Petitions. Who pays attention to them? Attempting to solve that problem, and to save the worlds elephants, my old ad agency FHV/BBDO in Amsterdam made a 3D printed elephant petition. The 3D elephant can be seen being printed live at Schipol Airport and on the website www.stapvandeolifantaf.nl, each time someone adds a name to the petition, a little bit more of the 3D elephant is printed. Add your name so we can finish this giant orange elephant already!
For the project a special 3D printing installation was created using 5 Ultimaker 3D printers. The printers and print heads are flipped upside down. This way they can print revolutionary high columns of more than 2.5 meters in height. Placed in parallel to each other and working in sync, these printers can print the enormous elephant in a very short period of time. 3D designer Van Tubergen: “It takes an ordinary 3D printer months to print large objects, but by using five 3D printers simultaneously and printing in 60 very high columns, we managed to reduce printing time dramatically.”
Everyone who pledges has their name printed on the elephant with a special font -called Elephont- which makes it look like elephant skin. Although only Dutch people can pledge, everyone who visits Schiphol Airport can check out the 3D printing installation and everyone can follow the progress of the printing 24/7 through the live stream.
World Animal Protection (previously known as WSPA) urges people not to ride elephants on their holiday. Most of the captive elephants in the tourism industry have been captured illegally from the wild. And elephant rides and shows cause severe pain, stress and suffering for the animals. Pascal de Smit, director of World Animal Protection The Netherlands: "A petition in the form of a life-size 3D printed elephant is a unique and innovative way to draw attention to the cruelty inflicted on thousands of elephants in the tourism industry. Every participant literally helps to build awareness for elephant abuse."
More then 20.000 people already signed the petition. The 3D printing installation will be in a pop-up pavilion in front of the main entrance of Schiphol Airport until August 30, 2014.