Best of London, 3D Printed.

London Captured in Bronze with Photogrammetry and 3D Printing

If you’re passing through Terminal 5 at London’s Heathrow Airport anytime soon, make sure to check out the 3D printed photography exhibit. 

The project is the brainchild of photographer Henry Reichhold, who collaborated with Ultimaker, Autodesk and Nikon. Reichhold is exploring a “new type of art” by transforming 2D photography into 3D sculpture.

By using photogrammetry, Reichhold was able to convert many of his 2D images into one single 3D image. He used advanced software to create the image, create and mold and then it was 3D printed.

With this, Reichhold’s Metamorphosis exhibit came to life. Check out the mold he used in the picture below.


The Metamorphosis Process

Reichhold used bronze reliefs to capture the people and architecture of the great city. Through his rendering, he managed to portray everything from bus stops to major landmarks.

To capture detailed photographs, he used an advanced Nikon D5 camera. The benefit of this camera is that it is able to take 140 images per second.

With the images Richhold captured, he could use Autodesk ReMake to transform them from 2D pixels to 3D triangles.

The next process was to convert these 3D images into digital models of the molds using ArtCAM Pro. Reichhold used twenty Ultimaker 2 Extended 3D printers to print out the molds which turned the images into 3D sculptures.


PangoStudios were called up to cast the 3D sculpture in bronze. They used a cold cast process which mixed resin and a metal powder. This process took around five days.

Although the artist had a lot of experience when it came to taking photos, he had very little experience with 3D printing. As we know, finding the right technology and materials was important for the perfect outcome.

However, Reichhold soon found that it was easy to experiment with Ultimaker printers to create a fantastic art piece.

If you’re interested in seeing Metamorphosis for yourself, then visit the departure zone, before security at Heathrow. Ultimaker points out: “No passport or boarding pass is required.”

(Source: Ultimaker Blog)