The Trophy: human powered 3D-printer by Urbain Studio - Photo by digitalamigos.net

The Trophy: human powered 3D-printer by Urbain Studio – All photos by digitalamigos.net

Eindhoven 2016 – Surreal conversation: “What are you doing tonight” “I will probably stay at home biking. My girlfriend broke a cup of tea and I’ve only got few miles left to finish to 3D-print it”. French designer and artist Pierre Clément Nivière at Urbain Studio created The Trophy a provocative and tongue-in-cheek human-powered 3D printer blending high-tech and low-tech, digital and craft. The project aims to remind us that “we shouldn’t depend on machines. They should depends on us instead”.


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The Trophy’s mechanism is simple: you have to bike as long as you print. An average 3D printer is connected to a hand-made stationary bicycle. By pedaling, a dynamo transforms the body energy into electricity. “I didn’t wanted to make it easy and short. Nothing has to be easy as nothing is given for free” says Pierre Clément Nivière to ArchiPanic – Watch the video.

The Trophy: human powered 3D-printer by Urbain Studio - Photo by digitalamigos.net

Indeed, to 3D-print a mini trophy of about 8 cm2 you might have to heavy pedal for 2 hours. Then a question will most probably arise: “Do I really need or want what I am working for? I believe today it’s a very important question that we should ask ourselves before creating and produce new objects”.

The Trophy: human powered 3D-printer by Urbain Studio - Photo by digitalamigos.net

Pierre Clément Nivière hand-made the whole project thinking of old cars. “Those vehicles have simple and easy to understand engines that could be understood and fixed by anyone. Today, there is a gap between new technologies and their end user”.

The Trophy: human powered 3D-printer by Urbain Studio - Photo by digitalamigos.net

He believes that, beyond the hype, 3D printing and other new technologies could be used to disconnect humans from the act and purpose of making. “As an artist and a designer I value the process more than the result”.


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The Trophy: human powered 3D-printer by Urbain Studio - Photo by digitalamigos.net

According to the designer, digital technologies and craftsmanship already coexist and the bridge between them is the human. “We have the ability to think and make. And when we make we should do it responding to our personal needs and then to the larger public’s ones. Otherwise we’ll end up making useless designs and we’ll be focusing on what other people want instead of what we want”.

The Trophy: human powered 3D-printer by Urbain Studio - Photo by digitalamigos.net