops”, followed by “These may be hard to find again”. Dread sinks in as the slide goes back into the machine and they go on yet another search. The journey through the nanoverse of the microscope is a daunting and fruitless one. Finally, the artist removes the slide from the equipment and takes a look, seeing a single fingerprint where his seven nanosculptures once rested. A fingerprint belonging to Mr. G.
Cupid and Psyche by Jonty Hurwitz
It’s then that Hurwitz realizes:
Ok. They are lost. I’ve just lost the seven – I’ve just lost the absolute edge of what humanity is capable of. I’ve just lost these nanosculptures. I’ve lost them. They are lost. You know, your first instinct when you lose things is to look…They’re lost. They’re gone.
With only the damaged glass slide, the photos, and the story, Hurwitz has to believe that the story is good enough. Saying, “And we come back to ‘trust’. Trust me. They were there.” His series is now being investigated by the Guinness Book of World Records to fit the category of smallest human portraits ever created. Without the prints, will they trust him? Will he ever trust an electron microscope salesman again?
A commenter on the edition of this story on Designboom pretty much summed up where we are now as 3D printing audiences: “So… he had an incredibly tiny series of sculptures printed, which were lost. Why doesn’t he just print more? How about a teapot? We can launch it into space.”
Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!
Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!
The Adafruit Learning System has dozens of great tools to get you well on your way to creating incredible works of engineering, interactive art, and design with your 3D printer! We also offer the LulzBot TAZ – Open source 3D Printer and the Printrbot Simple Metal 3D Printer in our store. If you’ve made a cool project that combines 3D printing and electronics, be sure to let us know, and we’ll feature it here!