3D printing as an art form first sparked the interest of Tom Burtonwood in 2012. A teacher at the Art Institute of Chicago, Burtonwood finds new and exciting projects within the world of 3D printing. One project that is of particular interest to the IC3D team is the architectural reference book born of this artist’s desire to bring the timeless work of Louis H. Sullivan into an accessible space. The 3D printed tiles imagined and created by Burtonwood represent yet another way this fascinating medium expands and contributes to the art world.

Twenty Something Sullivan features nine ornaments by Louis H. Sullivan. Bringing the worlds of machine, 3D printer, and human creation together, this 3D print project offers a new way to experience Sullivan’s earliest work. The original tiles, produced when the artist was a young man and new to the world of architecture, offer a glimpse of his emerging style.

IC3D tile 2

As with his other projects, Burtonwood trusted IC3D filament to create each of the nine tiles. Both a negative impression and a relief print are represented in perfect detail on two sides of each tile. The set forms a freestanding nine-page book held with circular bearings on one side of each tile. Captions make each tile’s building name, date of production and destruction, and location known. Sean Tikkun translated the captions into Braille to appeal to an even wider audience.

Tinkerers, artists, and makers who would like to download the entire collection to print themselves can do so at Thingverse.com, where Burtonwood offers links to source material for the book and original scans. Each tile takes between 25 and 30 hours to print, however Josh Ajima created a scaled down version for a smaller print size.

IC3D tile

To see the Twenty Something Sullivan display in person, visit the Exhibits section of the Twenty Something Sullivan website.

IC3D is passionate about supporting the ever-changing world of 3D printing. Burtonwood’s 3D printing projects are a perfect example of the kind of innovation and sharing that make this medium such a rich addition to the art world. If you’ve created something amazing with our filament, or have an invention or innovation to share that is expanding the 3D printing world, we’d love to hear from you.