Make Hack Three: 3D Printing an Elephant, Super Slo-Mo Cats and Computer History

Posted on February 7, 2016


This week we trawl the net for interesting digital bits and find ourselves in animal territory with a full scale 3D printed elephant and some shaky cats in super Slo-Mo.

In 2014 World Animal Protection’s Dutch team undertook a project asking people to sign an online pledge never to ride an elephant. Tourist shows and elephant rides in countries such as Nepal, Thailand and India often use illegally captured wild elephants that are ‘broken’ using painful and psychologically damaging techniques. Each time a petition was signed, five printers at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport were set in motion to print a piece of the life size elephant model.

Filmmaker Klaas Arie Westland documented the campaign from start to finish and the resulting film (below) shows the importance of the cause and the technical challenges that were overcome to make it happen.


Joris van Tubergen is the maestro behind the full scale elephant 3D print. To upgrade his bank of Ultimaker printers he invented a Z-unlimited add-on for the machine to enable unlimited vertical prints, which was officially launched in March 2015. His website contains a number of creative and constructive projects, including instant art created by a scream, recycled plastic scarecrows, life size chocolate sculptures and 3D printed beeswax.

Super Slo-Mo

This superb super Slo-Mo Youtube playlist includes some of the most visually impressive, funny and artful uses of slow motion camera work. First up is Carli Davidson’s Shake Cats, shots of domestic cats shaking it out – slobber and tongues flying everywhere. The playlist also includes deadly animal attacks, a taser on bare skin and a fuel tanker implosion.

Oh, and this colourful powder-paint project using skateboards…


Geek Me Up

For some incredible oral histories of how the personal computer was built, look no further than the Computer History Museum on Youtube. Its channel has experts and genii of every ilk telling it like it happened, as well as a series of computing revolutionaries speaking about the future of computing and technology. S’beautiful.

Check out this interview with MIT’s Cynthia Breazeal and Microsoft Research’s Eric Horvitz on the ways that artificial intelligence is remaking our world.