CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - Coastal Carolina University boasts about 25 3D printers spread over several departments throughout campus. One department is using that technology to bring a modern twist to an ancient art form.
The exhibit on display at CCU's Rebecca Randall Art Gallery combines an ancient art form with cutting edge 3D technology. The two come together to create an art form known as Nang Yai.
It's several hundred years old and uses buffalo hide to tell stories of mythological creatures and heroes. This exhibit is a play on that art form, using 3D printed globes instead to cast shadows that depict Thai mythological creatures.
Jeff Case, an associate professor at CCU, created this exhibit and says 3D printing allowed him to bring that traditional aspect into a modern presentation.
"I'm essentially using a 3D printer to create my designs and 3D print these globes. It's a faster process, it's using technology to create something that's old and make something new and it's a different way of looking at how we create things through technology," said Case.
Case says his inspiration comes from Thailand and its culture, a place where he used to live. A depiction of Buddha is part of Case's exhibit - something he believes may be one of a kind.
"This might be the first one ever created in this art form which I was really excited about as I was developing the process and imagining how it would work, projecting it on the back wall. But this is, I believe, the first stereographic projection of a Buddha ever created," he said.
Case says much of this exhibit was trial and error. He says it takes up to 24 hours to 3D print each of these globes.