Industrial printer used to paint image of Charlie Chaplin

The artist from Cameroon, Francis Nathan AbiambaAre CIJ printers only useful for commercial applications? Certainly not, as artist Francis Nathan Abiamba recently proved. The artist from Cameroon spontaneously used a print head from German company, Paul Leibinger, as a paintbrush. He amazed visitors at the wire and Tube 2018 trade fair in Düsseldorf, Germany with a portrait of Charlie Chaplin.
Abiamba, known in the art world as Afran, had a booth at the wire and Tube 2018 trade fair. This stand was next to the Leibinger booth.

‘We started talking and suddenly had the crazy idea of using a print head as a brush,’ says Christina Leibinger, managing proprietor of the Paul Leibinger.

Usually, the JET3up printer’s cylindrical print head is mounted on a conveyor belt or behind an extruder and connected to the hydraulics in the printer housing via an umbilical.

‘Abiamba just picked up the print head, threw the umbilical line over his shoulder and used the back of a fair poster as his canvas.’

He briefly practiced with the print head. It was the most unusual brush with which to work.

When the show started, the artist painted a portrait of the British comedian Charlie Chaplin. In no time at all, using the silver electric paintbrush, he captured the distinguishing features of the film icon on paper. This included his bowler hat and famous two-finger moustache.

‘Everyone at the booth was impressed and the magical performance brought many a smile to the audience,’ adds Leibinger.

‘The portrait in silver is absolutely stunning and will be given a place of honour at our company headquarters in Tuttlingen.’


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