8-bit Neolithic Idol

 by Joshua Killen

 David Gladden

Two archeologists hovered nervously over a dig site immersed deep within a low-res landscape. Several obj files lay before them in the html blocks of clay. The expedition allowed for only one of the obj files to be collected and both pondered which of the files to choose. After reviewing the lot, they remarked how Scan6 resembled a neolithic humanoid idol, male in gender from the looks of it. Eons spent in virtual time had eroded the figurine and left it with a distinct low poly finish. After being held up to the square 8-bit light source resembling the sun, it was decided that Scan6 would be brought out of the virtual space and into the physical world.

This project was introduced to me and collaborated with by my friend David Gladden who is the New Media Art Professor at Salisbury University.


The object was collected from the Young Antiquities Project


Details of the project are described on their webpage well enough; however, to summarize there are a series of scanned objects and the ask was for one of them to be downloaded and printed as a work of art. These shapes seem to have gone through a couple stages of physical and alternate virtual existences. I was intrigued, and David and I went to work on sending a 3D printout of an object to this project.

Alterations to the object were made in Fusion 360 to create a hole for inserting the wooden dowel from the display stand. I printed Scan6 on my MakerBot 5th Gen and scaled it so it would print in one round. After cleaning and sanding off flash and print supports, the object was coated with XTC-3D. The XTC was then sanded and the object was painted using an airbrush, then a final coat of varnish.

I designed and printed the display stand using the same material as the object, but with a thicker shell. I had to add support feet to the stand using the “Flexi” material to help stabilize and support the display.

I’m excited about the outcome of this project, it was a good experience to focus and create something like this within a short time frame. Ultimately, I’m happy with the end results and look forward to creating a lot more in the future.