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Advances in 3D Printing Technology and Software: What do they mean for Art?

, Advances in 3D Printing Technology and Software: What do they mean for Art?

3D printing, 3D, digital age, art movement, graphic design, printing, internet, graphics, digital

Advances in 3D Printing Technology and Software: What do they mean for Art?

 

3D printing, 3D, digital age, art movement, graphic design, printing, internet, graphics, digital

3D printing, 3D, digital age, art movement, graphic design, printing, internet, graphics, digital

 

The digital age, defined as the period immediately following the advent and widespread proliferation of Internet access in homes across the world, has obviously had enormous and long-lasting effects on almost every discipline: medicine, science, engineering, etc. Yet the digital age has also profoundly changed the way we produce, share, market, and consume art. Art movements prior to the advent of the Internet relied much more heavily on word of mouth, local gallery viewings, and traditional media coverage. The Internet allows for artists to connect from any point with Internet access, making online gallery viewings possible for the public in any part of the world.

 

3D printing, 3D, digital age, art movement, graphic design, printing, internet, graphics, digital

3D printing, 3D, digital age, art movement, graphic design, printing, internet, graphics, digital

 

 

Now aiding the Internet in this great leap for art is 3D printing, originally developed to decentralize and de-specialize manufacturing capacity by creating a robot that can take a piece of graphic design software and physically render it in three dimensions, regardless of what that object might be. One can imagine how this would be extremely useful for almost any household item, from a replacement part for your car to a fly swatter, but what does it mean for art? As 3D printing technology advances, how will artists utilize it? Will the unbelievable potential of these machines ultimately cheapen (and make obsolete) traditional artistic practices like sculpture?

 

3D printing, 3D, digital age, art movement, graphic design, printing, internet, graphics, digital

3D printing, 3D, digital age, art movement, graphic design, printing, internet, graphics, digital

 

 

For now, at least, the answer to that last question is a definitive no. 3D printing is in its infancy as a technology, and while it has made great advances in the last ten years, it has not achieved anything remotely close to the widespread penetration of the Internet into worldwide society. 3D printing is as yet a somewhat niche technology, hosted primarily at educational institutions for students studying engineering, graphic design, manufacturing, and other similar fields. The home market has enormous potential, however, and as the price points of introductory 3D printing models continue to drop, we may see 3D printing evolve into something with tremendous cultural familiarity, which would then make it an object for artists to laud or lampoon with pieces of art.

 

3D printing, 3D, digital age, art movement, graphic design, printing, internet, graphics, digital

3D printing, 3D, digital age, art movement, graphic design, printing, internet, graphics, digital

 

 

What’s for certain is this: 3D printing has the potential to create its own art movement and indeed, to become an entirely new art medium itself. As graphic designers learn more about what objects can be created, we can expect artists to begin 3D renditions of famous historical art pieces (some have already done so). 3D printing in the digital age may even make further changes to the nature of the art gallery. Home-based 3D printers will eventually be able to create art from graphic designs anywhere in the world, allowing residents to select and create art for their homes at will.

 

3D printing, 3D, digital age, art movement, graphic design, printing, internet, graphics, digital

3D printing, 3D, digital age, art movement, graphic design, printing, internet, graphics, digital

 

3D printing, 3D, digital age, art movement, graphic design, printing, internet, graphics, digital

3D printing, 3D, digital age, art movement, graphic design, printing, internet, graphics, digital

 

 

 

Keywords: 3D printing, 3D, digital age, art movement, graphic design, printing, internet, graphics, digital