Many of us have ancestors who passed through Ellis Island, making their way to a new life in the United States—and eventually creating progeny who would go on to parent many more generations—some of whom would later gain a propensity for 3D printing and see a nine-foot statue unveiled at an exhibit at the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration in New York City.
Freshmade 3D, in cooperation with Kent State University, has just installed the 80 percent-scale replica of Pio Fedi’s Liberty of Poetry statue at Ellis Island, while the original work of art—thought to have served as the inspiration for the Statue of Liberty—resides at the Opera di Santa Croce in Florence. The original was also known to be a memorial monument to Giovanni Battista Niccolini, a playwright and hero of the Italian Risorgimento.
“What we wanted to do with the Santa Croce team was to think about how we could bring the conversation into today’s culture. We think about the 50th commemoration of May 4 and the lead up to the presidential election. How do we take this historical understanding of liberty and this partnership between Italy and the U.S. to create an international conversation about liberty today?” said J.R. Campbell, director of Kent’s Design Innovation Initiative who led the project with James Blank, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and David Hassler, director of the Wick Poetry Center.
Scanning was provided by Kent State, while Freshmade designed the supports, with the parts 3D printed and delivered by Humtown Products in Leetonia, OH, after which Freshmade 3D used their AMClad process to functionalize the parts so they could be assembled and Kent State artists could move forward to paint on a faux finish similar to the original marble statue.
AMClad is a proprietary material offered by Freshmade 3D and was used to create the nine-foot statue featured in the ‘Sisters in Liberty: From Florence, Italy to New York New York.’ The exhibit itself is a project between Kent State and the Opera di Santa Croce, a nonprofit organization in charge of the Franciscan Cathedral Santa Croce. Notably, this is also the resting place of artistic greats such as Michelangelo, Galileo, and Machiavelli.
The statue’s head, featuring rays much like the Statue of Liberty, was cast in a 3D printed sand mold printed by Humtown Products.
“What excites me most about the 3D printing technology used in this project, is that it changes your perception on what 3D printing can do. Freshmade 3D has a truly remarkable product with AMClad®. Their knowledge, expertise, and attention to detail made the crucial difference between our project success and its failure. The finished product turned out beyond our wildest imagination,” said Josh Talbott, Team Leader, Division of Information Technology.
“We couldn’t think of a better opportunity to showcase the capabilities of AMClad technology for creative applications. We’re hoping this will inspire other universities and institutions to take advantage of 3D printing and complementary technologies like 3D scanning to preserve historic monuments and artifacts,” said Rich Wetzel, Co-founder and CEO of Freshmade 3D.