Luna Park’s Electric Tower- ALmost Ready for #3Dprinting !

My first model of the Electric Tower was designed in SketchUp and lacked the ornate detail of the original Luna Park architecture. that’s why I chose Zbrush as the software to model Luna Park with. The software allows for the kind of detail the original park had. Furthermore, the tower that is currently featured in the Thompson & Dundy’s Luna Park: 3D Printed by the Great Fredini installation at the Coney Island Museum (and coming to World Makerfaire New York this weekend) turned out to be the wrong scale. I’ve been hemming and hawing about remodeling it with better detail, but its finally ready for 3D printing. The tower changed from year to year so I’ve opted to create one of the most ornate versions of it that existed circa 1907 with the dolphin fountains at the base. This model is likely to take over a month to print as it needs to be approximately 7′ tall- I’ll have to cut it up into blocks that will fit on my printers and then assemble them.

The Big Electric Tower- almost ready for 3D printing

The Big Electric Tower- almost ready for 3D printing

World Makerfaire New York, 2014, Here We Come!

Luna Park's Electric Tower- Under Reconstruction

Luna Park’s Electric Tower- Under Reconstruction

Its now been a year since the Scan-A-Rama Kickstarter campaign completed. A huge thanks to all of you who made it possible! For those of you who have yet to come see the Luna Park installation at the Coney Island Museum, or who need to be scanned for your rewards (you know who you are!), please come visit us at World Makerfaire New York next weekend, September 20 and 21. I will also be giving a presentation on the project in the Hall of Science’s large amphitheater on Saturday Sept. 20 at 5:30pm.

Its been a while since I’ve updated you- I left my job of 17 years in May and am trying to pursue a career of 3D scanning and printing, so this summer has been busy! I have barely had any time to focus on the Luna Park model and am trying to get back into that. The main tower that is currently on view in Coney Island is too small and needs to be created at about seven feet tall! So I’m slowly working on it, trying to do it justice. Last night I made some good progress on the tip top of the tower, which I’m going to share with you here. I had hoped to get this printed by Makerfaire, but at least I’m making progress!

Okay, that’s it for this update, I hope to see you at Makerfaire next week!

Last Night's Efforts- a more ornate top!

Last Night’s Efforta- a more ornate top!

A close up on the top's ornamentation

A close up on the top’s ornamentation

Young Love in Coney Island!

This past Saturday, I had the opportunity to make 3d scanned portraits of two young couples from Staten Island. It was very sweet to see young love at work. I’m quite pleased with these scans and will be printing them today. They were young but the girls were hopeful about them one day being used as a wedding cake topper! MikeJessica2-PRINT


Getting Ahead with #3DScanning

Last Spring, my friend and Julliard Propmaster Kate Dale had me scan one of their actors for a production of Richard III. The character Hastings is beheaded in the play and they used the Julliard CNC machine to create his head in foam from a 3D scan that I made of him. I was recently up at the prop shop and was able to see the end result. I thought it would be cool to share some process shots here.

We began by creating a 3D scan of the actor's head

We began by creating a 3D scan of the actor’s head which I turned into a watertight STL file.

At the Prop shop, Kate CNC milled sheets of foam and built the head. They put a brick in the center to give it the correct weight.

At the Julliard prop shop, Kate CNC milled sheets of foam and built the head in layers. They put a brick in the center to give it the correct weight.

After being painted and having a wig glued on, it was super realistic and gory!

After Kate painted it and glued a wig on, it was super realistic and gory!


Here I am with the Head of Hastings!

Here I am with the final Head of Hastings!


Thompson & Dundy’s Luna Park: 3D Printed

Since 2012 I have been developing models of Coney Island’s original Luna Park. Based upon historic imagery and 3d modeled in the computer, this ambitious art project is arguably the largest art project ever created with desktop 3D printers. To learn more, please watch filmmaker Ronni Thomas’ short documentary on the project on, or embedded below. Assorted press on the project is visible here and information on seeing the exhibit is here.

Come find yourself in Coney Island!

The World’s Largest Desktop 3D Printed Installation to be featured in Coney Island!

Brooklyn, NY. May 19, 2014 – Coney Island USA is pleased to announce  the exhibition of the world’s largest art installation ever created with desktop 3D printer technology at the Coney Island Museum. Thompson & Dundy’s Luna Park: 3D Printed by the Great Fredini  is a year-long installation by artist Fred Kahl, which will open in the Coney Island Museum on Sunday, May 25. An artist’s  reception will be held on Sunday, July 6 from 2-6pm.  This living museum exhibit will expand over the course of the year to recreate the ornate art and architecture of Coney island’s heyday 100 years ago.

The project is the latest brainchild of Coney Island sideshow veteran, Brooklyn-based artist and impresario Fred Kahl, a.k.a. the Great Fredini. Kahl’s goal is to fully 3D model and fabricate a 1:13 scale 3D-printed replica of Coney Island’s famed Luna Park, as it stood a hundred years ago, and populate it with portraits of Coney’s most interesting characters from his Coney Island Scan-A-Rama 3D Portrait studio.  The project garnered worldwide attention last summer, when Kahl raised over $16,000 on Kickstarter to build a “bot farm” in support of the endeavor. A year later, he has 3D scanned hundreds, if not thousands, of Coney’s denizens and visitors who will be featured in the installation. The show will include hundreds of 3D prints comprising over 10,000 hours of print time and the installation will fill an entire gallery of the museum’s newly reopened space.

“Luna Park has a special place in history, a witness to the society being transformed by technology. These are the themes that are relevant to us today as our world undergoes the third industrial revolution,” said Kahl. “This piece is also about a deep love of Coney Island as the cultural melting pot and showcase for presenting cutting-edge technology as entertainment.”

A graduate of New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program, Kahl is the Executive Creative Director at powerhouse New York design studio Funny Garbage. Over the last few years, Kahl has been obsessed with 3D printing. He created his own open source hardware  for creating full body 3D scans using an Xbox Kinect game controller to capture the 3D image of his subjects. The invention has been featured in Make Magazine and on CNN, and used by Shapeways for their ongoing installation at the Museum of Art and Design in New York City. His Scan-A-Rama 3D portrait studio is the current resident of Coney Island USA’s Artist Incubator program and has become a staple of today’s cultural landscape in Coney Island.

“Fred Kahl is a legend of sorts, with a legacy of bringing mind-blowing and innovative projects to Coney Island, from Burlesque at the Beach to America’s Favorite Burlesque Game show – This or That!,” said Dick Zigun, the “Mayor” of Coney Island and the founder of Coney Island USA. “His latest undertaking will immortalize the actual fabric of our beloved Coney Island, and I urge everyone to come see it in the Coney Island Museum”


For more information, visit:


About Coney Island USA: Coney Island USA is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation based in the amusement park area of the Coney Island neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. In existence since 1980, Coney Island USA has developed and produces a number of different programs including some of New York City’s best-loved summer programming, such as the Mermaid Parade, the Coney Island Circus Sideshow, the Coney Island Museum, Burlesque at the Beach and the Coney Island Film Festival.


PLA Perdue Part Two

Yesterday I posted about my experiments with “lost PLA” casting to make a cast glass object from a 3D printed digital design.

Today the oven cooled and I was able to remove them from the plaster silica molds. I’m quite pleased with the results. They could use some cold working to grind and polish them, but it’s an excellent proof of concept for this as an efficient and speedy workflow to quickly move from digital designs to physical object in any castable material including glass and metal.

Some shots of disinvestment and the final objects. The castings were very clean!