'portrait of a birch' sculpture in berlin is 3D-printed by hand with wood filament, by martin binder

'portrait of a birch' sculpture in berlin is 3D-printed by hand with wood filament, by martin binder

exhibited in superbien greenhouse for contemporary art in berlin, martin binder’s ‘portrait of a birch’ is a 4-meter long sculpture created by hand with a 3D pen of a wood-plastic composite. the branch looks very much like the natural tree while observed from behind the glass, but the visitor can examine every single line of the spatial drawing being close to it. besides the visual impression, its haptic and olfactory properties are very close to the original tree’s ones.

the 4-meter long sculpture is hollow and weights less than 2 kg
all images © asaf oren



to raise the questions of the natural and real, identity and originality, binder has spent more than 250 hours to make the large-scale installation. bringing together the material and the motif, the artist only used birch wood filament in his work.

the details are strikingly real and are inspired by real birch trees



‘I spend a lot of time on instagram, where I consume images behind a glass screen,’ explains the artist. ‘this work is a three-dimensional equivalent to digital media consumption. a fragment of a tree can be visually experienced behind the glass walls of the unconventional exhibition space.’

the composite material contains real birch wood



in order to create the sculpture with a 3D pen, martin binder studied the structure of different birch trees meticulously. ‘my eyes were the 3D scanner and my hands were the 3D printer,’ he says.

like a real tree, the 3D-drawing has imperfections and broken branches

the sculpture is a portrait of a tree which conserves a moment in time

a closer look reveals the meticulous construction by 3D pen and filament

night view of the installation which is placed in public space and can be visited 24 hours a day

from afar the sculpture seems like a real fragment of a tree

the sculpture seems to float in the outside exhibition space in berlin’s gallery district mitte-nord

the artist during the final installation of the sculpture which took over 250 hours to complete


designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: maria erman | designboom

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