My 3D-printed and metal sound sculpture SoundWaves (light change filament and painted steel, 36″ x 19″ x 17″) is challenging me yet again.

After its light-changing properties disappointingly ceased, I began to think about what to do with the finish. The material is really tough – there’s no problem with UV light like PLA!

SoundWaves, a 3D-printed & metal contemporary sculpture in process - Kevin CaronWithout it being able to change colors, the main part of the sculpture looked unfinished, almost like unbaked dough. Once I got that thought in mind and eye, it was hard to see it otherwise ….

That got me thinking about what to do about it.

I have patinated and painted some of my 3D-printed sculpture, but this seems to call for something special.

I began playing with colors by taking the original rendering of the sculpture into a program called KeyShot, which I also use for placing site-specific sculptures into location photos for patrons.

KeyShot also allows me to play with color, and play I did.

I went through dozens of color changes before I shared one especially bold choice (yellow sculpture, red bell), and another, more sophisticated version (ivory sculpture, deep red bell) on social media. (An Instagram follower said I was brave to ask people what they think, but I like input.)

Last Friday, I met with an automotive painter and kicked around some ideas about how to bring the sculpture to life.

A detail of SoundWaves, a 3D-printed & metal contemporary sculpture, in process - Kevin CaronIf I go this route, which I’m inclined to do, it won’t just be a simple application of color. I have some ideas of how to take this sculpture to another level, something I do to keep my practice fresh for me as well as others.

For one thing, there are some flaws in the print that – as long as I’m having it painted – I’ll clean up with my 3Doodler pen. But that will, hopefully, be invisible in the final version.

There are still a lot of opportunities here, but you can see what happens to this sculpture, SoundWaves, by watching it on my site.