Printing MC Escher for real

Lifting those illusions right off the page

We all know the work of M.C. Escher… Who hasn’t furrowed their brow at those impossible forms; so alluring in their stark opposition to our practical sense of spacial reality?

Thanks to some clever CAD modelling and an in-house 3D printer, Professor Gershon Elber from the Computer Science Department at Israel’s Technion has brought these iconic artworks to life. From the basic building blocks of the Penrose triangle and Necker’s cube through to the architectural complexity of the Belvedere (pictured above) and Waterfall, the master of illusion is no longer a 2D phenomenon.

“…it may come as a surprise for some, but many of the so-called ‘impossible’ drawings of M. C. Escher can be realized as actual physical objects. These objects will resemble the Escher’s drawing, of the same name, from a certain viewing direction.”

Click through for a short video that shows how the specialised 3D CAD application works in tandem with 3D printers to produce objects that are indeed possible, if you happen to be standing in the right spot to view them.

The project also goes beyond Escher, printing multiple interlocked Penrose triangles in the form of a Star of David, the impossible torus, and other works based on these core components made so famous by the mathematical genius. It’s well worth clicking through to Professor Elber’s site to see the full range of prints, where the process is explained in depth and they have even provided STL files for many of the models.

Escher For Real and Beyond via SolidSmack

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