World’s first-ever 3D print petition comes up trumps for elephants

World’s first-ever 3D print petition comes up trumps for elephantsHow do you get your charity noticed in a space already overflowing with e-petitions and direct mail? You could build a life-sized 3D printed elephant, which is how World Animal Protection (previously known as WSPA) has creatively chosen to get its message across as part of a campaign urging holidaymakers to boycott elephant rides and shows.

The work has been set up raise awareness about the pain, stress and suffering inflicted on elephants used in the tourism industry.

The campaign is aimed at everyone in The Netherlands. People are being asked to pledge their names to a 3D petition that builds a life-sized model of an elephant at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport. Each time a name is added to the petition a specially developed 3D printer prints another piece to add to the work.

A live stream of the printing progress is available for those of us who can’t visit the airport this summer.

The project is a partnership between World Animal Protection; Dutch advertising agency FHV BBDO; 3D printer manufacturer Ultimaker; production company Minivegas; and 3D designer Joris van Tubergen.

The installation was created using five Ultimaker 3D printers, which can print the enormous elephant in a very short period of time.

“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,” said Van Tubergen.

Everyone who pledges has their name printed on the elephant with a special font called Elephont, which looks like elephant skin.

Pascal de Smit, director of World Animal Protection The Netherlands, said: “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 have 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 30 August.