1914 Coney Island Diorama Is World’s Largest Desktop-Printed Sculpture

1914 Coney Island Diorama Is World’s Largest Desktop-Printed Sculpture

Luna Park opened in Brooklyn in 1903, during the heyday of Coney Island attractions. This weekend, artist Fred Kahl pays tribute to the park’s history with a 3D-printed model depicting it as it appeared 100 years ago. It’s being billed as the largest art installation ever created on a desktop 3D printer and building it involved some fascinating, custom-made technology.

TIME magazine just published a fantastic short video about Kahl, his fascination with Coney Island and the project of building this sculpture, that you should absolutely watch. First launched as a Kickstarter last winter, Kahl’s project used a home-brewed, Kinect-powered 3D scanning booth to 3D print 1:13 scale figurines of backers and visitors to serve as the crowd in his model park.

After some delays due to venue issues, the first part of the installation was revealed today. It’s not the full Luna Park — Kahl is still working on printing the rest of the diorama — but it’s a fascinating start. And with the model park populated by 3D-printed avatars of backers and people who stumbled into Kahl’s Scan-A-Rama 3D portrait studio in Coney Island, it represents a fascinating new way for spectators to actually become a part of the art.

Image of Luna Park, from TIME magazine’s video on Fred Kahl.