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3D printing helps the sick (and healthy) face their scars in Cicatrici exhibit

Milan's design museum hosts a moving collection of 3D printed "scarred" statues

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Cicatrici, a moving exhibit at Milan’s Triennale Design Museum uses 3D printing to help ill children – as well as healthy children and adults – explore both their metaphorical and physical scars. 3D printed miniature versions of two of the most famous statues in the history of humanity – the Venus de Milo and Michelangelo’s David – were artistically modified to show alterations based on each type of scar. Wanted and curated by Milan Politecnico’s +LAB’s Professor Marinella Levi, the goal of the exhibit is to show that even scarred, these statues remain beautiful, perhaps even more so, each in its own way.


Titled after the Italian word for “scars”, Cicatrici was the result of a year-long collaboration between +LAB and  B.Livers, an association of young people suffering from serious chronic diseases such as cancer and HIV. The children told their story by printing their scars on two icons of beauty: Aphrodite or ‘Venus de Milo’ and Michelangelo’s David.

“We all have scars. Some of us have scars on their bodies, some others in their hearts or souls. We don’t like showing these marks, as we think they make us look ugly and frail. But that’s not always the case,” Professor Levi told us. “Cicatrici celebrates vulnerability and encourages others not to be afraid to show who they are, but rather embrace it, in order to create a world in which everyone’s uniqueness and bravery in facing diversity are celebrated.”

In total, 41 pieces of work were created that represent a collective work, in which everyone can recognize him or herself.


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Davide Sher

Since 2002, Davide has built up extensive experience as a technology journalist, market analyst and consultant for the additive manufacturing industry. Born in Milan, Italy, he spent 12 years in the United States, where he completed his studies at SUNY USB. As a journalist covering the tech and videogame industry for over 10 years, he began covering the AM industry in 2013, first as an international journalist and subsequently as a market analyst, focusing on the additive manufacturing industry and relative vertical markets. In 2016 he co-founded London-based 3dpbm. Today the company publishes the leading news and insights websites 3D Printing Media Network and Replicatore, as well as 3D Printing Business Directory, the largest global directory of companies in the additive manufacturing industry.

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