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Baltimore’s We The Builders is creating a 3D-printed sculpture of Nefertiti

The sculpture will be made of 478 3D-printed parts, then assembled in Egypt at a big FabLab community event.

We The Builders is recreating Nefertiti with 3D printing. (Photo courtesy of Todd Blatt)

Baltimore-born crowdsourced 3D printing project We The Builders is looking to assemble a recreation of a famed bust of Nefertiti, the ancient Egyptian queen.

When the sculpture is complete, it’ll be on display in Egypt during FAB15, an event that gathers the makers, builders and technologists who are members of FabLab makerspaces from around the world.

According to We The Builders’ Todd Blatt, members of FabLab Cairo who are organizing the event asked to include a community build. Drawing on experience creating sculptures of Edgar Allan Poe and Rosie the Riveter, they’re recreating an ancient work that continues to be influential in modern times.

To start, they took a digital image of the famous sandstone sculpture of Nefertiti that was made available by Jan Nikolai Nelles and Nora Al-Badri in 2016, then divvied it out into 478 parts. Now it’s up to folks with 3D printers around the world to print out the different parts. The parts can be claimed at We The Builders’ website.

All of the printing is taking place over the next month. Participants can then mail their prints to Blatt in Baltimore.

“They mail them here to me. Then I open the boxes and repackage them into three big boxes and send them to ElGouna,” Blatt said, referring to the town on Egypt’s Red Sea where the conference will begin on July 28.

Once the event begins, the sculpture is then assembled onsite. When finished, the sculpture will stand four feet tall. For its part, the original is 18 inches, and is currently on display in Germany. We The Builders is seeking specific filament colors of golds, yellows, tans, light and medium browns, and a few dark reds, or dark blues.

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