When most people think about crafts, they think about things like sewing, needlepoint, or painting. But what about a plastic object created on a 3D printer? For some people, 3D printing is the new wave of crafting.
Printing as an Art Form
3D printing has seen huge growth in recent years and has been used in fields ranging from engineering to medicine to accelerate new products and test new designs. As the technology grows and becomes more available to everyday people, more and more novice 3D printers have created a variety of objects.
While most 3D printers are industry professionals, artisans are also gaining recognition. Australian designer Berto Pandolfo current has an exhibition at the Kensington Contemporary in Sydney that showcases his 3D-printed side tables. Pandolfo combines new technology with traditional techniques in an effort often called “the digital handmade.” Even though Pandolfo’s side tables and other objects are technically created on a machine, each piece is different and has a distinctive feel instead of seeming like it was mass manufactured.
Some of the biggest changes made by 3D printing in the craft space come in furniture design and construction, which has long been dominated by carving and other traditional methods. However, 3D printing creates objects by placing layers of plastic in place and molding them together. Even in the professional space, the majority of new products are first created on a 3D printer.
Many industrial designers are turning to 3D printing for mass producing products because the process is relatively quick and inexpensive but still provides a handmade feel and unique finished product. 3D printing allows creators to make changes to each version of a piece quickly and easily. If they don’t like how it turns out, they can simply print another version instead of wasting time carving a new piece in the traditional manner.
The Future of 3D Printing
3D printing has seen rapid growth in recent years, and a desktop 3D printer can now be purchased for less than $1,000. Instead of being something that others could only view from a distance, the technology is now becoming much more accessible, which means more people can try it out and put their own spin on it.
Not everyone is on board with 3D printing in the craft space, but it is growing at a rapid pace. For many creators, it is a new method that combines the traditional craft methods with modern mass-production techniques to bring together old and new ways of creating art and useful pieces.
3D printing has changed a lot of how we build and create things, and using it as a craft is no exception. With its low price tag and limitless potential, we could soon be seeing 3D printing arts and crafts objects showing up all over.