One man’s waste is another man’s art. We have heard this before. It is the basis of a whole artistic genre that began in the 1950s with experimental works of art made from scrap metal, old paper and other found objects. It looks like junk art has broken into Japanese 3D printing territory now that 3D printing service provider Melta has held a competition to evaluate art from failed prints. This highly publicized Mojamoja The contest collected some of the most jaw-dropping pieces of unique plastic art, including character cosplay props gone wrong and tangled resins that appear to be shaped like fruits or flowers.
We’ve seen prints go wrong in the past, and in the early 2010s dozens of images flooded 3D printing forums and social media groups under titles such as “beautiful failures” or “the failure of 3D printing has become pure art”. Enthusiasts usually look for a unique quality in their failed prints, which will turn their piece into a work of admiration for other 3D printing users, especially considering the failure rate with printers. For example, commercial FDM 3D printers have a failure rate of around 20%, and this number will increase if the printers are made at home. So there is plenty of room for imaginative play with failed impressions. However, for Melta and its Mojamoja competition is much more than that. They took this art form one step further.
Under the motto “failure is a sign of challenge”, the competition praises the collapse of plastic 3D printing. Born during the pandemic as a Twitter challenge, Mojamoja became popular enough that in April 2022, Melta decided to organize a second challenge. This time around, entrants could upload their art to Twitter or present it live to a panel of judges, who could see, touch and rate the pieces.
From a total of 120 submissions, judges Nobumichi Tosa of avant-garde performance art group Maywa Denki, media artist Etsuko Ichihara, electronic performer Gal Denkyoko, and Melta president Hiroyuki Uchino chose the winning pieces and runners-up for both categories.
The first prize in the live and Twitter section of the competition went to the sculptor Yojigen-kun, which featured an all-white resin sculpture, originally intended to be a female fantasy role-playing (FRP) character. He received ten boxes of 3D printing filament for his work, as well as a trip to Takayama, a city in Japan’s mountainous Gifu prefecture.
In a social media post, Yojigen-kun said the 3D printing art “incident” was so “catastrophic” that he laughed when he saw it. The sculpture turns out to be the unintended result of a destroyed printer after the artist attempted to double the nozzle diameter from 0.4mm to 0.8mm to increase output speed. In doing so, he damaged the printer, a FlashForge Guider II, so that when the platform began to tilt, the resin continued to flow, even sliding downward. The result is what Yojigen-kun describes as “alien eggs in the field.” For Judge Uchino, the shape of the work is one he hasn’t seen much, and he said it is “worthy and fit for the grand prize, creating visual impact and rarity.”
For second place in the live section, called the “grand prize,” the judges chose a character cosplay prop gone wrong. Virtual YouTuber Hyper Toy Creator received an award for his failed work of the horn from famed hololive Virtual Youtuber La+Darknesss (see below in one of his YouTube posts). This time, the filament broke while the job was printing, and when Hyper Toy Creator added another filament, the printed part’s seal broke.
Hyper Toy Creator said that normally the work should have continued to release irregularly. Still, it started to function normally, resulting in a more punchy shape that brings out one of La+Darknesss horns amidst a pool of tangled “plastic spaghetti” protruding from the bed, likely one of the most common ways any 3D print fails. . This particular work was chosen for its size, which exceeds a 500ml PET bottle. However, the impactful piece attracted a lot of attention and earned its artist a coveted prize, a soundproof room from Otodasu, ideal for housing a 3D printer.
In the Twitter section, the grand prize went to a faulty speaker box that Twitter’s 3D printing enthusiast Miscellaneous Notes on Takeota’s Greed put online. According to the winner, he left the printer running and went to work. So, after scheduling it for the 60 hour job, the modeling progressed, and then a cable got caught in the modeled object, causing the base plate to move immediately. “I’ll never forget the shock of finding out on my way home from work,” he said in a social media post. But, shock or no shock, the judges liked it, and the work earned its author an Ultrafuse ABS Fusion 3D printer filament, plus three color sets courtesy of Japan 3D Printer.
Other winning pieces include an unfinished angel wing, a wobbly pancake tower, and a cascade of tangled filaments. Several of the other winning works can be seen in the image below, and the 120 pieces competing in the competition can be found on Twitter under the hashtag #Mojacon.
Following the announcement of the winners, the chosen pieces were exhibited at Tokyo’s Mikan Shimokita, a five-story complex below the elevated Shimokitazawa station that hosts experimental challenges and projects. The Mojamoja contest exhibition, which was held last April, was actually part of Mikan Shimokita’s opening event and attracted a lot of attention from passers-by who were curious to see how failure can turn out. turn into art.
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