A 3-D printed petition is slowly but surely coming to life in the form of a life-size elephant at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport.
Here’s how: Every time a person signs a World Animal Protection petition calling on the Dutch to pledge never to ride an elephant again, a 3-D printing setup prints a portion of the animal embedded with the signer’s name in a special font called Elephont designed to resemble the skin of an elephant. More than 20,000 people have already added their signatures to the petition, and you can see a live stream of the progress right now.
It's being billed as the world's first-ever 3-D printed petition by FHV BBDO, the Amsterdam agency, that, along with client World Animal Protection, collaborated with 3-D printer manufacturer Ultimaker, creative production company Minivegas and 3-D designer Joris van Tubergen to create the spectacle.
Five customized Ultimaker 3-D printers are being used to produce the massive elephant. "It takes an ordinary 3-D printer months to print large objects, but by using five 3-D printers simultaneously and printing very high columns, we managed to reduce printing time dramatically," explains van Tubergen in a press release.
World Animal Protection hopes the unique display will call attention to the cruelty inflicted on thousands of elephants in the tourism industry. "Every participant literally helps to build awareness for elephant abuse," says Pascal de Smit, director of The Netherlands office of World Animal Protection.
Most of the elephants used for rides and featured in shows have been captured illegally from the wild, according to the organization, and they suffer severe pain, stress and suffering for the amusement of human beings.
If you happen to be passing through the Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, you can see the World Animal Protection 3-D printing installation in person in a pop-up pavilion in front of the main entrance until August 30.