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Veterans Create 3D-printed Artwork with Virtual Reality Technology

The Imagine Museum in St. Petersburg has offered an innovative experience to help veterans document their military careers.

The venue, with its expansive glass decorations, has showcased more than 500 imagination-inspired art pieces by various globally-renowned artists, for two years.

The latest virtual reality (VR) display at the Museum is doing its part in prolonging the tradition of imaginative art.

Natacha Delince, one of the veteran participants explained the new display as a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

The St. Petersburg museum’s entrance has been adorned five miniature pressed plastic totems. Each of the pieces was created using an innovative process of 3D-printing an image with virtual reality.

Five veterans from the city were handpicked for molding the art pieces, that are being displayed till November end.

Wilson Bautista, another veteran, remarked that he found the display to be quite interesting. Bautista, who had a 17-years long career in the Marine Corps, emphasised the importance of art as a creative outlet. He believes that feelings are often suppressed, citing the example of a combat environment where achieving the mission is the top priority.

Bautista took upwards of an hour to determine what he wanted to create.

The virtual reality project called “Veterans’ Reality” is the first exhibition involving veterans. Imagine has revealed that the project is centred around aspects such as virtual reality art-creation, oral accounts of veterans, and 3D-printed items, all of which are recorded on film. Duke Energy Foundation’s Victories for Veterans programme is supporting the project.

Bautista created a man stooping down on one knee with outstretched arms as if he is holding some heavy burden on his shoulders. He decided to name it “Endure”, a symbolic representation of the struggles veterans face to balance between their career and family life.

He remarked that it was important to express how service members are weighed down and brought to their knees, but soldier on for the greater good.

The art pieces showcased representations of a veteran’s perspective to life following military service. They required the participants to spend many hours on creative visualisation, virtual building, and 3D-printing.

Delince made an art piece shaped like a cat, called “Kitty With A Tear”. She explained that the experience was quite enjoyable as she had never done anything like it before.

Delince, who had been in the Army for almost eight years, found the art creation session to be therapeutic. She regarded the experience of creating art out of thin air was quite special for her.

According to her, transitioning from military to civilian life was difficult for her, and her animals helped her through this phase. This made her feel proud and revived her sense of accomplishment.

This project is among the first times that virtual reality has found use in the creation of unique art pieces within a gallery setting. Imagine’s VR efforts are headed by Virtual Reality Coordinator Kurdt Allan.

The Google Tilt Brush application is being used to create 3D-printed art pieces.


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