Abstract Painting Meets Design and 3D Printing to Recreate Kandinsky’s Masterpiece “Composition VIII” – 3DPrint.com

At the age of 30, Wassily Kandinsky, originally from Moscow, had a comfortable career teaching law and economics, and he gave it all up to enroll in the School of Fine Arts in Munich.

Wassily Kandinsky

But things didn’t go exactly as planned. Kandinsky failed his first attempt at school admission, so he began his art studies at his own pace. The year before he left Moscow, the budding artist saw an exhibition of paintings by Monet, and he was stunned by the power of the impressionistic style of the “Haystacks” series, as he noted:

“I felt dully that the subject of the painting was missing. And I noticed – with surprise and confusion – that the image not only grabbed me, but became ineradicably imprinted in my memory. The painting took on a fairy-tale power and splendor.

When Kandinsky returned to Moscow after the outbreak of World War I, his early Impressionist style hardened into a more avant-garde geometric pictorial vocabulary. The paintings – once filled with compositional elements taken from nature and resembling clouds, sun, mountains and references to the landscape painting tradition – have been devolved to geometric and fundamental biomemetic keys that announced a new vision of what art could become.

Composition VIII

Composition VIII

Works like Kandinsky’s “Composition” series became mainstays of abstract painting and inspired generations of painters to follow their example in their search for new forms of expression.

“The circle is the synthesis of the greatest oppositions”, said Kandinsky of the metamorphosis of his style. “It combines the concentric and the eccentric in a single, balanced form. Of the three primary forms, it most clearly points to the fourth dimension.

And now, three former Autodesk employees who worked on AutoCAD for mobile have looked to the past to create new software that brings 3D printing to the future of design and artistic expression.

“We chose ‘Composition VIII’…because the original idea behind this series of compositions was to experiment with the medium of paint,” explains Eviathar Meyer, co-founder and CEO of UMake. “Our idea was to do the same type of experimentation, but interpreting it within the framework of 3D design and printing. We wanted to present a piece that uses geometric shapes to be seen as an architectural blueprint under a angle and like a modern work of art under another.

UMake_CompositionVIII_modelPaintingMeyer says the process of making the piece was split between different tools and methods. The team started by sketching the geometric shapes and lines using their app, UMake.

“It’s just easier to trace and sketch these shapes on a tablet and a stylus, rather than tracing them with a mouse on desktop software. After finishing the 2D sketch, we started creating surfaces from the geometry,” says Meyer. “It was fun to play with that and imagine how a city could be created from a 2D piece of art.”

Once the original sketches were completed, the result was exported to an IGES file format and refined with Rhino 5. The 3D design for printing was fleshed out by filling in gaps and refining details, then the files were transferred to TechFactoryPlus for output to a Witbox 3D Printer.Make Kandinsky

“We debated whether to use PLA or wood materials because I really liked the texture of wood, but ultimately decided to go with white PLA so it would better represent a white canvas. virgin,” Meyer said. “It took us about six hours to print this model, and the quality of the Witbox was pretty amazing – it worked perfectly the first time.”

Meyer says his fledgling company is launching a private beta this week, and he adds that the software will support iPad 3rd generation or iPad Mini 2 and up when running iOS 8. He says the goal of the beta program is to test the user experience for UMake to see how improvements can be made to allow more people to create 3D designs easily and intuitively on their tablets.

Would you be interested in 3D software like UMake for your tablet? Let us know if you are considering signing up for the UMake beta process in the Painting Meets 3D Design and Printing forum thread on 3DPB.com. Watch the video below of the production process to turn the 2D painting into a 3D sculpture.