Fabricating a Work of Art – 3D Printing and a Heart of Gold

A few months ago, a bright-eyed optimistic young artist by the name of Brendon McNaughton walked into our studio. As we showed him around all the different 3D technologies and services available to him, we could see the gears begin to turn in his head and the creative juices started to flow. It wasn’t long before we were consumed by his infectious excitement. Brendon had a plethora of astounding and novel ideas and saw all the 3D printers, scanners and other fabrication methods as his canvas and brush.

One of Brendon’s first ideas was for his Heart of Gold piece. The idea was, after the initial Heart of Gold piece, to have individuals commission him to take their own heart scan (using CT Scan technology), and turn it into gold, so that each heart design would be unique, and a token of the Art Collector’s own heart. Each heart is covered in 22 Carat gold and is 6in(W) x 7in(H) x 5in(D) in size. Here is an excerpt on the project from the Heart of Gold website:


Be sure to check out Brendon’s official page for the Heart of Gold: www.brendonmcnaughton.com

“Heart of Gold is a sculpture by Brendon McNaughton first produced in 2014. It is a stereolithography print of a living human heart finished with 22 carat gold. Collectors commission their own hearts to be made by McNaughton. Heart of Gold is a portrait of contemporary market oriented cultures.”

To achieve this, he needed the customizability of 3D design and print technologies. Around the same time we first met Brendon, we had just recently acquired our ProJet 6000 Stereolithography printer, and were finally getting starting to get amazing results with our SLA prints. The Rapid Prototyping process would allow customized hearts to be produced on demand without the need to hand sculpt each piece. He also needed a printer that would maintain the high level of detail of a human heart, while maintaining a smooth surface finish, and also being strong enough to survive further processing and handling. What better way to usher in our brand new ProJet 6000 Stereolithography 3D Printer? Stereolithography 3D Printing was the only technology that hit on all these facets.

The vision of an artist is something that needs to be nurtured. The creative process no longer needs to be limited by what tools you use, with so many options for customization and fabrication. 3D printing allows for means of expression not previously possible. It’s our job here at Objex Unlimited to overcome hurdles and leverage technologies to bring ideas to life!


About the Artist: 

Brendon McNaughton (b.1990, Newmarket, ON) is a multidisciplinary artist working out of Toronto, Canada. He received a B.F.A. from York University in Toronto and studied at Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia. McNaughton has traveled and worked in a number of countries in Africa, as well as Australia, New Zealand, the USA and Canada. His observations and working experiences provide great contrast to the luxurious lifestyles he has seen in New York City and Toronto. Brendon McNaughton has blended the concerns and methods of Pop, Surrealism and Conceptual art with the appropriation of his working class upbringing. Extracting processes, imagery and material from the construction sites and mining towns he had worked, McNaughton unravels what makes one person live a life of luxury and opulence while the next faces hardship and poverty. McNaughton exhibits throughout North America and Australia. He has received numerous awards and grants for his work and is included within multiple public and private collections internationally.

The relationship between plutocrats (gazillionaires) and the proletariats (wageworkers) are central to McNaughton’s practice. He is looking for answers to what creates class and status distinctions. His examinations are intertwined with economic philosophy and the study of markets. A life of opulence compared to the landscaper who turns the garden beds of the rich. The landscaper does this for a wage that after a lifetime of work could not afford them to purchase even the vehicles in the driveway of their wealthy customer. This is a curious thing, and it is these curiosities that inform McNaughton’s work. Bullet riddled panels, sculptures made with raw tree trunks, pristine golden mirrors, paintings with axe holes hacked through them are all common sights within his works. Through these explorations McNaughton refers to what creates these class and status distinctions.

Print Heart of Gold


Be sure to check out Brendon’s official page for the Heart of Gold: www.brendonmcnaughton.com

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