Crossover Cooperation – Dancing Butterflies, Nature’s Romantic Guardian



at Design Shanghai @ Xintiandi Design Festival



at Shenzhen International Furniture Fair Area


About Atelier I-N-D-J 

Atelier I-N-D-J is an award-winning Shanghai based multidisciplinary design studio whose output spans architectural, spatial, product, and furniture design at a wide range of scales.
Atelier I-N-D-J was formed in 2013 by Ian Douglas-Jones. Ian’s grounding in Architecture forms the basis in the studio’s output, whilst an unbridled approach to experimentation, technology, and cross-disciplines enables us to engage in a great diversity of creative endeavors. The Studio has a polymath approach which allows for remarkable solutions from unexpected places.

Get to know about UN-NATURAL SELECTION

Obviously, the work is all about the butterfly. Human beings love butterflies, however, they are losing the possibility of close contact with it. In the acceleration of urbanization, fragile ecological habitats are in danger. Once upon a time, there were stars in the sky, fireflies in summer and butterflies flying about. Yet, these are gradually fading. Through visual merchandising, the beauty of being withered and commercialized mechanics is interweaved. The designer is expected to convey the concept of friendly co-existence between man and the nature in modern cities.

A replica butterfly on the top is made by 3D printing technology. It constantly waves its wings mechanically like a sculpture in contrast to nearby butterfly specimens scattered around, which forming a sense of tragedy.


The art drum that keeps printing is rapidly made by 3D printing technology. It is densely covered with concave and convex patterns of butterfly wings, Maybe it will become a fashion trend, appearing on clothes, accessories and daily necessities of young people. With the rapid change of fashion, it will be forgotten with these withered butterflies by the city, which echoes the current lifestyle of excessive consumption among urban people.


How does this artwork come into fruition?

  • 3D scanning butterfly specimens

It was important to convey the beauty of the butterflies in the most realistic way possible. Butterflies are one of nature’s most beautiful creations and capturing their essence was essential to the project. Their vivid colors and unique shape needed to be captured and recreated in realistic fashion. To kick off the creation, the design studio used the EinScan-SP Desktop 3D Scanner with the Discovery Pack add-on to 3D scan the butterflies. The Einscan-SP’s Fixed Scan mode with turntable allowed for a quick and easy process, while the Discovery Pack’s 12MP cameras captured the intense color and detail of the butterflies. The entire process of generating a 3D scan and a realistic workable 3D model took only minutes. The finished scan data was used as a reference and base for the design studio’s project. Finalizing the 3D model would allow for the 3D printing of butterfly replicas in different sizes and colors.


  • 3D printing replica butterfly

The creative design process was completed using a computer and the finalized 3D model is then prepped for 3D printing. The models were printed using a nylon 3D printer which allows for production of complex structures. The beauty of the butterfly was permanently frozen by science and technology; immortalized by the 3D scanner and preserved by the 3D printer.


  • Installation

1 Dynamic butterfly model design and modeling


2 Nylon 3D printing dynamic butterfly model


3 Printing Roller Design and Modeling


4 Structure Demonstration


Closing Thoughts

3D digitizing technology allows the beauty of the butterfly to be preserved permanently, but the beauty of life between birth and death cannot be replicated. SHINING 3D hopes to work with designers to re-think the relationship between human beings and the nature, and to guard the romantic nature of the butterfly.