Zeus Returns to Throne 1,500 Years Later with Stratasys 3D Printing
A fifth-century BC Greek statue, so massive and revered it was tagged as one of the “Seven Wonders of the Ancient World,” is being replicated – slightly smaller – by Stratasys 3D printers. The 3D printed version of the Statue of Zeus at OIympia, based on the original created by the sculptor Phidias in 422 BC, will be the centerpiece of a new exhibit at Atlanta’s Millenium Gate Museum, timed for the opening of the 2016 Olympics. Entitled “The Games: Ancient Olympia to Atlanta to Rio,” the exhibition opens August 20, 2016 and runs until January 2, 2017, and it features Greek artifacts from The Hearst Castle Collection in San Simeon, California, and the Michael C. Carlos Museum in Atlanta, Georgia.
The original statue, to honor the mightiest Greek god, Zeus, was planned and constructed at the temple in Olympia over the course of more than a decade. It was designed on a wood frame with gold and ivory panels and stood at over 40 feet tall. The statue kept watch over the temple for about 800 years before it was destroyed, allegedly in a fire, 1,500 years ago. Preserved for posterity on ancient Greek coins, this ambitious homage to this monumentally well-known landmark has been powered by the true-to-life realism of 3D printing.
Bringing the Legend to Life
Stratasys additive manufacturing has recreated this legendary statue for the first time since its destruction. Based on an initial image of the piece, designers working with a team at Kennesaw State University in Georgia translated the rendering into a CAD file using 3D modeling software. The team 3D printed the statue on a powerful Stratasys Fortus 900mc Production 3D Printer. The Fortus 900mc enables users to 3D print small to large parts with unmatched accuracy and throughput. FDM is the only leading additive manufacturing technology to use production-grade thermoplastics for the most durable parts – a good thing for Zeus since he will be displayed outside!
The work is being unveiled at the Millenium Gate Museum in conjunction with the 20th anniversary of the Centennial Olympic Games, held in Atlanta in 1996.
“Throughout history, there are always instances where the most precious works of art get destroyed or broken. In the past, this disappearance meant items were lost forever. That’s why we’re so heavily invested in the artistic value of 3D printing,” said Jeremy Kobus, Director of The Gate Museum. “Committed to working at the intersection of technology and art, we see the tremendous potential of 3D printing for educational applications. Alongside Stratasys and the educators at Kennesaw State University, our hope is to deliver creations far too few have even tried to attempt.”
The recreation of Zeus is just one example of the awesome, thunderbolt-throwing power of Stratasys FDM 3D printing. We are excited to help return the legend to his throne.