Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Print 3D

Traditionally printmaking exists in 2D world, surrounded by drawing, painting, collage, and even digital media. But the digital side has been rapidly changing over the last few years, and 3D digital printers have made their mark.

As a person who has always worked with their hands, I have a love/hate relationship with technology. Don't get me wrong. I'm by no means a modern-day Luddite, and I have incorporated many technologies into my studio practice at Pele. Not to mention that, strictly speaking, the presses I use were once considered the latest and greatest in the way of technology. There is a constant push/pull between my need to create by hand and my desire to incorporate newer digital tools. Most people who have worked with me have heard me talk about the importance of the "evidence of hand" in art. I believe there is such a thing as too perfect, and it's in the small imperfections where beauty often lies. Taking a phrase from the late t-shirt design shop Imperfect Articles, "perfectly imperfect" is a thing.

All of this said, technology provides an amazing complement to the handmade. And while 3D printing isn't exactly new, there have been huge strides in the last couple of years in expanding its scope, affordability, and reach. Following the Maker Movement reveals a seemingly endless string of ideas and innovations that I find fascinating. Some standouts include incorporating hydrographic film with 3D printed objects, designing intricate 3D shapes and designs using edible chocolate instead of plastic, and even creating 3D printed custom prosthetics for animals.

Seeing ideas like these gets the wheels spinning in my head. Who knows...someday we might just add a 3D printer to the Pele bag of tricks.

Derby prosthetic legs

Hydrographic film

3D printed chocolate

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